FERC approves draft EIS for Columbia pipeline, added compression

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved a draft environmental impact statement for two pipeline projects submitted by Columbia Gas Transmission and Columbia Gulf Transmission, Kallanish Energy reports.

The projects include construction of the 170-mile Mountain Xpress Pipeline in West Virginia, and the Gulf Xpress project, which adds compression to Columbia pipelines in Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi.

The new pipeline would run from Marshall County to Cabell County in West Virginia. There would be connections into Ohio and southwest Pennsylvania. Most of the line would be 36 inches in diameter.

The federal agency said the projects would have environmental impacts, but they could be reduced by mitigation projects.

The agency has scheduled five public meetings concerning the projects in March: four in West Virginia and one in Tennessee.

The two projects together would boost shipments of natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays by roughly 2.7 billion cubic feet per day with connections to the Gulf Coast and elsewhere via Columbia pipelines.

Also working on the 562-page draft EIS were the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

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