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FERC decision on PennEast pipeline delayed

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World Pipelines,

A Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) decision on PennEast’s plans for a pipeline will be delayed by at least two months. The company's ongoing efforts to obtain agency approval for its planned natural gas pipeline have also been delayed with this recent FERC announcement.

A final report regarding the potential environmental impacts that could occur as a result of the construction and operation of the proposed 118 mile pipeline was expected to be submitted before 16 December. However, the report is now expected on 17 February. Once received, the FERC is expected to approve or deny the pipeline after reviewing the final report.

The delay will give PennEast time to submit additional information regarding 33 route modifications that were announced in September. The company announced the project in August 2014 and wants to begin construction next year.

FERC also sent PennEast a request for 46 sets of new data and asked for over 30 corrections to the pipeline application. The company has 20 days to comply with the request.

According to The Morning Call, opponents to the pipeline viewed the delay as a small victory. However, a spokeswoman for PennEast, Patricia Kornick, stated that the company still anticipates that the pipeline will be operational sometime in 2018.

“This delay, on top of all the other delays, is one small victory after another," said Jeff Tittel, Director of the N.J. Sierra Club. "It gives us an opportunity to get more opposition to this pipeline."

"Building energy infrastructure is a multi-year process, so an extra 60 days is not surprising," Kornick said. She added that PennEast will provide the additional information on the 33 route modifications. Of the modifications, 26 are in Pennsylvania.

The route changes were filed after the initial public comment period, which concluded on the draft environmental impact statement. This did not allow for public input on the route changes.

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