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Maritimes & Northeast Receives Certificate

Maritimes & Northeast Receives Certificate

Maritimes &amp Northeast Pipeline (M&ampNE) has received a certificate for the last segment of an 800-mile system designed to carry up to 530 MMcf/d of natural gas from Sable Island offshore Nova Scotia into New England and the U.S. Northeast.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission put a final stamp of approval on Phase II of the project, a 200 mile stretch of 24-inch and 30-inch pipe paralleling the Maine coast from the southern end of the state to Woodland on the Canadian border, voting notationally July 31 to adopt the final environmental impact statement (FEIS). That statement reversed an earlier draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) which had called for a "Northern Alternate," a 40 mile route change through Richmond and Pittstown, ME. However, with further study and new information the Commission determined that alternate, promoted as environmentally superior would, in fact, "disturb more area, require more tree clearing and blasting (and subsequent disposal of rock), would cross more streams and waterfowl and wading bird habitat, and would be within 50 feet of more residences."

An in-service date is projected for November 1999. The pipeline had received preliminary approval covering all but the environmental aspects in July 1997 (See NGI, Sept. 29, 1997) Combined with the Portland Natural Gas Transmission System (PNGTS), with which M&ampNE will share some of its pipe, the new supply route could bring as much as 650 MMcf/d to northeastern markets. PNGTS is expected to start deliveries this November with gas from western Canada delivered through a connection with TransCanada PipeLines.

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