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Kinder Morgan Begins Approval Process For Tennessee Gas Pipeline

Sep 22, 2014 01:04PM ● By Bill Gilman

Proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline expansion

Kinder Morgan has begun pushing forward with its proposed natural gas pipeline extension project.
According to a press release, Kinder Morgan subsidiary Tennessee Gas has petitioned the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to begin the "Pre-Filing" process. According to the company, the pre-filing process would allow FERC officials to communicate with stakeholders, such as residents and municipal officials, before the formal plan for the pipeline project is submitted.
The pipeline extension project, which carries a price tag of roughly $6 billion, begins in Pennsylvania, runs through a section of New York State and into Massachusetts, ending a major terminal in Dracut.
According to company documents, the plan calls for 177-miles of 20-inch pipeline, most of it underground, to be constructed in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. About 1.8 miles of the pipeline would pass through a section of North Tewksbury near the Andover line.
The pipeline would carry methane gas fracked from shale deposits in Pennsylvania into Ohio for sale to companies operating in New England. Current Tennessee Gas clients include Unitil and National Grid. Kinder Morgan officials say the pipeline is critical to serving the long-term energy needs of the Northeast.
"We believe this is a long-term solution, we believe a permanent solution, to the energy needs of New England," Alan Fore, director of public affairs for Kinder Morgan, told residents and town officials at a Board of Selectmen meeting over the summer.
Tewksbury residents have expressed safety concerns regarding another natural gas pipeline passing through town. Some have refused to allow Kinder Morgan employees onto their property to survey the land the could be used for the pipeline route.
Company officials have not yet announced a specific route for the pipeline but acknowledge they will likely need to negotiate easements from private property owners and possibly the State and the Town.
In its press release announcing the pre-filing request, Kinder Morgan officials said residents will have many more opportunities to present their concerns and opinions about the project.
"The pre-filing process allows for open and transparent interaction between FERC Staff and stakeholders regarding the Project before the formal certificate application is filed, and is intended for early identification and resolution of environmental and other important issues," wrote Fore. "During pre-filing, TGP will file detailed draft environmental resource reports with FERC for review and comment."
The environmental resource report is expected to be submitted by Oct. 31.

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