The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) for the Connecticut Expansion Project. The project is proposed by Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C. (Tennessee). The project would expand the natural gas delivery capacity to the northeast region of the United States by up to 72.1 million ft3/d. The proposed facilities associated with the project include the following:
- About 1.4 miles of new 36 in. dia. natural gas pipeline loop in Albany County, New York.
- About 3.8 miles of new 36 in. dia. natural gas pipeline loop in Berkshire County, Massachusetts.
- About 8.3 miles of new 24 in. dia. natural gas pipeline loop in Hampden County, Massachusetts and Hartford County, Connecticut.
- Modifications at the existing Agawam Compressor Station (Compressor Station 261) in Hampden County, Massachusetts.
- Appurtenant facilities, including a mainline valve, cathodic protection, and pig launchers and receivers.
- Relocation of two existing pig receiver facilities.
The EA has been prepared in compliance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Council on Environmental Quality regulations for implementing NEPA (40 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] 1500–1508), and FERC regulations implementing NEPA (18 CFR 380).
The conclusions and recommendations presented in the EA are those of the FERC environmental staff. Input from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, as a co-operating agency, were considered during the development of the staff’s conclusions and recommendations.
The FERC staff concludes that approval of the proposed project, with appropriate mitigating measures, would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. Potential impacts would be reduced with the implementation of Tennessee’s proposed minimisation and mitigation measures and the 27 additional measures recommended in the EA. These conclusions are supported by the following:
- Tennessee would obtain all necessary federal authorisations prior to commencement of construction.
- Tennessee would reduce and mitigate impacts on natural resources and public safety during construction by implementing project-specific plans, which include the following: blasting plan, procedures guiding the discovery of unanticipated cultural resources and human remains, invasive species management plan, site-specific residential plans, spill prevention and response procedures, hazardous materials discovery plan, waste management plan, and Massachusetts traffic and transportation management plan.
Comments on the EA must be received in Washington, DC on or before 23 November 2015. The FERC Commissioners will take into consideration staff’s recommendations and comments received when they make a decision on the project.
Edited from source by Stephanie Roker
Read the article online at: https://www.worldpipelines.com/project-news/26102015/environmental-assessment-for-the-connecticut-expansion-project/