The influx of natural gas in the Northeast brought on by ramped-up Marcellus Shale development is keeping the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) busy, as evidenced by two new authorizations for gas transportation projects.

On Thursday the PSC separately approved a new gathering pipeline in New York to transport gas from Susquehanna County, PA, wells to the Millennium Gas Pipeline, and a transmission pipeline in two upstate counties that will give residences and businesses the option of natural gas for the first time.

In the first order, the PSC granted a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need to DMP New York Inc. and Laser Northeast Gathering Co. LLC to construct approximately 9.8 miles of 16-inch diameter coated steel pipeline and a gas compressor station in the Town of Windsor in Broome County, NY.

DMP and Laser last July submitted an application to construct a pipeline and gas compressor station to serve as a gathering pipeline for nine existing wells operated by Alta Resources LLC in Susquehanna County, as well as future permitted wells in Pennsylvania. The gas gathering pipeline will feed into the companies' compressor station and metering site that will connect to the 30-inch diameter Millennium Gas Pipeline located in the Town of Windsor. DMP said it expects to begin construction shortly.

In the second order the commission adopted the terms of a joint proposal submitted by St. Lawrence Gas Co., Inc. and authorized construction of a natural gas transmission pipeline extending 48 miles into northern Franklin County from the company's pre-existing pipeline in eastern St. Lawrence County. In addition the commission authorized a new 50-mile network of distribution lines to expand the natural gas delivery service to nearly 2,500 customers in these two counties.

"The objective of this expansion is to introduce natural gas as another alternative for customers in places where the only fuel options at this time are oil, propane, coal and wood," said Commission Chairman Garry Brown. "The high cost of energy has made it difficult to farm, do business and attract jobs, and has increased the cost of living for local residents."

The pipeline extension will be connected with the company's pre-existing 10-inch diameter transmission line in the Town of Norfolk in St. Lawrence County, and continue about 48 miles to the Village of Chateaugay in Franklin County. The company estimates that the new transmission and distribution lines will enable it to add two industrial customers, 372 commercial or institutional customers and 2,113 residential customers in the project's first five years.

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