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Opponents target water certificate of Kinder Morgan's Conn. project

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Opponents target water certificate of Kinder Morgan's Conn. project

An environmental coalition notified FERC that it hasattempted to stall Kinder MorganInc.'s Connecticutexpansion project by filing an appeal against a state-issued water qualitycertification.

On July 20, the Pipe Line Awareness Network for theNortheast, with the Berkshire Environmental Action Team Inc. and 15Massachusetts citizens, appealed the water quality certification issued by the MassachusettsDepartment of Environmental Protection. Until the appeal has been ruled on, theproject lacks authorization under federal and state law to cut trees or performother activities that would result in a discharge of materials into statewaters, the network told FERC in a July 25 letter.

Kinder Morgan's TennesseeGas Pipeline Co. received FERC approval for the project in March,and received the water quality certification on June 29. The project includes threepipeline loops for a total length of 13.4 miles. It would provide gastransportation service from the Marcellus Shale through an interconnection withIroquois Gas Transmission SystemLP in Wright, N.Y., to delivery sites in Hartford County, Conn.The project is estimated to cost $85.7 million.

Under the FERC approval, Tennessee Gas has until March 2018to complete the 72,100 Dth/d project.

The Pipe Line Awareness Network and its allies claimed theDEP certification went to a project that would result in harm to wetlands inthe Otis State Forest. They also asserted the project would not providesignificant economic or social development in the area where the wetlands wouldbe impacted.

"The [DEP] … failed to properly consider lessenvironmentally damaging alternatives for the project," the appeal said. "Lessenvironmentally damaging alternative routes or designs for the project weresuggested in public comments, but were not properly considered and addressed bythe applicant or the [DEP]."

Project opponents made similar arguments during the FERCapplication process. The commission ultimately determined that Tennessee Gasand its customers had sufficiently proved there was a need for the project.(CP14-529)