TransCanada Corp.’s Columbia Gas Transmission LLC (TCO) has received full notice to proceed with construction of its Leach Xpress project.

The project received its certificate in January. It now has FERC’s permission to begin clearing trees for more than three-quarters of the project right-of-way before environmental protection deadlines that begin in April. The company expects another notice soon to begin work on the rest of the project, which would move 1.5 million Dth/d of Marcellus and Utica shale gas to customers served by TCO in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

The project includes roughly 160 miles of new pipeline and 143,000 hp of new compression. TransCanada expects to finish clearing trees before the deadline. It’s targeting a late 2017 in-service date.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission also authorized Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. LLC to begin construction and tree clearing for its Broad Run Expansion project, which would add 200,000 Dth/d for transport of Marcellus gas from West Virginia to delivery points along the Gulf Coast for shipper Antero Resources Corp. Broad Run is targeting a June 2018 in-service date.

The Commission green lighted construction of Tennessee’s Triad Expansion project, which would add 180 MMcf/d to the existing system and serve Invenergy LLC’s 1,500 MW gas-fired Lackawanna Energy Center in Northeast Pennsylvania.

FERC was left without a quorum this month after Commissioner Norman Bay resigned. While it can’t vote on important projects or rules until at least one of three vacant seats is filled, other business such as notices are left up to Commission staff. Before Bay’s resignation, FERC issued certificates for a series of Appalachian pipeline projects representing more than 5 Bcf/d of takeaway capacity.