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TGP's Connecticut Expansion Project Cleared to Commence Service

FERC on Thursday gave Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. LLC (TGP) a green light to place into service its Connecticut Expansion Project in Hampden County, MA, and Hartford County, CT [CP14-529].

The Connecticut Expansion Project, originally approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in March 2016, would expand delivery capability to the Northeast, accessing supply from the Marcellus Shale. It was designed to augment the pipeline's existing system in New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut to expand delivery capability to the Northeast by up to 72.1 MMcf/d.

The Kinder Morgan Inc. affiliate has said it has binding precedent agreements for all project capacity with three anchor shippers -- Connecticut Natural Gas Corp., Southern Connecticut Gas Co. and Yankee Gas Services Co.

The project has been nagged by opposition from landowners and lawmakers. TGP pushed back against efforts to stall progress on the progress, telling FERC that one opposition group's motion for a stay of construction is based on "hyperbolic" and "unsupported" claims.

Earlier this year, Massachusetts Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey called on FERC to reverse its approval of construction activities for the project, citing the agency's lack of a quorum. Dozens of members of the Massachusetts House of Representatives also reportedly opposed a proposal in a state omnibus energy bill that called for electricity customers to pay for the expansion of natural gas pipelines.

In January, TGP reached an eminent domain deal with the state of Massachusetts, allowing the Connecticut Expansion to traverse the Otis State Forest in Sandisfield, MA, in Berkshire County.

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