Why is it needed?
Natural gas demand is at an all-time high. The Transco pipeline, which has been providing reliable service to this area for decades, is currently operating at capacity. As our customers’ demand for gas increases, we have to periodically expand our existing facilities to allow more gas to be transported through our pipeline system.
Who is the customer?
National Grid, the largest distributor of natural gas in the northeastern U.S. The company provides natural gas service to 1.25 million retail customers in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island, as well as 586,000 retail customers in Long Island and on the Rockaway Peninsula.
Why do they need more gas?
Additional natural gas access is important to help New York City continue to meet its aggressive clean air goals. Many fuel oil-burning buildings are converting to natural gas. Thanks to increased natural gas usage, New York City is currently experiencing its cleanest air in over 50 years.
When would the project be built?
If approved by FERC, construction would begin in the summer of 2018 so that it can be placed into service by the 2019/2020 winter heating season.
How much gas would you be delivering?
An additional 400 million cubic feet per day (enough gas to serve about 2.3 million homes)
When will you file your FERC application?
When do you plan to start buying easements?
We plan to begin easement acquisition for the Northeast Supply Enhancement project in early 2017.
How do you determine the price you’ll pay?
The valuation of the easement will be determined by the market value of land in the area. This is determined by independent sources, such as county deed and tax records, local appraisers, real estate brokers and other real estate professionals, and considers such factors as length, width, existing use and comparable land sales in the area. Impact to the remaining property may also be considered. This information will be shared with the landowner and fair compensation will be offered.
What about payment for crop damages?
Valuation of the crop loss is conducted separately from the easement appraisal. Crop valuations consists of 175% reimbursement for crop losses during the life of the project.
For the onshore loops, how much land will be affected?
For the pipeline loops, the permanent pipeline easement will be expanded by about 25 feet. A 100-foot-wide temporary construction right-of-way installation is required for the installation of the 42-inch-diameter pipeline in Pennsylvania. A 90-foot wide temporary construction right-of-way is required for the installation of the 26-inch-diameter pipeline in New Jersey.
Do pipelines impact property value?
The pipeline and associated easement should not impact the value of your property. Multiple studies across the country have found minimal to no correlation between a property’s sales price and its vicinity to a gas transmission pipeline.
- Integra Realty Resources, “Pipeline Impact to Property Value and Property Insurability” (2016)
- Diskin, Barry A., PH.D., Jack P. Friedman, PH.D, Spero C. Peppas, PH.D, and Stephanie R. Peppas. “The Effect of Natural Gas Pipelines on Residential Values.” Right of Way (2011)
- Fruits, E., “Natural Gas Pipelines and Residential Property Values: Evidence from Clackamas and Washington Counties.” (2008).
- The INGAA Foundation, Inc., “Natural Gas Pipeline Impact Study.” (2001)
- Kinnard, Williams N., Jr., Sue Ann Dickey, and Mary Beth Geckler. “Natural Gas Pipeline Impact on Residential Property Values: An Empirical Study of Two Market Areas.” Right of Way (1994)
- Wilde, Louis, Christopher Loos, and Jack Williamson. “Pipelines and Property Values: An Eclectic Review of the Literature.” Journal of Real Estate Literature 20.2 (2012)
Will the horsepower addition at Station 200 be heard by neighbors?
We are proposing to add an electric motor-driven compressor unit to the facility. Should the project be approved by the FERC, federal regulations require that we do not exceed the noise level that residents currently experience when the station is running.
COMPRESSOR STATION 206
Where will Station 206 be located?
Williams has identified two potential locations for the Somerset County compressor station in an established industrial area located within Franklin Township. The criteria used to identify the facility location included property availability, access to electric power, pipeline hydraulics, compatibility with local zoning, land use and land development, site terrain, water table and storm water management, and site accessibility.
Will the compressors at Station 206 be in an enclosed building?
The compressors will be inside of an enclosed, sound-attenuating building.
Are the compressors at Station 206 going to be natural gas or electric driven?
Transco is currently proposing to install two natural gas turbine compressor units.
What will the noise levels be?
Per federal regulation, the sound emitted from our operation cannot exceed 55 dBA at the nearest noise sensitive area (equivalent to the sound of a household refrigerator).
How will emissions be controlled?
The new station will be classified as a minor source of air emissions for permitting purposes with the use of state of the art emission control technology. This includes Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology, which is used to significantly reduce the emission of NOx. This technology is similar to the catalytic converter used on cars and trucks to reduce motor vehicle emissions.
Would the blasting which takes place at a nearby quarry have an effect on operations?
A comprehensive engineering analysis will be conducted to measure any potential impacts from blasting. The results of that analysis will be used to effectively mitigate any potential issues in the station’s final engineering design.
Do you have experience operating in proximity to quarries?
Transco has safely operated its pipelines on the Trap Rock property since Transco’s “A Line” was originally installed. The company operates other facilities in close proximity to quarries, including a recently completed station in Maryland and another in Manassas, Va.
Do compressor stations impact property value?
Multiple studies in the northeastern U.S. have found minimal to no correlation between a property’s sales price and its vicinity to a gas transmission pipeline compressor facility. Please see the following studies for supporting information on the correlation between property values and the presence of pipelines:
- LPC Commercial Services, Inc., “A Study of Natural Gas Compressor Stations and Residential Property Values” (January 2016)
- Real Property Services, LLC, “Market Study and Analysis of Market Value Impact to Real Property from Compressor Station Facilities in Seven Selected Sties, New York State” (October 2015)
The LPC Commercial Services study concluded: “No data was uncovered in this study that suggests that proximity to compressor stations measurably impacts value or land use. The study shows that compressor stations appear to have no widespread, systematic impact on value or land use, particularly outside of 0.5 miles from the compressor station, as high end homes have been constructed and sold within about this distance of the Hopkinton and Agawam of compressor stations.”
The Real Property Services study concluded: “There is no quantifiable evidence in the marketplace form the seven sites studied that indicate a discernable impact on either property values or appreciation rates for properties in close proximity to the compressor station sites.”
If the station won’t be running 24/7, is there really a demand?
Just because a facility isn’t in constant use doesn’t mean it isn’t needed. Not all pipeline facilities operate 24/7. Natural gas demand is based on consumption which varies throughout the day and also swings widely based on the season. The utilization of pipeline facilities varies accordingly adjusting to variable transportation loads, operational and maintenance needs.
How often do station ‘blowdowns’ occur?
In an emergency situation, or in anticipation of planning system maintenance, Transco may conduct a controlled venting of gas from the facility known as a blowdown. While blowdowns are a standard operational practice, they do not occur at regular intervals and in this location, would occur infrequently (possibly once per year). Prior to a blowdown taking place, local emergency officials and nearby residents are alerted. Gas is vented through sound dampening devices and materials to eliminate the odor associated with natural gas.
How do you prevent, measure, and mitigate ground-borne vibration?
Vibration of equipment transmitted through the soil is detectable to the human body at levels above 65 VdB (vibration decibels) which is similar to a truck or bus passing within 50-feet. The compressor is centrifugal and is powered by a turbine, both of which are coupled with an in-line shaft. This is different that reciprocating compressors that are driven by a piston engine that has unbalanced forces, which in turn create vibration. With a lack of unbalanced forces in the proposed compressor and turbine there would not be a potential for vibration to be transmitted at a level that is discernible to the human body. In addition, the compressor unit has vibration sensing equipment that is sensitive to levels near 10-15 VdB. This is to ensure that if any component of the system were to create vibration, it would be shut down. Vibration, even as slight as 15 VdB is an indication of a problem, therefore it would not create vibration at levels perceptible to the human body.
When was the pipe crossing Trap Rock property installed?
In 1987, both existing pipelines across Trap Rock property were relocated and replaced to accommodate an expansion of the quarry.
Will the operating pressure change with the addition of the compressor station?
No. The pipeline operating pressure will not change with the addition of the compressor station.
Is the Transco pipeline safe?
Yes. We’ve been operating safely in this area for decades. Safety is the most important aspect of our operations. According to U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) statistics, pipelines are the safest method for transporting energy. As this Project is designed, constructed and operated, Transco is committed to maintaining the highest standards of safety, utilizing construction and operational procedures that exceed already stringent industry regulations.
Compressor stations are designed with extensive emergency systems. In the event of a leak or pipe failure, the station will automatically shut down appropriate equipment and vent gas into the atmosphere.