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Environmental cost rise prompts Millennium to seek new rates for NY gas project

Millennium Pipeline Co. LLC proposed revised rates for a planned natural gas pipeline in New York after increasing environmental impact mitigation costs drove the total budget up by nearly $18 million.

Millennium on June 2 filed an amended abbreviated application with FERC for new rates that reflect higher construction labor and installation expenses for the Valley Lateral project, which would transport approximately 130,000 Dth/d of natural gas to fuel the new CPV Valley Energy Center in Orange County, N.Y. Millennium requested that the commission grant the authorization by the end of November.

Bringing the total to $57.3 million from $39.5 million, the updated construction cost is "driven by a significant increase in the number of horizontal directional drills implemented to avoid impacts to waterways and wetland and accommodate modifications requested by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation," Millennium stated in the document. "The revised estimate assumes ... [a] three-fold increase in the implementation of trenchless installation methods."

FERC staff in May 2016 signed off on Valley Lateral, concluding in an environmental assessment that the project would not significantly affect the quality of the environment. For the lateral, Millennium has proposed to install 7.9 miles of 16-inch-diameter pipeline through Orange County from Millennium's mainline to the facility. The project would also include pigging facilities, a tap valve, a meter station and buried piping.

Millennium Pipeline is owned by subsidiaries of Columbia Pipeline Group Inc., National Grid plc and DTE Energy Co. (FERC docket CP16-17)