FERC Wednesday issued a favorable environmental assessment (EA) of National Fuel Gas Supply Corp.’s Line N 2012 expansion project that would increase the takeaway capacity from the Marcellus Shale basin to serve Northeast markets.

“Approval of the proposed project, with appropriate mitigating measures, would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment,” the staff of the Federal Energy Regulation Commission said in the EA [CP11-512].

The project, which would have available capacity of 150,000 Dth/d, would run through Washington and Greene counties in Pennsylvania, ending at Texas Eastern Transmission’s Holbrook Compressor Station. National Fuel’s existing 19-mile Line N went into operation on Oct. 26. It has a planned capacity of 160,000 Dth/d.

The company is seeking FERC approval of the Line N expansion project by March 2012, with construction to begin in the April-May period. It has targeted in-service for November 2012.

The expansion, which has a cost of $40 million, calls for the replacement of 4.85 miles of 24-inch diameter gas pipeline and installation of two 10,280 hp gas-fired turbine-driven compressors at the Buffalo Compressor Station.