Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. LLC (TGP) has received authorization from FERC to place into service the Orion Project, a looping project on its 300 Line designed to serve increasing natural gas demand in the Mid-Atlantic and New England.

Based on a Nov. 15 field report and TGP's biweekly status reports, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission found that TGP "has adequately stabilized areas disturbed by construction and that restoration is proceeding satisfactorily," according to a FERC order issued Thursday [CP16-4].

FERC initially approved plans for the 135,000 Dth/d expansion in February. TGP estimated that the project would cost $143 million.

The Orion Project includes constructing a 36-inch, 8.23-mile pipeline loop along the 300 Line in Wayne and Pike counties, PA (Loop 322); constructing a 36-inch diameter, 4.68-mile loop along the 300 Line in Pike County (Loop 323); and installing appurtenant and auxiliary facilities.

South Jersey Resources Group LLC, South Jersey Gas Co., and Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. have signed up for all of the project's capacity, according to the Kinder Morgan Inc. pipeline's filing at FERC.

Environmental groups have sought to block the project. In August, an appellate court panel in Philadelphia ruled against two Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN) challenges to Orion. DRN argued that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection erred when it issued water quality certification permits for the project in 2016 and approved stream and wetland crossings earlier this year.