As part of the Northeast Supply Link Expansion, Williams is proposing the construction of three new pipe sections (loops), one new compressor station, as well as making modifications to various existing compressor stations. The loops vary in length, totaling approximately 13 miles, and are expected to generally parallel the existing Transco pipeline adjacent to the existing utility corridor. By maximizing the use of our existing transmission corridor, our goal is to minimize the impact on property owners and the environment.
|Proposed Pipeline & Compressor Facilities|
|PA||Monroe||3.17 miles of 42-inch pipe (Palmerton Loop)|
|PA||Lycoming||2.22 miles of 42-inch pipe (Muncy Loop)|
|PA||Luzerne||Existing compressor facility modifications|
|NJ||Hunterdon||6.64 miles of 42-inch pipe (Stanton Loop)|
|NJ||Essex, Passaic, Hudson & Bergen||Uprate 25.6 miles of existing pipeline|
|NJ||Essex||New 25,000 HP compressor station|
|NJ||Essex||Replace 0.4 miles of existing pipeline|
|NJ||Somerset||Existing compressor facility modifications|
|NY||Richmond/Kings||Uprate 1.4 miles of existing pipeline|
Selecting Facility Locations
Pipeline engineers use computer modeling to identify what new pipeline facilities will be required. Increasing natural gas deliveries can be accomplished through one or a combination of the following:
- Increasing horsepower at pipeline compressor stations;
- Replacing existing pipeline with larger pipeline;
- Building new pipeline, either next to existing pipes (a process called looping), or in an area where pipelines don’t currently exist.
After analyzing maps, aerial photos, environmental reports and other available data, pipeline engineers establish a preliminary route or location for the new facilities, as well as location alternatives.
Pipeline companies are strongly encouraged by federal regulators to consider routes along existing corridors, such as:
- Pipeline rights of way
- Utility corridors
- Railroad corridors
- Other easements
The pipeline company must evaluate a number of environmental factors, including potential impacts on:
- Threatened and endangered species
- Wetlands, water bodies and groundwater
- Fish, vegetation and other wildlife
- Cultural resources
- Land use
- Air and noise quality
Interstate natural gas pipelines are regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
As such, FERC requires operators like Williams to obtain a federal Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity, in addition to various state and local permits, before any pipeline facilities can be built.
In February 2011, Williams requested that FERC initiate a pre-filing environmental review of the Northeast Supply Link Expansion proposal (Docket Number PF11-4). The FERC pre-filing process is intended to solicit early input from citizens, governmental entities and other interested parties to identify and address issues with potential facility locations. Williams hosted a series of open houses in the affected areas to formally introduce the proposal to the public and solicit feedback. Information collected during the pre-filing process was incorporated into the Certificate Application (CP12-30), which was filed with FERC on Dec. 14, 2011. The project received federal approval in November 2012.
|April||2010||Begin field surveys|
|Jan.||2012||Begin land negotiations|
|Nov.||2012||Station construction tentatively scheduled to begin|
|Spring||2013||Pipeline construction tentatively scheduled to begin|
|Nov.||2013||Scheduled in service date|
The Northeast Supply Link expansion project will deliver additional domestic, clean-burning natural gas to customers throughout the northeastern United States.
During construction, restaurants, hotels/motels, and retailers will experience increased activity from construction crews. The state and local community will benefit economically through state and local sales and use taxes for the materials and equipment purchased to be installed at the job sites.
Local communities will also benefit from the increased property taxes that Williams will pay during the ongoing operation of the pipeline.
The estimated economic benefits for New Jersey derived from the pre-construction and construction process for the proposed Northeast Supply Link Expansion Project include:
- $45.8 million economic impact (increase in gross domestic product) due to direct construction expenditures (on employment, local service companies, material and equipment, rentals, land rights, etc.), as well as indirect expenditures generated by the construction process.
- 5.1 million in state and local tax revenue.
- $430,000 in annual local property tax revenue.
- 619 job-years created during construction. This includes direct hires involved in construction and indirect hires generated by the construction process (i.e. demand for goods and services). A job-year is defined as one job lasting one year.
Source: Rutgers University Study, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, March 2011
The estimated economic benefits for Pennsylvania derived from the pre-construction and construction process for the proposed Northeast Supply Link Expansion project include:
- $40.8 million economic impact (increase in gross domestic product) due to direct construction expenditures (on employment, local service companies, material and equipment, rentals, land rights, etc.), as well as indirect expenditures generated by the construction process.
- $2.7 million in state and local tax revenue.
- $300,000 annual local property tax revenue.
- 847 job-years created during construction. This includes direct hires involved in construction and indirect hires generated by the construction process (i.e. demand for goods and services). One job-year is defined as one job lasting one year.
Source: The Institute for Public Policy & Economic Development, Pennsylvania, March 2011
With its proven track record of good environmental stewardship, Williams is committed to minimizing impacts to the environment. This commitment extends through all aspects of the project, working with local, state and federal agencies to design and construct the pipeline with a minimum of environmental impacts, and in conformity to all legal requirements.
During the planning of the overall route, extra effort will be taken to identify areas of endangered and threatened species, vegetative communities and wildlife. Avoidance of environmentally sensitive areas remains one of our primary objectives.