FERC issued a certificate of authorization Tuesday for Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. LLC’s (TGP) proposed Susquehanna West Project, a 145,000 Dth/d expansion of east-to-west capacity on its 300 Line in Pennsylvania.

TGP filed with FERC for the $156.4 million Susquehanna project last April [CP15-148].

The project will provide incremental transportation service to Statoil Natural Gas LLC to serve markets in the Northeast. The expansion will consist of pipeline looping and modifications to TGP’s system between its Shoemaker receipt meter in Susquehanna County, PA, and the interconnection with National Fuel Gas Supply Corp.’s system at the Rose Lake Meter Station in Potter County, PA.

Green groups had challenged FERC’s decision to conduct a separate environmental review for the Susquehanna project, arguing that it had been improperly segmented from two other planned expansions to TGP’s system, the Triad Expansion (see Daily GPI, June 19, 2015) and Orion (see Daily GPI, Oct. 9, 2015) projects. The improper segmentation claim stemmed from an earlier legal victory for environmentalists challenging FERC’s handling of its review of TGP’s  Northeast Upgrade Project (see Shale Daily, June 6, 2014).

In Tuesday’s order, FERC denied a motion the groups had filed to consolidate the dockets for Susquehanna, Triad and Orion.

Refuting arguments submitted by anti-fossil fuel advocates during the proceedings, FERC also outlined in some detail its interpretation of its obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act, explaining its justification for not further considering the indirect impacts of the pipeline expansion on natural gas production activity.

“Even if a causal relationship between the Susquehanna West Project and additional production were presumed, the scope of the impacts from any such induced production is not reasonably foreseeable,” FERC wrote. “Even knowing the identity of a producer of gas to be shipped on a pipeline, and the general area where that producer's existing wells are located, does not alter the fact that the number and location of any additional wells are matters of speculation.”