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Public meetings set for early September: Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC seeks permit to impact U.S. waters to expand gas pipeline systems in the region

Published Aug. 19, 2014
CONCORD, Mass. – Algonquin Gas Transmission (AGT), LLC is seeking a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District to conduct work in waters of the U.S. in conjunction with expanding existing interstate natural gas pipeline systems in Connecticut and Massachusetts. The project purpose is expansion of Algonquin’s existing pipeline system from Mahwah, N.J. and Ramapo, N.Y., in order to deliver up to 342,000 dekatherms per day of natural gas transportation service to the Connecticut and Massachusetts markets.

This work is proposed in wetlands and waters adjacent to the AGT MLV-19 pipeline in the city of Danbury, Conn.; Line 36A in the towns of Cromwell and Rocky Hill, Conn.; and the E-1 system in the towns of Lebanon, Franklin, Norwich and Montville, Conn. In the state of Massachusetts, a new lateral pipeline is proposed off of the existing I-4 pipeline in the towns of Westwood, Dedham and West Roxbury.

Work regulated by the Corps is water body crossings and the placement of permanent or temporary fill in wetlands and streams along the proposed natural gas pipeline route. Other portions of the proposed project with impact to U.S. waters will be undertaken in the state of New York and are the subject of a concurrent permit application to the Corps’ New York District (NAN-2014-00402-EYA).

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is the lead Federal agency for the review of this project proposed by Algonquin Gas Transmission which is identified as Docket No. CP14-96. As lead agency, FERC has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). FERC issued the Draft EIS on Aug. 6, 2014. Additional project information is available at 866-208-FERC. The Draft EIS and instructions for submitting comments to FERC on the proposed project are available at http://www.ferc.gov. Use “eLibrary” link, select “General Search” from the eLibrary menu, enter the selected date range and FERC “Docket No.” (CP14-96) and follow the instructions. For assistance call 1-866-208-3676 or email FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov.

The FERC Draft EIS also is available for review and download at the Corps website at: http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices/tabid/11771/Article/494068/nae-2013-01233.aspx. Besides FERC, the proposed work is being coordinated with the following Federal, state and local agencies: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service; Connecticut Departments of Energy and Environmental Protection, Transportation and Historical Commission; Massachusetts Departments of Environmental Protection, Transportation and Natural Heritage; and Rhode Island Departments of Environmental Management and Transportation.

Regulated work proposed in this permit application involves the discharge of permanent backfill over approximately 1.4 acres of waters and wetlands as pipeline trench backfill and discharge of temporary fill in wetlands and waters for construction in conjunction with the installation of 21.9 miles of new, and/or replacement, gas pipeline known as the Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) Project. Included in the project is the replacement of 13.5 miles of existing pipeline with new, larger pipeline and the installation of 8.4 miles of new pipeline with associated rights-of-way. New rights-of-way will be obtained for three of the four project segments. Work will impact approximately 5,694 linear feet and 28.26 acres of U.S. waters and/or wetlands affiliated with the Still River, Sawmill River, Kohanza Brook, Dividend Brook, Susquetonscut Brook, Johnnycake Brook, Elisha Brook, Stony Brook and Falls Brook. An estimated 69 waterbodies and 86 wetland areas are proposed to be temporarily and/or permanently impacted in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

The AIM project includes other facilities that are outside the purview of the Corps. These include modifications of four compressor stations (Cromwell, Chaplin and Oxford, Conn., and Burrillville, R.I.); upgrade of 13 existing metering stations (West Danbury, Southbury, Waterbury, North Haven, Guilford, Farmington, Glastonbury, Middletown, Salem, Montville, Willimantic, Pomfret and Putnam, Conn.); construction of three new metering stations (Oakland Heights, Conn., and Assonet and West Roxbury, Mass.); and removal of nine existing metering stations. These facilities will not impact U.S. waters and therefore do not require a permit from the Corps of Engineers.

FERC will hold public meetings to accept comments on the Draft EIS and the proposed project: on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014 at the Holiday Inn, 55 Ariadne Road, in Dedham, Mass.; on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014 at the Holiday Inn, 10 Laura Boulevard, in Norwich, Conn.; on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014 at the Danbury City Hall, 155 Deer Hill Ave., in Danbury, Conn.; and on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014 at the Crystal Lake Golf Club, 100 Bronco Highway, in Mapleville, R.I. Meetings will start at 6:30 p.m. The Corps will participate in the FERC public meetings to receive and consider public comments on activities regulated by the Corps.

The AIM project also includes work within the state of New York under the regulatory boundary of the Corps’ New York District that will be processed by the New York District under permit application number NAN-2014-00402-EYA. FERC will hold a public meeting in New York on Monday, Sept. 15, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. in the Muriel H. Morabito Community Center, 29 Westbrook Drive, in Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.

The application for the federal permit was filed with the Corps in compliance with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which regulates the discharge or fill of material in U.S. waters, including wetlands. The Corps’ New England District public notice, with more specifics on the proposed work, can be viewed on the Corps website at: http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices.aspx.

Public comments on this permit application to the Corps in New England (file #NAE-2013-1233) should be forwarded no later than Sept. 19, 2014 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Cori Rose), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751. Additional information on the Corps’ New England District review of the permit application for Section 404 impacts is available from Permit Project Manager Cori Rose at 978-318-8306 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to: cori.m.rose@usace.army.mil.

Contact
Tim Dugan
978-318-8264
cenae-pa@usace.army.mil

Release no. 2014-100