The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved the Williams Partners proposed Atlantic Sunrise pipeline. Williams is expected to conclude property acquisition negotiations or proceed with condemnation filings in February, 2017.

Pipeline clears federal hurdle

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has signed off on the contested Atlantic Sunrise project, which calls for the expansion of a natural gas pipeline that would funnel natural gas from the Marcellus Shale regions through the midstate and across the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast.

The commission issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity to Williams Partners LP, placing the Oklahoma-based energy group behind the $3 billion project another step closer toward breaking ground on the expansion.

The energy company’s plans call for about 200 miles of new natural gas pipelines, some of which would pass through the midstate.

Williams Partners still must garner approvals from the Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the State Historic Preservation Office.

The decision marked the final clearance Williams Partners needed from FERC, which had already all but given its blessing to the project when it released an environmental impact statement late last year.

FERC said in late December that environmental damage linked to the project would be “reduced to less-than-significant levels” through Williams’ mitigation efforts.

The Atlantic Sunrise project also calls for the development of two new compressor stations and other infrastructure to help push gas from the Marcellus Shale fields to markets along the eastern seaboard.

Once complete, newly extracted gas would flow into Williams’ existing 10,500-mile Transco pipeline that runs from New York to the Gulf of Mexico.

Written by: Eric Veronikis | Patriot News