Docket No. CP22-44-000
The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) prepared a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the for the Ohio Valley Connector Expansion Project (Project) proposed by Equitrans, LP (Equitrans) in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio.
Equitrans proposes to acquire and operate the existing non-jurisdictional Cygrymus Compressor Station and install two new turbines in Greene County, Pennsylvania. In addition, Equitrans would install one additional compressor unit each at the existing Corona Compressor Station in Wetzel County, West Virginia and at the existing Plasma Compressor Station in Monroe County, Ohio. Equitrans would also construct approximately 5.5 miles of pipeline in various segments and ancillary facilities in Greene County, Pennsylvania and Wetzel County, West Virginia. The proposed project would expand Equitrans’ existing Ohio Valley Connector assets to deliver approximately 350,000 dekatherms per day of incremental firm natural gas to the expanding mid-continent and Gulf Coast markets along the Rockies Express and Rover pipeline systems.
The draft EIS was 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 United States Army Corps of Engineers’ Huntington District participated as a cooperating agency.
FERC staff concludes that most adverse environmental impacts would be temporary or short-term during construction and would have minimal effects on existing land use, as the proposed facilities would be added within an area already characterized by energy production and transmission facilities. With the exception of climate change impacts that are not characterized in the EIS as significant or insignificant, staff concludes that Project impacts on the environment would not be significant. This determination is based on a review of the information provided by Equitrans and further developed from data requests; field investigations; scoping; literature research; alternatives analyses; and contacts with the federal, state, and local agencies, Native American tribes, and other stakeholders. To ensure impacts on the environment are avoided, reduced, and minimized to the extent practical, staff recommends that Equitans implement additional mitigation measures. These recommendations are identified in sections 4 and 5 of the draft EIS.
The FERC Commissioners will take into consideration staff’s recommendations when they make a decision on the Project. The draft EIS comment period closes on November 21, 2022.