RH energytrans LLC’s Risberg Line Project, which would move 55,000 Dth/d of natural gas from northwest Pennsylvania to northeast Ohio to meet increasing demand, has been approved by FERC.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission found that the company has sufficiently demonstrated adequate market demand for the project [CP18-6-000]. Commissioners pointed to the binding precedent agreement that Dominion Energy Ohio signed as foundation shipper for 40,000 Dth/d to serve customers in northeast Ohio.

“Despite commenters’ general opposition to development of fossil fuel pipeline infrastructure, renewable energy sources or energy efficiency measures would not accomplish the project purpose of providing natural gas transportation service to Dominion customers in Ashtabula County, OH,” FERC’s order stated in response to project opposition.

Commissioner Richard Glick dissented in a separate statement as he has on several other recent certificate applications. He again cited FERC’s refusal to consider how pipelines might contribute to climate change. Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur concurred in a separate statement that offered a downstream greenhouse gas emissions estimate for the pipeline as she has recently for others. Despite the estimate, FERC has not determined a downstream emissions threshold to apply to infrastructure projects. 

LaFleur and Glick, the Commission’s two Democrats, have urged a more robust approach to assessing climate change impacts.

The Risberg Line would take gas from an interconnect with Tennessee Gas Pipeline in Crawford County, PA, to help meet peak day supply deficits in Ashtabula County. Potential industrial customers there also expressed interest in capacity on the system at the time the company filed for a certificate in October 2017.

RH energytrans wants to convert 31.6 miles of existing 8-inch and 12-inch diameter gas gathering lines in Crawford County and Erie County, PA, for transmission service. From Erie County, the company would build about 28 miles of 12-inch diameter pipe in a right-of-way to traverse the state line and terminate at a new delivery point that interconnects with Dominion’s distribution system in North Kingsville, OH.

The project would also include installing 728 hp of compression, launcher/receiver facilities, mainline valves, a meter station and other equipment.