FERC staff will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) for National Fuel Gas Supply Co.'s (NFG) FM100 Project and Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co.'s (Transco) Leidy South Project, which together would boost natural gas capacity from northwest Pennsylvania to markets in the New York City area.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission would use the EA to determine if the interdependent projects are in the public convenience and necessary [PF17-10, PF19-1].

The FM100 Project would modernize a portion of NFG's existing pipeline system and create 330,000 Dth/day of incremental transportation capacity. The additional transportation capacity is fully subscribed to Transco under a proposed capacity lease to provide gas from the Marcellus and Utica production areas of Pennsylvania to the Transco project.

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FM100 would include 29.5 miles of 20-inch diameter pipeline, 50 miles of 12-inch diameter pipeline, as well as two compressor stations and associated facilities in Pennsylvania’s Cameron, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, McKean and Potter counties.

The Leidy South Project would provide 582,400 Dth/d of incremental firm transportation capacity to Transco's River Road regulating station in Lancaster, PA. Six miles of large-diameter pipeline loop would be installed, along with two compressor stations and associated facilities in Pennsylvania’s Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Luzerne, Schuylkill and Wyoming counties.

FERC is accepting public comments on the EA through April 4.

NFG has struggled to complete takeaway projects to bring Appalachian gas to New York, battling the administration of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, which has banned high-volume hydraulic fracturing and challenged, or even stopped, major gas pipeline projects designed to meet growing demand in the state and in the Northeast.

FERC found last year that New York waived its authority to issue a certificate for the 490 MMcf/d Northern Access expansion project, opening a path to construction. New York has since filed for a rehearing of the Commission’s latest decision and again slowed progress on the expansion.

NFG received a favorable EA last year for the Empire North project, which would move 205 MMcf/d through New York and into Canada. The company expects a FERC certificate for Empire North by early spring and a second half FY2020 in-service date.