FERC staff has issued a favorable draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the Atlantic Sunrise project of Williams Partners’ Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC (Transco).

Atlantic Sunrise would provide an incremental 1.7 million Dth/d of year-round firm transportation capacity from the Marcellus Shale production area in northern Pennsylvania to Transco’s existing market areas, extending to the Station 85 Pooling Point in Choctaw County, AL.

Transco has said the $3 billion project would provide “greatly enhanced” access to Marcellus Shale gas supplies, support the overall reliability and diversification of energy infrastructure along the Atlantic seaboard and points south, and meet the anticipated increase in market demands for natural gas, according to the DEIS [CP15-138].

The project includes about 197.7 miles of pipeline composed of about 184 miles of new 30- and 42-inch diameter pipeline known as Central Penn Line (CPL) North and CPL South in Pennsylvania; about 12 miles of new 36- and 42-inch diameter pipeline looping known as Chapman and Unity Loops in Pennsylvania; about 3 miles of 30-inch diameter replacements in Virginia; and associated compressor stations, equipment and facilities.

In support of the project Williams last year released a study that found that gas consumers served by Transco in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic could have saved $2.6 billion from 2012 to 2014 if Atlantic Sunrise had been in service (see Daily GPI, March 16, 2015). The project was filed at the Commission in March 2015 (see Daily GPI, March 31, 2015).

“…[D]ue to the implementation of specialized construction techniques, the relatively short construction timeframe in any one location, and carefully developed resource protection and mitigation plans designed to minimize and control environmental impacts for the Atlantic Sunrise Project as a whole, minimal cumulative effects are anticipated when the impacts of the project are added to the identified ongoing actions in the immediate area,” the DEIS said.