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Pennsylvania grants water permit for Columbia Gas lateral project

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Pennsylvania grants water permit for Columbia Gas lateral project

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection issued a Clean Water Act Section 401 water quality certificate for Columbia Gas Transmission LLC's proposed expansion project, which would deliver up to 47,500 Dth/d of natural gas for a West Virginia gas utility.

In a notice from the state agency, posted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Feb. 20, the state agency said the Eastern Panhandle expansion project would not cross any streams or wetlands in Pennsylvania. Less than 100 yards of the project, which starts at a tie-in with the Columbia Gas system in Fulton County, Pa., will be built in the state. The entire greenfield pipeline is only 3.4 miles long.

The state agency said the project will result in about 2.5 acres of earth disturbance in Pennsylvania, impacts to a short length of an unnamed tributary of Little Tonoloway Creek and small impacts to a floodway.

FERC staff issued a favorable environmental assessment for the lateral Jan. 26, concluding that the project would not have a significant impact on the environment. Columbia Gas, a TransCanada Corp. company, applied for the project in March 2017.

The approximately $25 million project would run from Fulton County to a delivery point in Morgan County, W.Va., to serve the largest local gas distribution company in West Virginia, Mountaineer Gas Co.

The project would cross the Potomac River from Maryland into West Virginia. This part of the project has sparked protests. Critics have said the lateral could threaten residents' health, and the Maryland Department of the Environment has asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to withhold a permit until the state agency can propose special conditions. (FERC docket CP17-80)