FERC published a favorable draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) Friday for Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co.'s (Transco) proposed Northeast Supply Enhancement Project, which would provide 400,000 Dth/d to residential and commercial customers in the New York City area.
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff concluded that construction and operation of the project would result in some adverse environmental impacts, most of them temporary and occuring during construction, according to the DEIS [CP17-101].
While long-term impacts on air quality and noise would result from the operation of Compressor Station 206, "we also conclude that, with implementation of Transco's impact avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures, as well as their adherence to our recommendations, all project effects would be reduced to less-than-significant levels," staff said.
FERC is accepting comments on the DEIS through May 14.
The Northeast Supply Enhancement project is expected to consist of about 10 miles of 42-inch diameter pipeline looping facilities; three miles of onshore 26-inch diameter looping facilities; 23 miles of offshore 26-inch diameter looping facilities; the addition of 21,902 hp at an existing compressor station; a new 32,000 hp compressor station, and related appurtenant facilities.
The DEIS comes one year after Transco filed an application for the project at FERC and announced precedent agreements with subsidiaries of National Grid -- the largest distributor of natural gas in the northeastern U.S. -- for firm service under the project.
Once complete, the project would help meet demand in the Northeast, including more than 1.8 million customers served by National Grid in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Long Island.
Transco has estimated the cost of the project at $926.5 million, with a target in-service date of Dec. 1, 2019.
The natural gas that would flow through Northeast Supply Enhancement would be a welcome addition in the New York City area, where prices in early January spiked as high as $175/MMBtu at Transco Zone 6 NY due to widespread weather-driven demand and pipeline constraints. That was a record high at the point, according to Daily GPI historical data, easily topping the previous high of $125 set during the polar vortex-influenced winter of 2013-14.
Transco's application for a water quality certification required by the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) and other state permits for the Northeast Supply Enhancement Project in New York have been on hold since last summer, pending the FERC DEIS. Pennsylvania has also been reviewing the project for a Section 401 Water Quality Certification under the CWA.