FERC approves EIS for Guardian Pipeline


Guardian Pipeline Co., Milwaukee, said Monday the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) staff has issued a final Environmental Impact Statement finding that constructing and operating the line is an acceptable environmental action.

In issuing the statement, the FERC staff said, "approval of the proposed project, with appropriate mitigating measures as recommended, would have limited adverse environmental impact.''

George C. Hass, Guardian project manager, said, "We are pleased with the staff's strong confirmation that Guardian Pipeline will have 'limited environmental impact' and will be environmentally acceptable. From Guardian's very inception, we have stressed the importance of environmental stewardship and our commitment to landowners and communities. This finding acknowledges that commitment.''

The final EIS the third significant regulatory milestone since Guardian Pipeline filed its application at FERC in November 1999. In June 2000, the FERC issued a preliminary determination that Guardian is in the public interest, subject to the outcome of its environmental review, and shortly thereafter FERC Staff issued its draft EIS. With the issuance of a favorable final EIS, FERC can issue a certificate of public convenience and necessity in the next month or so.

Guardian Pipeline would move gas from interconnections with Alliance, Northern Border, Midwestern Gas Transmission, and Natural Gas Pipeline of America at the Chicago hub near Joliet, Ill., to northern Ill. and southern Wisconsin markets. The project will consist of 22,225 hp of compression and approximately 141 miles of 36 in. pipe from Joliet to Ixonia, Wis., with a 8.5 miles of 16 in. lateral from the main line to near Eagle, Wis.

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin has made a preliminary determination accepting the economics of the lateral pipeline connecting Guardian with the Wisconsin Gas system.

Guardian Pipeline has agreements with Wisconsin Gas and others to transport 662 MMcfgd (88% of design capacity) when the pipeline goes into service in November 2002.

Guardian Pipeline is a partnership of CMS Energy Co., Dearborn, Mich.; WICOR, a subsidiary of Wisconsin Energy Co., headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis.; and Viking Gas Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Xcel Energy Inc., and located in St. Paul, Minn.

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