Schoharie County pipeline, compressor station plans moving forward

Wednesday, June 19, 2013
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— Residents concerned about the Constitution Pipeline project now have two dockets to search on the website of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

A spokeswoman at FERC said this week the agency aims for total transparency and those already receiving Constitution Pipeline docket updates will still get them even though the application has a new docket number.

But another related project, Iroquois Gas Transmission’s plans to build a new compressor facility to serve the Constitution Pipeline, has a separate docket number altogether.

Constitution Pipeline LLC filed its formal application with FERC last week, requesting permission to build a 122-mile, 30-inch gas line from northeastern Pennsylvania to the Schoharie County town of Wright.

For a year, the Constitution proposal has been listed under the “pre-filing” status docket number PF12-9. The formal application elevates it to a different status, with a docket number of CP13-499.

Iroquois last week also filed its application with FERC for the Wright Interconnect Project, the company announced. The $75 million construction effort aims to boost the Wright facility’s ability to compress the additional gas that would come from the Constitution pipeline.

It would entail building a new transfer compressor station to house two 10,900 horsepower compressors next to the current compressor station off Westfall Road. It also includes construction of a local control building, natural gas coolers, gas filters, an emergency generator and a “domestic gas building,” according to the Iroquois application available on the FERC website.

Iroquois’ new compressor station is proposed to measure 80 feet by 100 feet and 58 feet high. A 40-by-25-foot cooling facility would also be built, and upon completion, the current, fenced-in compressor facilities would take up 7.45 acres of land, compared with the current 5.02 acres on Iroquois’ 53.22-acre property in Wright, according to the application.

The Wright Interconnect Project has a FERC docket number of CP13-502.

It’s likely FERC’s review will take 12 to 18 months, and the opportunity for the public to provide input continues, according to FERC spokeswoman Tamara Young-Allen. Young-Allen said residents will get several opportunities to provide input, including public hearings that will follow FERC’s issuance of its environmental review of the projects.

FERC still has to list the application on the Federal Register, giving formal notice to the public, which should take place next month. At that point, a specific timetable and deadline will be set for public comment.

FERC has already placed both the Constitution and Iroquois project applications in its electronic library, so Young-Allen said people don’t have to wait for the formal announcement to sound off in letters and emails.

“It’s a transparent process,” she said.

All of the letters and comments that are sent in are read by somebody at FERC, she said.

“The whole idea of this process is to gather as much information as possible to help our staff prepare the environmental document.”

Once the draft environmental review document is complete, FERC will hold public meetings as well, Young-Allen said.

 

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