In response to customer demand driven need for additional pipeline capacity, Columbia is planning to upgrade and expand existing pipeline and compression facilities. The project will involve the installation of two natural gas pipelines with approximately 9.5 miles of pipeline in Chester County, Pennsylvania and 9.5 miles of pipeline in Gloucester County, New Jersey. The project will also include modifications and upgrades to certain station facilities located in Northampton County (Pa.), Pike County (Pa.), Bucks County (Pa.), Montgomery County (Pa.), Orange County (N.Y.), and Harford County (Md.). The proposed pipeline project will increase pipeline capacity through existing and enhanced system interconnects and is anticipated to be in service by fall of 2015.
FERC Approves East Side Expansion Project
Federal regulators approved construction of Columbia Gas Transmission’s East Side Expansion project in Chester, Pike and Northampton County, Pennsylvania and Gloucester County, New Jersey. The Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity, issued on December 18, 2014, by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), authorizes Columbia to move forward with construction.
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FERC Environmental Assessment Completed
The environmental staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) recently completed an Environmental Assessment (“EA”) that analyzes the East Side Expansion project’s potential environmental effects and steps Columbia will take to avoid or minimize those effects.
The staff concluded that the proposed project “would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.” The conclusions in the EA are an integral part of the Commission’s decision on whether to approve this critically needed infrastructure project.
FERC’s publication of the EA comes after nearly 17 months of comprehensive environmental review by the FERC staff. The review period included approximately eight months of “pre-filing” activity, during which Columbia engaged in hundreds of conversations with various local stakeholders including landowners, public officials, government agencies and nonprofit groups. We are grateful for the valuable feedback we received during this time and remain committed to continued discussions with all interested stakeholders through the balance of the FERC review process.
An electronic copy of the FERC EA can be obtained through the commission’s e-library system (http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp) using the docket number CP14-17-000. The e-library system is free to use and available 24 hours per day.
Re-route filing: December 18, 2013
As part of an ongoing commitment to landowners, Columbia submitted a revised pipeline route to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for its East Side Expansion Project, which takes into account resident and community feedback. The proposed re-route will avoid disturbing identified environmental areas and planned development. The latest maps are available in the Related Links section on the right of this page.
Re-route information for Pennsylvania pipeline segment:
- A reroute to avoid Caln Township’s development parcel will run parallel to Route 30, adjacent to the south side of the parcel. Caln Township has agreed to this modification.
- To avoid construction within Beaver Creek and associated forest wetlands, Columbia has modified its construction method and workspace to allow a direct pipe or trenchless construction. This will avoid any disturbance to the creek, forested wetland or forested floodplain.
Re-route information for New Jersey pipeline segment:
- At milepost 2.5, the Pedricktown Road route will now continue along the existing road to avoid going around a resident’s home and disrupting future land development.
- From milepost 2.7 to 3.6, a revised route adjacent to Oldmans Creek Road and proposed lengthening of horizontal directional drilling (HDD) will avoid construction near residences and allow for development of a new warehouse.
- From milepost 4.2 to 4.5, lengthening of HDD along Pedricktown and Harrisonville Road will avoid an identified sensitive environmental resource.
- From milepost 5.9 to 7.9, a revised route along Oldman’s Creek Road will follow existing roads, continuing past the elementary school near New Jersey Turnpike and roughly paralleling the turnpike until ending at Swedesboro Station. This will avoid disruption to agritourism, specialty crops and land developments. HDD will be incorporated near the station to avoid additional tree clearing and a parcel in the Green Acres program.
Additional Information & Regulatory Filings
Columbia entered into the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Pre-Filing Process in March 2013 and completed the Pre-filing process on November 1, 2013, with the filing of a formal application with FERC. The purpose of entering into the pre-filing process is to involve stakeholders early in the development phase of a project so that potential issues can be identified, discussed and addressed prior to the filing of an application.
During this phase of the project, Columbia held hundreds of conversations with various stakeholders including landowners, public officials, agencies and nonprofit groups. Columbia remains committed to continued discussions with all interested stakeholders through each phase of the project.
As noted above, on November 1, 2013 Columbia submitted its application to the FERC in Docket No. CP14-17-000. The FERC will issue of a “Notice of Application” that our application has been received and will be reviewed by the FERC. Please visit this website for periodic updates on the status of the application.
More information about the FERC Permitting Process of Natural Gas Facilities can be accessed through the FERC's website.