FERC has approved Questar Pipeline’s request to begin an early review of its planned Southern System expansion under the agency’s pre-filing process of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

“We believe that beginning the Commission’s NEPA review prior to our receipt of your application will greatly improve the chances of completing the process in the requested time frame,” the agency said in a letter to Salt Lake City, UT-based Questar Thursday.

“I am granting your request and [am] instructing my staff to begin working on the early identification of issues, issue resolution, and development of the necessary environmental documentation for the project,” wrote J. Mark Robinson, director of FERC’s Office of Energy Projects. He noted the project has been assigned the docket number of PF04-6.

Questar is planning to construct approximately 18.4 miles of 24-inch diameter looping and two new compressor stations (total horsepower 15,200 hp), and upgrade two existing compressor stations on its South System in Utah and Colorado. The pipeline’s South System delivers gas to TransColorado, Kern River, Northwest Pipeline and Colorado Interstate Gas.

The expanded pipeline and compression would add about 102,000 Dth/d of natural gas capacity to Questar’s existing system. Questar said it hopes to begin construction in May 2005, with in-service targeted for October 2005.

Questar will hold an open house on Tuesday (Feb. 10) in Price, UT, to elicit public comment on the company’s proposed expansion. Interested parties who are unable to attend can send written comments to David Ingleby by fax at (801) 324-3803, or by e-mail to David.Ingleby@Questar.com.

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