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Pipeline firm: Landowners OK’d surveys for 55 percent of local route

The Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. said in a filing with federal regulators Thursday it has acquired survey permission to 55 percent of the parcels along its so-called supply route — a section of the project that includes a stretch across Delaware, Schoharie and Chenango counties.

The company behind the proposed 412-mile Northeast Energy Direct pipeline also advised the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that it has been making changes to the proposed route in order to accommodate “construction constraints and requests from landowners, towns and applicable regulatory agencies.”

The company, affiliated with energy giant Kinder Morgan, also reported that it is evaluating proposed major river crossings where it is considering using horizontal directional drilling.

As of Sept. 30, Tennessee Gas said it has completed biological surveys on 104 miles of its supply path, or 61 percent of that section of the line, and for 93.5 miles of its market path, or 37 percent of that component of the route.

The company said it is also evaluating potential access roads, contractor yards and other areas that would be used during construction. An updated listing of those sites will be included in the company’s request for a federal certificate to operate a pipeline.

The NED pipeline would run largely parallel to the proposed Constitution Pipeline for much of the stretch from northeastern Pennsylvania to the town of Wright in Schoharie County. The NED plan also calls for a new 30,000-horsepower compressor station near the top of Franklin Mountain in Franklin as well as two new compressor stations in the town of Schoharie.

In related news, North Georgia becomes a hunting ground for natural gas.

The Constitution Pipeline’s only compressor project in New York involves a proposed expansion of the existing Iroquois Gas facility in the Schoharie County town of Wright.

Tennessee Gas is planning to submit its application to FERC on Nov. 20. The company had initially envisioned a pipeline that would be 36 inches in diameter and carry some 2.2 billion cubic feet of gas per day but that has been scaled back to a 30-inch-diameter pipeline that would carry 1.2 billion cubic feet each day.

Meanwhile, the potential adverse public health effects from compressor stations and other natural gas transmission infrastructure were emphasized in a letter this week from a group of public health experts that calls on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Health Commissioner Howard Zucker to withhold state approval of such projects until studies are completed.

“As New York is faced with numerous proposed new and additional gas pipelines, compressor stations, storage facilities and a major liquefied natural gas terminal, we believe it is crucial to examine both the individual risks these projects pose and to consider their cumulative impacts, including to the state’s climate and energy goals,” stated the letter from Concerned Heath Professionals of New York.

Its members include Sandra Steingraber, an ecologist who is a leader in New York’s anti-fracking movement and has given speeches in Oneonta and led demonstrations in Albany.

Cuomo has also been urged by Yoko Ono, the widow of slain Beatle John Lennon and a part-time resident of Franklin, to disapprove the Constitution Pipeline. In a newspaper advertisement published in July, she called the pipeline project “a scar that never heals.”

Several business organizations, including the Business Council of New York, are urging Cuomo to ensure that the Constitution project moves forward.

This article was written by Joe Mahoney from The Daily Star, Oneonta, N.Y. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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