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Leach XPress, Rover Make Plans to Co-Locate in Ohio for 13-Mile Stretch

Backers of the Rover and Leach XPress pipeline projects have provided FERC with detailed plans to co-locate along a 13-mile route where their proposed routes overlap in Monroe County, OH.

In separate filings late last week, officials with the east-to-west Appalachian takeaway projects detailed plans for the pipelines to share an easement and workspace for the overlapping stretch in question. The segment would also run parallel to an existing right-of-way owned by Texas Eastern Transmission LP.

The filings came in response to a data request last month from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission asking the pipelines to resolve issues related to the overlapping segment (see Daily GPI, June 24).

“Design of the pipeline routes through this area is restricted by difficult terrain, including vertical side slopes and less defined ridge lines, as well as nearby residential areas,” senior counsel Tyler R. Brown for Leach XPress-backer Columbia Pipeline Group (CPG) told FERC. “Columbia and Rover, therefore, have worked together to develop a solution for the proposed pipelines, which maximizes the length of parallel construction with Texas Eastern’s existing easements.”

Brown wrote that the pipelines would share a 50-foot permanent right-of-way for the 13-mile stretch, with some deviations “from the proposed routes and/or co-located segments to accommodate site-specific features.”

Rover’s Kelly Allen, manager of regulatory affairs, told FERC that the two pipelines plan to accommodate one another during the construction process.

“Each company intends to allow the other company to cross its aboveground facilities in order to maintain the proposed locations,” Allen wrote. “The projects have similar construction schedules and have committed to being flexible in working together to accomplish both projects while minimizing the impact to landowners and environmental resources.”

In its filing, Rover also proposed two minor route variations as part of its efforts to collaborate with Leach XPress.

The 700-mile Rover pipeline, backed by Energy Transfer Partners LP, would run through parts of West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan, delivering 3.25 Bcf/d from Appalachia to the Midwest and Canada. The company has already delayed the pipeline's in-service date to 2017 after requesting an expedited review last year (see Daily GPI, Nov. 9, 2015). FERC issued a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for Rover in February (see Daily GPI, Feb. 19).

CPG’s Leach XPress would add 160 miles of pipeline plus compression facilities in Ohio and West Virginia, creating an additional 1.5 Bcf/d of capacity to transport gas from Appalachia to markets served by the Columbia Gulf Transmission and Columbia Gas Transmission systems. Leach XPress received its DEIS earlier this year, with EPA later criticizing FERC’s environmental assessment (see Daily GPI, June 15).

CPG is now a subsidiary of Calgary-based TransCanada Corp. after completing the $13 billion midstream mega-merger (see Daily GPI, July 5).

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