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    Proposed expansion of natural gas pipeline is focus of public hearing Williams says its Regional Energy Access aims to help ease supply constraints affecting customers in Pa., N.J. and Md.


    September 19, 2022 - Kurt Bresswein - For Local Life

     

      A proposed expansion of an existing natural gas pipeline from northeastern Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale production region into New Jersey is the focus of a state regulatory hearing next month.

      Williams proposes the enhancement of its Transco Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC line, in what’s being called the Regional Energy Access Expansion Project. It would tie in to multiple natural gas delivery points.

      “Regional Energy Access will help ease supply constraints affecting customers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland, providing enough natural gas supply to serve approximately 3 million homes,” Williams says of the project designed to increase natural gas transportation capacity by up to 829,400 dekatherms per day.

      The virtual public hearing set for 7 p.m. Oct. 5 is being hosted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Registration is required through dep.pa.gov.

      The DEP’s Regional Permit Coordination Office is reviewing three permit applications for the project: a Chapter 102 (Erosion Control) permit application for earth disturbance activities in Luzerne, Monroe, Northampton, Bucks and Chester counties; and two Chapter 105 (Dam Safety and Waterway Management) permit applications for water obstructions and encroachments in Luzerne and Monroe counties.

      The Pennsylvania portion of the project passes through land owned by Bethlehem’s water authority, which reached an agreement to expand the existing pipeline right-of-way on property in Tunkhannock Township, Monroe County, for a fee of $120,524, according to Bethlehem Authority meeting minutes from November 2021.

      In New Jersey, the pipeline that is being expanded crosses through Warren and Hunterdon counties, with improvements proposed in Gloucester, Somerset and Middlesex counties.

      The project also requires approvals from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and from the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

      According to Transco’s 1,224-page final environmental impact statement filed in July with FERC and additional details from the company, the project would involve construction and operation: in Pennsylvania of about 22 miles of 30-inch-diameter lateral pipeline in Luzerne County and 14 miles of 42-inch-diameter loop pipeline in Monroe County, plus modifications to existing compressor facilities in Luzerne, York and Chester counties; and in New Jersey of a new compressor station in Gloucester County and modifications to compressors in Somerset and Middlesex counties. That’s in addition to ancillary facility improvements and modifications in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland.

      Transco proposes to put the expansion into service in late 2024.

      The estimated $800 million investment is projected to generate 6,396 local union jobs.

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