The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued a favorable environmental assessment (EA) to Dominion Transmission Inc. (DTI) for a proposal to expand its pipeline system in Pennsylvania to deliver more Marcellus Shale gas to markets in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region.

“If DTI constructs and operates the proposed facilities in accordance with its application and supplements as well as the staff’s recommended mitigation measures, approval of the project would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment,” FERC staff said in the EA on the expansion project [CP11-39]. Staff recommended that the Commission’s order contain a finding of “no significant impact.”

The Northeast Expansion Project would provide firm transportation from multiple locations along DTI’s existing system to an interconnection between DTI and facilities operated by Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line at Leidy in Clinton County, PA. The expansion would increase DTI’s pipeline capacity by 200,000 Dth/d from Pennsylvania, said a spokesman for DTI, which is a subsidiary of Richmond, VA-based Dominion Resources.

The project calls for the installation of a total of 32,440 hp at three existing compressor stations in Pennsylvania — 6,130 hp at DTI’s Punxsutawney Compressor Station in Jefferson and Indiana counties; 10,310 hp at Ardell Compressor Station in Elk County; and 16,000 hp at Finnefrock Compressor Station in Clinton County.

DTI said it has negotiated a precedent agreement with CONSOL Gas Co. for the entire 200,000 Dth/d of capacity to be created by the expansion. CONSOL Gas is a subsidiary of Canonsburg, PA-based CONSOL Energy, which is considered the leading U.S. eastern producer of Marcellus gas.