FERC issued a favorable environmental assessment (EA) Friday for Millennium Pipeline Co. LLC’s proposed Eastern System Upgrade (ESU) project, which would provide an additional 223,000 Dth/d of firm transportation service to local distribution companies (LDC) and municipalities in New York State.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff concluded in the 247-page EA that the project “would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment” [CP16-486].

The ESU project, which was submitted to FERC last August, calls for construction of approximately 7.8 miles of 30- and 36-inch diameter looping pipeline in Orange County, most of which will be built either overlapping or adjacent to the existing pipeline right-of-way. Millennium will also build a new Highland Compressor Station, with 22,400 hp, in Sullivan County.

The project would also add 22,400 hp to Millennium’s existing Hancock Compressor Station in Delaware County; modify the existing Ramapo Meter and Regulation (M&R) Station in Rockland County; modify the Wagoner Interconnect in Orange County; add pipeline appurtenant facilities at the existing Huguenot and Westtown M&R stations in Orange County, and an alternate interconnect to the 16-inch Valley Lateral at milepost 7.6 of the project.

Millennium has requested that FERC grant the authorizations by July 31. The company hopes to begin construction in the fall of 2017 to meet a targeted in-service date in September 2018.

According to documents filed with FERC, 202,500 Dth/d of new capacity from the project is already subscribed under long-term firm contracts with LDCs and municipalities. Millennium is marketing the remaining 20,500 Dth/d of capacity.

FERC said it will accept comments on the EA through May 1.

Millennium is owned by subsidiaries of Columbia Pipeline Group Inc., National Grid plc and DTE Energy Co.