Construction of Millennium Pipeline Co. LLC's Minisink Compressor project has been approved by FERC "after a long and intensive review," the company said. The project, which consists of two 6,130 hp compressors in Minisink, NY, would increase deliverability to the eastern end of the pipeline to about 675,000 Dth/d. Millennium filed for the project in July 2011. Southwestern Energy Services Co., an anchor shipper, urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to approve the expansion by Feb. 1 so that it could be in operation by the start of the winter heating season, Nov. 1. However, Commission staff sought consideration of an alternative compressor station site (see Daily GPI, Jan. 9).

Bellevue, WA-based combination utility Puget Sound Energy (PSE) has filed with the state's Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) for approval to lower its overall natural gas retail rates 7.7% for the upcoming winter season, effective Nov. 1. If approved residential bills would drop an average of 7.1%, or 2009's average, while commercial rates will drop an average of about 8%. Spokane, WA-based Avista Utilities earlier in September filed an integrated resource plan with the UTC projecting that a combination of slack demand and robust gas production would make supplies plentiful in the Pacific Northwest until at least 2029 (see Daily GPI, Sept. 14).

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law AB 1966 related to oil and natural gas drilling, and AB 2005 dealing with liabilities for oil spills. AB 1966 sets notification timelines and information content that drilling companies are required to give to landowners on which the work will take place to beef up current notification requirements. AB 2005 requires through 2013 that nontank oil-containing vessels provide the state with "evidence of financial responsibility, payment of applicable fees, gray water information, sewage information and vessel particulars at least 96 hours prior to the vessel's arrival in the state's marine waters, and to submit other required documents within 14 days after the arrival of the vessel."

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