Issued: March 2, 2022
The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) has prepared a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Regional Energy Access Expansion (REAE Project) proposed by Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC (Transco).
Transco requests authorization to construct, own, operate, and maintain pipelines, compression, and other aboveground facilities in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland and to abandon certain compression facilities. The REAE Project would involve the construction and operation of 22.3 miles of 30-inch-diameter lateral pipeline and 13.8 miles of 42-inch-diameter loop pipeline in Pennsylvania; one new compressor station in New Jersey; modifications to five existing compressor stations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey; modifications to existing pipeline tie-ins, valves, regulators, and meter and regulating stations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland; the addition of ancillary facilities such as regulation controls, valves, cathodic protection, communication facilities, and pig launchers and receivers in Pennsylvania; and abandonment of certain existing compression facilities.
The draft EIS was prepared in compliance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Council on Environmental Quality regulations for implementing NEPA in 40 Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 1500–1508 (40 CFR 1500-1508), and FERC regulations implementing NEPA (18 CFR 380).
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers participated as cooperating agencies in the preparation of the EIS. The EIS is intended to fulfill the cooperating federal agencies’ NEPA obligations, as applicable, and to support subsequent conclusions and decisions made by the cooperating agencies. Although cooperating agencies provide input to the conclusions and recommendations presented in the draft EIS, the agencies may present their own conclusions and recommendations in any applicable Records of Decision for the REAE Project.
Although individual impacts associated with construction of certain project components may be predominately borne by environmental justice communities, impacts on environmental justice communities from the project as a whole would not be disproportionately high and adverse. With implementation of Transco’s impact avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures, as well as their adherence to Commission staff’s recommendations, the Commission staff conclude that the REAE Project effects would be reduced to less-than-significant levels, except for climate change impacts where staff find the Project’s annual operation and downstream emissions (16.62 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent) would exceed the Commission’s presumptive significance threshold based on 100 percent utilization.
The Draft EIS comment period closes on April 25, 2022. The Commission will take into consideration staff’s recommendations when they make a decision on the REAE Project.
 A pipeline loop is a segment of pipe constructed parallel to an existing pipeline to increase capacity.
 A meter and regulating station is an aboveground facility that contains the equipment necessary to measure the volume of gas flowing in a pipeline.
 A valve is an aboveground facility that is capable of controlling the flow of gas in a pipeline.
 A pipeline pig is a device used to clean or inspect a pipeline. A pig launcher/receiver is an aboveground facility where pigs are inserted or retrieved from the pipeline.