The company proposing to build a new natural gas pipeline through Schoharie County is starting an environmental review and expects to be meeting with landowners and the public in upcoming months.
Constitution Pipeline Company LLC, a joint effort between Williams Partners and Cabot Oil & Gas, wants to build a 30 inch-diameter pipeline that would travel about 121 miles from Susquehanna County in northeastern Pennsylvania to the Wright Compressor Station in the town of Wright in Schoharie County.
Constitution Pipeline announced Monday it has secured agreements from gas suppliers willing to send 650,000 dekatherms of gas through the pipeline daily — enough to supply roughly 3 million homes.
To read the Constitution Pipeline Company's complete federal filing, click HERE.
“It’s progressing as planned,” Constitution Pipeline spokeswoman Julie Gentz said Tuesday.
The proposal is one of two being considered by major gas transportation companies looking to channel growing supplies of natural gas, including gas from Marcellus Shale drilling, to the Wright Compressor Station, a hub from which gas supplies can be transported to Northeast markets.
Representatives from the El Paso Corp., parent company to Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co., have also been eyeing Schoharie County for the path of a natural gas pipeline. El Paso spokesman Richard N. Wheatley in an email Wednesday said, “We’re continuing to assess the need for the project and meet with potential customers.”
Both projects are proposed to meet with an anticipated demand for natural gas due to declining supplies from Canada, the expectation that coal-fired power plants will be converting to gas and expected growth of consumption in Northeast markets.
According to an April 5 request submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Constitution Pipeline’s project would include the pipe, a compressor station, four meter stations and valves.
Several steps will be taken during the pre-application process, including field surveys, according to the plan submitted to FERC. The surveys are aimed at identifying cultural resources, endangered species and wetlands that could be avoided during construction.
The company will also be meeting with regulatory agencies and with landowners whose property may host a portion of the line. The company intends to provide FERC with a list of potentially affected landowners in May, according to documents submitted to the agency.
The company will attempt to negotiate voluntary right-of-way agreements with the landowners, but once FERC issues a certificate of need for the project, the company can also force unwilling property owners to provide the necessary land for the right of way.
According to the request to FERC, Constitution Pipeline anticipates holding meetings in July to inform the public about the project.
The company wants to submit a formal application in January 2013 and anticipates a decision by FERC in November 2013 before right-of-way clearing can take place in January 2014 and construction could start in April 2014. Constitution Pipeline hopes to get the new line in service by March 2015.
According to a tentative map, the pipeline would run parallel to Interstate 88 in Broome, Chenango and Delaware counties and into Schoharie County, where it would pass through the towns of Jefferson, Summit, Richmondville, Middleburgh, Cobleskill, Schoharie and Wright.
More information can be found on the website of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at www.ferc.gov and at www.constitutionpipeline.com