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Iroquois Extension Could Replace Millennium

Iroquois Extension Could Replace Millennium

Daniel Adamson, FERC director of the Office of Energy Projects, fired off a letter of rejection to Millennium Pipeline earlier this month, regarding an amendment application for a proposed route change along the highly controversial power transmission right of way in Westchester County, NY. He also told Millennium officials to consider substituting a proposed extension of the Iroquois Gas Transmission system for the Millennium project.

New York regulators forced Millennium to change the route along Consolidated Edison's six 345 kV high voltage transmission lines because of safety concerns (see NGI, May 15, April 24, March 27 and March 13). Millennium filed the amendment April 9. Adamson, however, told Millennium's David Pentzien the amendment application was woefully inadequate because it was missing numerous environmental details and a discussion of the impact on the cost of developing the project. He said the filing lacked significant data and environmental analysis, including impact on endangered species, detailed discussion of the impact on habitat at certain river crossings, or specific information about pipeline locations in relation to established right of way.

"Your amendment application filed in Docket No. CP98-150-001 seeking authorization to construct the Millennium Pipeline is deficient," Adamson said. "Our review shows that Millennium Pipeline Company (Millennium) failed to include the minimum required environmental information needed for the Commission staff to begin processing of a complete application... Therefore the amendment application.....is rejected without prejudice to Millennium refiling a complete application."

Adamson also ordered Millennium officials to submit a discussion of Iroquois Gas Transmission's Eastchester Project as a possible alternative to the entire Millennium project or for the portion of Millennium in Westchester County. Iroquois filed an application for the project last month. The $170 million, 30-mile extension would help meet gas demand in New York City. It would run from Iroquois' mainline in Northport, Long Island 27 miles beneath Long Island Sound to a connection with ConEd's gas lines in the Bronx. It also would involve building several new compressor stations and adding compression at existing stations. If approved, the Eastchester Extension project will start service in 2002. It initially would deliver about 220 MMcf/d of gas compared to Millennium's proposed 714 MMcf/d. It also would be significantly cheaper to build than the $650 million, 442-mile Millennium project.

Rocco Canonica

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