The Nexus Gas Transmission LLC pipeline and related Texas Eastern Appalachian Lease (TEAL) project received a favorable draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) from FERC Friday, bringing Appalachian Basin producers a step closer to more westward takeaway.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission concluded that “construction and operation of the projects would result in some adverse environmental impacts, but impacts would be reduced to less-than-significant levels” after mitigation measures.

Nexus, a high-profile east-to-west Marcellus/Utica takeaway project, would transport 1.5 Bcf/d from Eastern Ohio into Michigan, connecting Appalachian Basin gas to markets in the Midwest and Canada. Nexus, which filed with FERC in November (see Daily GPI, Nov. 23, 2015), is under development by Spectra Energy Corp. and DTE Energy Co. TEAL is under development by Spectra subsidiary Texas Eastern Transmission LP and would expand Texas Eastern’s system by 950,000 Dth/d to support the Nexus project.

The projects would involve construction of about 260 miles of new pipeline, five new compressor stations and six new metering and regulating stations, according to FERC.

FERC will be collecting public comments on the DEIS through Aug. 29, both in written form and through a series of public meetings scheduled in August in Ohio and Michigan. According to its notice of schedule for the projects, published in the Federal Register in May, FERC will release the final EIS on Nov. 30, with a 90-day federal authorization deadline of Feb. 28, 2017.

The projects are targeting an in-service date in 4Q2017.

Columbia Pipeline Group’s 1.5 Bcf/d Leach XPress and Energy Transfer Partners LP’s 3.25 Bcf/d Rover, two other east-to-west projects aiming to provide relief for the capacity-constrained Appalachian Basin, are also currently under review at FERC. Based on instructions from FERC (see Daily GPI, June 24), those projects recently developed plans to co-locate for a 13-mile stretch in Ohio (see Shale Daily, July 6).

Appalachian Basin takeaway is a moving target, with sponsors piling on new projects. However, RBN Energy LLC President Rusty Braziel recently said the Marcellus and Utica could be on course for a pipeline overbuild (see Shale Daily, June 8).