Constitution consulted community on line that will span Pa., New York
The Constitution Pipeline Company selected a proposed route for a new pipeline, one it will pitch to federal regulators.
The transmission line would transport natural gas from Susquehanna County to New England.
After a year of soliciting input from landowners and stakeholders, Constitution tweaked about half of the originally proposed route, said project manager Matt Swift in a statement.
“We’re confident that the revised primary route is the best possible path to minimize environmental and landowner impacts, balancing those considerations with the engineering requirements for safely and properly constructing and operating a transmission pipeline,” Swift said.
The company adopted what it considers six significant alternates and 89 minor route revisions for a preliminary proposal. The biggest changes were made on the other side of the border with New York. The line was proposed to run along Interstate 88. The revised route does not follow I-88 as closely.
The revision should result in fewer environmental impacts from the construction and siting of the pipeline, including 20 fewer miles of sloped land, 22 fewer water crossings, 87 fewer acres of forest disruption, the company said.
The pipeline would begin in Brooklyn Twp. in Susquehanna County and head northeast, just south of New Milford and Susquehanna Depot, before entering New York in Sanford Twp. After just a few miles in Broome and Chenango counties, the pipeline would enter Delaware County for more than 40 miles running to the south of I-88, then tie into the Iroquois Gas Transmission Pipeline near Schoharie.
The modified route allows the company to take advantage of an existing compressor facility on the Iroquois pipeline rather than build a new 32,000 horsepower compressor facility originally planned.
The route will be presented to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission when Constitution submits its application in the spring. The application process requires that the company show a need for the line and demonstrate it will minimize environmental impacts during construction.
The 30-inch-diameter pipeline would carry 650,000 dekatherms of natural gas per day. A dekatherm is a quantity of heat energy equivalent to one million BTU. About 22 miles of the pipeline will be in Pennsylvania. Construction would require about a 100-foot right of way.
The interstate project, a joint venture between Williams Partners and Cabot Oil & Gas, received considerably greater resistance in New York state, where there is a moratorium on hydrofracturing, a process required to extract gas from Marcellus Shale. Opponents fear the pipeline would encourage drilling in New York. Company officials say the pipeline is already fully subscribed and independent from any additional natural gas activity.
The company hopes to be moving natural gas from the Marcellus Shale region to markets in the Boston and New York City areas by spring 2015.