FERC gives Millennium pipeline interim approval

By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, Dec. 19 -- The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Wednesday granted interim approval for the US portion of the $1.35 billion (Can.) Millennium Pipeline Project, which would transport Canadian and US natural gas to markets in the Northeast, primarily to the New York City area.

It has granted a certificate of public convenience and necessity to Millennium Pipeline Co. LP and Columbia Gas Transmission Corp., who propose to build and operate 424 miles of interstate pipeline, compressor stations, and related facilities between the Canadian border near Lake Erie and Mount Vernon, NY.

The proposed 551-mile line from Dawn, Ont., to Westchester County, NY, has been opposed by residents of Mount Vernon, who complained the route is too close to parks and schools.

FERC has called on residents and officials of Mount Vernon to seek an alternate route near the city for the pipeline. If no agreement is reached within 60 days, FERC will issue an order covering that portion of the line at a later date.

The commission added a number of conditions to the certificate to mitigate any adverse environmental impact. FERC ordered that the Millennium line begin service within 2 years.

In August, TransCanada PipeLines Ltd., Calgary, and St. Clair Pipelines (1996) Ltd. withdrew their applications with the Canadian National Energy Board to construct and operate the Canadian portion of the Millennium Pipeline, citing regulatory delays. However, the companies have now decided to reapply, since FERC granted a petition for the US portion of the line.

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