Williams Partners L.P is revising the targeted full in-service for the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project to mid-2018.
The revision is a result of the recently updated schedule of environmental review published Oct. 20 by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and anticipated delays in receipt of certain permits required to commence construction, as well as expected construction within required environmental windows.
FERC’s revised environmental review schedule establishes Dec. 30, 2016 as the date for its issuance of the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Following the receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals, Williams Partners anticipates beginning construction on the Transco mainline facilities in mid-2017 to create a much-needed path from the northern part of the Transco system into its southeast markets for the 2017-2018 heating season.
“We continue to work with the FERC, state and other federal permitting agencies to secure the necessary approvals to construct this critical infrastructure project and connect consumers along the East Coast with abundant, cost-effective Pennsylvania natural gas supplies,” said Rory Miller, senior vice president of Williams Partners’ Atlantic-Gulf operating area. “We would also note Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s recent comments that new energy infrastructure projects, including Atlantic Sunrise, are critical to Pennsylvania’s economic future because they enable consumers to access an affordable, reliable and cleaner-burning energy resource. We also share the governor’s commitment to protecting our environment.
“Unlike other Marcellus takeaway projects, a leading advantage of Atlantic Sunrise is that through modifications to the existing Transco mainline the project will be able to deliver a highly effective, environmentally-responsible solution to connect Pennsylvania natural gas production with markets hundreds of miles away. In advance of putting the full project into service, this affords us a unique opportunity to provide a portion of service prior to completing the full project.”
The FERC EIS assesses the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of the project in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. The FERC is the primary approval agency and serves in a coordinating role with other relevant agencies.
In May 2016 the FERC released a draft EIS, concluding that environmental impacts would be reduced to “less than significant levels” with the implementation of mitigation measures proposed by the company and FERC.