The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has given clearance for the 116 miles-long $1.2bn PennEast Pipeline Project stretching from the US states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
A final environmental impact statement (EIS) released by FERC concludes that the pipeline project can be built by the PennEast Pipeline Company with minimal impact on the environment.
The pipeline company was seeking authorization to build, own, and operate, facilities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey to transport natural gas from northern Pennsylvania of about 1.1 million dekatherms per day throughout the year to markets in New Jersey, eastern and southeastern Pennsylvania, and neighboring states.
In its review, the FERC concluded that there were some adverse environmental impacts associated with the construction and operation of the PennEast Pipeline Project. However, the impacts would be brought down considerably through the implementation of the recommended mitigation measures put forward by FERC and those proposed by the pipeline company.
One of the main reasons for FERC to give the EIS in favor of the project includes the point that about 44.5 miles, or about 37% of the pipeline route is planned to be built next to existing rights-of-way.
Another was that PennEast would implement FERC’s Upland Erosion Control among several other measures which would bring down any potential impacts caused on natural and cultural resources owing to the construction and operation of the new pipeline project.
FERC stated that: “PennEast would comply with all applicable air and noise regulatory requirements during construction and operation of the Project; and an environmental inspection program and a third-party monitoring oversight program would be implemented to ensure compliance with the mitigation measures that would become conditions of any FERC authorization.”
The PennEast pipeline is likely to be commissioned in the second half of 2018 once it clears all other hurdles.