Industries Environmental Impact Statements (EISs)
Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Northeast (NE)-07 Project
Issued: October 13, 2006
FERC staff has prepared a final supplemental environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Northeast (NE)-07 Project which consists of natural gas pipeline and aboveground facilities in the States of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut proposed by these applicants:
- Millennium Pipeline Project - Phase I, Millennium Pipeline L.L.C. (Millennium) (Docket Nos. CP98-150-006 et al) and Columbia Gas Transmission Corporation (Columbia) (Docket Nos. CP98-151-003 et al);
- Line A-5 Replacement Project, Columbia (Docket No. CP05-19-000);
- Empire Connector Project, Empire State Pipeline and Empire Pipeline, Inc. (Empire) (Docket Nos. CP06-5-000, CP06-6-000, and CP06-7-000);
- Ramapo Expansion Project, Algonquin Gas Transmission System (Algonquin) (Docket No. CP06-76-000); and
- MarketAccess Project, Iroquois Gas Transmission System (Iroquois)(Docket No. CP02-31-002).
The Millennium Pipeline Project - Phase I would include:
- Changes to the Millennium Pipeline Project approved on September 19, 2002, to:
- Reduce the diameter of the pipeline from 36 inches to 30 inches, and maximum allowable operating pressure from 1,440 to 1,200 pounds per square inch gauge; and
- Void the "Phase II" facilities between mileposts (MPs) 0.0 and 190.6 and MPs 376.6 and 424; and
The construction and operation of:
- 181.7 miles of 30-inch-diameter pipeline from Corning to Ramapo, NY from MP 190.6 to MP 376.6 and related facilities; and
- A new compressor station in Corning, NY.
Columbia would abandon related pipeline facilities either in place or by transfer to Millennium.
Columbia's Line A-5 Replacement Project (Docket No. CP05-19-000) would be constructed by Millennium and Columbia has requested that it be considered with the Millennium Pipeline Project - Phase I facilities.
Empire Connector Project would include construction and operation of:
- About 78 miles of 24-inch-diameter pipeline from Victor, NY, to interconnect with the Millennium Pipeline at Millennium's new Corning Compressor Station, and related facilities; and
- The new Oakfield Compressor Station in Oakfield, NY.
Algonquin Ramapo Expansion Project would include construction and operation of:
- 4.9 miles of pipeline replacing Algonquin's existing 26-inch-diameter mainline with a 42-inch-diameter pipeline and related facilities in NY;
- Additional compression, gas coolers, and related facilities at existing compressor stations in Stony Point, NY, Southeast, NY, and Hanover, NJ;
- The new Oxford Compressor Station (Oxford, CT);
- Piping modifications at the Hudson River Valve Site Stony Point, NY; and
- A new M&R station (for deliveries to Iroquois) at Algonquin's existing meter station #251 in Brookfield, CT.
Iroquois MarketAccess Project would modify Iroquois' certificate issued by the FERC on October 31, 2002, for a 10,000 hp compressor station at the Brookfield, CT site and would include construction and operation of:
- A new 7,700 hp transfer compressor station and related facilities at the Brookfield, CT site; and
- New gas coolers at the existing compressor station in Dover, NY.
FERC's environmental staff concludes that the NE-07 Project with appropriate mitigating measures, as recommended, would have limited adverse environmental impact.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE), New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDA&M), New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and the Palisades Interstate Parks Commission cooperated in the preparation of the final supplemental EIS.
Staff concludes that the project would be environmentally acceptable action (with appropriate mitigation) because:
- The Millennium Pipeline Project - Phase I would be a replacement of existing aged, multi-diameter pipeline in New York and the amended project would not involve construction in the Hudson River or Lake Erie;
- The impacts to agricultural areas from pipeline construction have been reduced to the greatest extent practicable for the Empire Connector Project due to coordination with landowners and the NYSDA&M;
- Algonquin's Ramapo Replacement Project would replace existing pipeline and would involve compressor, gas cooling, and related facilities at existing compressor stations in , New York and New Jersey;
- Iroquois' MarketAccess Project would include additional gas cooling facilities at an existing compressor station in New York;
- Millennium's, Algonquin's, and Iroquois' new compressor stations in New York and Connecticut would be constructed and operated in a manner consistent with all U.S. Department of Transportation requirements;
- Noise impacts resulting from the aboveground facilities can be adequately mitigated with our recommended measures;
- The construction workspaces for pipeline facilities would be located to avoid placement near residences to the maximum extent practicable;
- All of the applicants would implement the Plan and Procedures to minimize impacts on soils, wetlands, and waterbodies;
- Most perennial waterbodies would be crossed using dry crossing methods;
- Wetland impacts have been minimized to the greatest extent practicable, and, where appropriate, the applicants would develop a mitigation and compensation plan in consultation with the COE, for permanent impacts to forested wetlands;
- Appropriate consultations with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the COE, state historic preservation officers, would be required before Millennium, Empire, Algonquin, and Iroquois would be allowed to begin construction of their respective projects; and
- The environmental monitoring for this project would ensure compliance with all mitigation measures that become conditions of any FERC authorization.
FERC Commissioners will take into consideration staff's recommendations when they make a decision on the project.