FERC Friday issued a favorable a final environmental nod for Guardian Pipeline LLC's expansion and extension project in Illinois and Wisconsin.

"The Guardian expansion and extension project with appropriate mitigating measures, as recommended, would have limited adverse environmental impact," Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) staff concluded in the final environmental impact statement (FEIS). Cooperating agencies in the FEIS were the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

The Guardian project calls for the construction of 83.9 miles of 30-inch diameter pipeline and 31.3 miles of 20-inch diameter pipeline, two new 39,000 horsepower electric motor-driven compressor stations and associated facilities in Illinois and Wisconsin [CP07-8]. The extended pipeline would meet the growing demand for natural gas in eastern Wisconsin and provide pipeline-on-pipeline competition for many customers for the first time.

The expansion/extension would extend the length of Guardian's system by approximately 106 miles from its current terminus near Ixonia in northwestern Jefferson County, WI, to Green Bay, the pipeline said. It would result in about 537,200 Dth/d of additional gas transmission capacity to serve the state of Wisconsin.

Assuming FERC approval, the pipeline said it plans to begin construction in early 2008, and place it into operation later that year.

The Guardian project would establish a second interstate gas pipeline presence in eastern Wisconsin to benefit those utilities and consumers who have yet to experience pipeline competition in their area, the company said. ANR Pipeline has been the sole pipeline provider in much of eastern Wisconsin for years.

The Guardian pipeline extends about 143 miles from the Chicago Hub, near Joliet, IL, to Ixonia.

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