Tennessee Gas Pipeline Gets Nod to Ship Gas to Anti-Gas NYC
Jim Willis on NGL Pipelines
Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)
[Editor’s Note: A Tennessee Gas Pipeline project to move gas to New York has received FERC approval and may well get built, proving New Yorkers need gas despite what they say.]
A Tennessee Gas Pipeline plan to flow more Marcellus gas to Westchester County, NY and New York City for Consolidated Edison customers, called the East 300 Upgrade Project, took a giant leap forward last Thursday when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued permits that allow Tennessee Gas Pipeline to upgrade two existing compressor stations (in PA), and build a brand new compressor station in West Milford (Passaic County, NJ), just across the border and not far from Westchester County. This is a major victory and a sign this project will now get completed.
New low-emissions, gas-fired compressors will be added in Pennsylvania at two existing compressor stations, but the brand new compressor station planned for West Milford will be, according to Tennessee Gas Pipeline, powered with electricity (super quiet) and have almost zero emissions. The company says emissions from the new NJ compressor station will be lower than “a trash collection or recycling facility” which had been planned for the same site.
There is absolutely no reason to oppose the NJ compressor station other than an irrational hatred of fossil fuels, believing that fossil fuels are toasting the planet. Irrational is the word that best describes Food & Water Watch and the New Jersey Highlands Coalition, which together have sued Tennessee Gas Pipeline in New Jersey Supreme Court to try and block the West Milford compressor (see Radicals Challenge No-Emissions Compressor in NJ Supreme Court). With FERC’s permit now in place allowing construction to begin, perhaps the NJ compressor will be done and running before the Supreme Court case is even heard! One can hope.
Here’s the great news about FERC issuing the permits last week:
Federal officials on Thursday issued a key permit for the development of natural gas compressor stations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania to benefit customers in New York State.
The authorization granted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was the last federal-level permit required by the Tennessee Gas Pipeline company for its pending East 300 Upgrade project.
Designed to feed new connections in Westchester County, New York for regional energy company Consolidated Edison, the $246-million East 300 Upgrade project includes the construction of a new 19,000-horsepower turbine in West Milford and the expansion of two existing compressor stations in Pennsylvania and Sussex County. The latter, tucked in a tony Wantage subdivision, is set to get a new 20,500-horsepower gas-fired compressor unit.
Opponents, such as officials from the environmental nonprofit Food and Water Watch, contested the project as one unbefitting New York and New Jersey government plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Allison Orsi, a Wantage resident, said she feels the project threatens the ecosystem, her health and her community.
“We need to keep fossil fuels in the earth, so they don’t exacerbate climate change,” she said. “We need to stop this expansion.”
Officials from both the pipeline company and ConEd have asserted the project is needed to meet rising gas demand in existing service territories. Pipeline representatives have also said the project could offset emissions by converting existing users of home heating oil to natural gas.
A public hearing regarding the project’s pending clean air permit from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is expected later this spring. The permit is one of the few remaining obstacles preventing the construction of the new compressor station in West Milford. The facility is expected to be located at the former quarry currently home to a mulch yard and within close proximity to the pipeline where it snakes under the Monksville Reservoir.
The project was initially expected to start construction last month. Challenges, including an appeal to a Highlands Act exemption that reached the state Supreme Court, have accompanied the delay.
Even FERC Chairman Richard “Dick” Glick voted in favor of thisTennessee Gas Pipeline project! Perhaps his ears are still ringing after WV U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin told Glick last month to “do his damn job” (see Joe Manchin Tells (Off) Dick Glick: “Do Your Damn Job!” re Pipes).
The FERC order issuing a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the Tennessee Gas Pipeline compressor projects may be found here.
This post appeared first on Natural Gas Now.