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Kinder Morgan moves forward with pipeline plans

Roughly 70 miles of the proposed Kinder Morgan 430-mile Northeast Energy Direct pipeline project will cut through Bradford and Susquehanna counties en route to the New England market if it receives the necessary federal, state and local approvals.

The Houston-based Kinder Morgan held an open house Wednesday at the Blue Ridge High School in New Milford Twp. — one of the municipalities situated on the route. The pipeline project is in the early stages of seeking Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval. Allen Fore, Kinder Morgan’s vice president of public affairs, said the project is still in its scoping phase and the proposed route is being refined.

To lessen the impact, Mr. Fore said the proposed project is designed to run along the existing Tennessee Gas Pipeline 300 line and also the Constitution Pipeline, as well as in existing utility corridors as it makes its way across Northeast Pennsylvania, through New York, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Mr. Fore said the regional project would address the long-term natural gas needs as well as enhance electric generation along the route that ends in Massachusetts.

“There is an opportunity for gas delivery all along the route,” he said. For residents in Bradford and Susquehanna counties, the pipeline would allow for the delivery of more Marcellus shale gas to the market, as well as bring construction jobs to the area.

About 64 people came to the open house, poring over maps and speaking with the land agents.

In Bradford County, the 27 miles of proposed pipeline would affect about 170 landowners; in Susquehanna County, about 280 landowners would be affected by the proposed 44-mile route through the townships of Auburn, Bridgewater, Dimock, Harmony, Jackson, New Milford and Thompson. A compressor station in Auburn Twp. is situated along the route and Kinder Morgan is looking to build another compressor station in New Milford Twp. Currently, land agents are talking with property owners and asking for permission to do survey work, Mr. Fore said. That work will continue for several months.

Harry Jeudy of FERC said some attendees at Wednesday night’s open house voiced concerns about eminent domain, as well as concerns that the gas could be exported overseas instead of being distributed in the northeast region. Mr. Jeudy said FERC was now gathering information and comments about the project that is still in the pre-filing phase.

Barbara Loeffler of Davenport, in Delaware County, New York, came out to support local opponents to natural gas. She said the Constitution Pipeline is in her neighbor’s yard and was concerned because the proposed Northeast Energy Direct would follow the same route.

Kinder Morgan plans to file its application with the FERC later this year and is looking for approval by the fourth quarter of 2016. If approved at that time, construction would begin in early 2017 and the pipeline would be in service in November 2018.

In related news, Kinder Morgan planning two natural gas liquids pipelines across northern Ohio.

This article was written by Staci Wilson from The Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pa. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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