Industries Environmental Impact Statements (EISs)
Environmental Assessment for the Leidy Southeast Expansion Project (CP13-551)
Issued August 11, 2014
The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) for the Leidy Southeast Expansion Project (Project). The Project is proposed by Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC (Transco). The Project would expand the natural gas delivery capacity to the northeast region of the United States by up to 525,000 dekatherms per day. The proposed facilities associated with the Project include the following:
- about 29.8 miles of new 42-inch-diameter pipeline loop in four separate segments in Mercer, Somerset, and Hunterdon Counties, New Jersey, and Monroe and Luzerne Counties, Pennsylvania;
- additional compression and modification of existing Compressor Stations 205, 515, 517, and 520 in Mercer County, New Jersey, and Luzerne, Columbia, and Lycoming Counties, Pennsylvania, respectively;
- modification of existing compressor stations in North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland; and
- modification of existing meter and regulating stations, mainline valves, and pig launchers and receivers in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland.
The EA has been prepared in compliance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Council on Environmental Quality regulations for implementing NEPA (40 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] 1500–1508), and FERC regulations implementing NEPA (18 CFR 380).
The conclusions and recommendations presented in the EA are those of the FERC environmental staff. Input from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE), as cooperating agencies, was considered during the development of the staff’s conclusions and recommendations. Although the cooperating agencies provided input to the conclusions and recommendations presented in the EA, the COE will present its own conclusions and recommendations in its Records of Decision or determinations for the Project.
The FERC staff concludes that approval of the proposed Project, with appropriate mitigating measures, would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. Potential impacts would be reduced with the implementation of Transco’s proposed minimization and mitigation measures and the 25 additional measures recommended in the EA. These conclusions are supported by the following:
- Transco would obtain all necessary federal authorizations prior to commencement of construction;
- consultation required by Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, and Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act is completed; and
- Transco would reduce and mitigate impacts on natural resources and public safety during construction by implementing Project-specific plans, which include the following: Comprehensive Rock Handling Plan for the Princeton Ridge Segment of the Skillman Loop; Construction and Restoration Plan Developed Specifically for New Jersey State Planning Areas: Environmentally Sensitive Area 5 and Fringe 3, Along the Skillman Loop; Erosion and Sediment Control Plans; Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures Plan; and Horizontal Directional Drill and Contingency Plan.
Comments on the EA must be received in Washington, DC on or before September 10, 2014. The FERC Commissioners will take into consideration staff’s recommendations and comments received when they make a decision on the Project.