Spectra Energy is only days away from filing an application at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to build a major pipeline expansion to serve the New Jersey and New York natural gas markets.

The project would be an expansion of Spectra Energy's existing pipeline systems, Texas Eastern Transmission and Algonquin Gas Transmission, which already cater to the New Jersey and New York markets. The expansion would provide new diversified supply, as much as 800 MMcf/d, to the region, said spokeswoman Marylee Hanley.

She noted that Spectra Energy still is making modification to the final route for the pipeline expansion to respond to the concerns of the stakeholders, including the permitting agencies and public officials.

In late November the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Office of Permit Coordination and Environmental Review was less than happy with the route. "The currently proposed pipeline route alternative is unacceptable to the department due to impacts to sensitive environmental areas and publicly owned land. We assert that there are better alternative routes available that have not been examined," it said [PF10-17] (see Daily GPI, Nov. 24).

Likewise, the Jersey City Department of Public Works is apprehensive about the expansion. "It is our opinion that this proposed alignment will have severe detrimental impact to some of our major infrastructures in the city. The gas pipeline is proposed to be in close proximity to some of our major transportation systems, such as the New Jersey Turnpike, US Route 1 and 9, Holland Tunnel, PATH-Conrail-LightRail train system, and the waterfront ferry system," the city said.

"We anticipate the answers to our concerns may drastically alter the Spectra Gas pipeline project as currently proposed; therefore, we recommend that this application be on hold until we resolve the engineering difficulties," it noted.

The pipeline expansion, which would be 42-inch and 36-inch diameter, would be built over a two-year period, with completion targeted for November 2013, Hanley said.

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