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FERC seeks comments on NUP EA

December 7, 2011

NORTHEAST REGION — The deadline to comment on the environmental assessment (EA) prepared by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the Northeast Upgrade Project (NUP) proposed by Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company (TGP) is quickly approaching on December 21. The EA assesses the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of the project in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

TGP is seeking authorization to construct and operate certain pipeline and compressor facilities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey in order to expand natural gas delivery capacity to the Northeast region of the United States.

The proposed NUP project includes installation of approximately 40.3 miles of new 30-inch-diameter pipeline loop in five separate segments in Bradford, Wayne and Pike counties in Pennsylvania; and Sussex, Passaic and Bergen counties in New Jersey. (A loop is a segment of pipe that is usually installed adjacent to an existing pipeline and connected to it at both ends.)

Additional measures would include modifications of four existing compressor stations in Bradford, Susquehanna and Pike counties, Pennsylvania; and Sussex County, New Jersey; installation of associated aboveground facilities including mainline valves and pig2 launchers and receivers (a pig is an internal tool used to clean and dry a pipeline and/or to inspect it for damage or corrosion) and use of contractor/pipe yards and access roads.

In Pennsylvania, the project would cross 32 waterbodies supporting warmwater fisheries and 29 waterbodies supporting coldwater fisheries. It would cross 25 high-quality designated waterbodies, seven exceptional value-designated waterbodies, one Class A Trout Stream and two Wild Trout-designated waterbodies. The new permanent right-of-way would result in the permanent alteration of about 78 acres of upland forest land to scrub-shrub or herbaceous cover.

Nineteen state-listed threatened, endangered, rare or candidate species have been identified. These include one reptile, one mammal, one bird, five mussels and 11 plants. One is also a federally listed species (dwarf wedgemussel). An additional eight plants are proposed for listing in Pennsylvania. Timber rattlesnakes were documented along portions of Loop 321 in Wayne and Pike counties.

Commenting on the NUP EA
Comments must be received by FERC on or before December 21, 2011 and should focus on the potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. Three methods can be used, as detailed below. Reference the project docket number (CP11-161-000) with your submission. The commission has dedicated eFiling expert staff to assist at 202/502-8258 or efiling@ferc.gov.
Comments can be filed electronically by using the eComment or eFiling features, which are located on the commission’s website at www.ferc.gov under the link to Documents and Filings. An eComment is an easy method to submit brief, text-only comments on a project. With eFiling, you can provide comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on “eRegister.” You will be asked to select the type of filing you are making. A comment on a particular project is considered a “Comment on a Filing.”
Paper copies of comments can be filed at: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.
Additional information about the project is available from the Commission’s Office of External Affairs, at 866/208-FERC, or on the FERC website (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on “General Search,” and enter the docket number (CP11-161).