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PennEast asks FERC for route changes; groups attack Southeast Market Pipelines authorization

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PennEast asks FERC for route changes; groups attack Southeast Market Pipelines authorization

"--> asked FERC for 33 route modifications for thecompany's approximately 1.1 million-Dth/d natural gas pipeline project toconnect customers in eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey to Marcellus Shaleresources.

PennEastfiled the changes from the previously planned route Sept. 23. The changesincluded increased collocation and reduced impacts to wetlands and endangeredspecies, according to a press release.

Threeenvironmental groups are challenging in federal court the FERC approval of thegiant 1.1-Bcf/d Southeast Market Pipelines natural gas project, already underconstruction in Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

SierraClub, Flint Riverkeeper and Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, groups that participatedin the FERC review of the project, filed a Sept. 21 petition for review of theFERC decision in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of ColumbiaCircuit. The environmental groups challenged the order granting authorizationfor the project to Sabal TrailTransmission LLC, Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC and .The groups also challenged the order denying their request for rehearing.

isseeking FERC's clearance for a nearly $183 million project to modernizeportions of its natural gas pipeline system near Columbus, Ohio.

FERCgave notice Sept. 21 that the Columbia Pipeline Group Inc. subsidiary filed anabbreviated application for a certificate to abandon, replace and/or installabout 40 miles of pipeline and other infrastructure in Fairfield and Franklincounties.

FERCstaff plans to issue the environmental review of 's proposedNorthern Lights 2017 pipeline expansion project by Nov. 9.

In aSept. 26 notice, the commission released the staff's planned schedule for theenvironmental assessment. Cooperating federal agencies would have until Feb. 7,2017, to complete their own work on the project review.

FERCapproved settlements that ended its investigations into natural gastransportation rates at the pipeline companies andTuscarora Gas TransmissionCo.

Duringits monthly meeting Sept. 22, FERC approved an uncontested agreement withColumbia Gulf that settled all issues in its case. An article of the settlementthat establishes rates and refunds reduces a daily maximum recourse firmtransportation rate from 14.11 cents to 13.71 cents per Dth. The order requiresthe company to file revised tariff records within 30 days. The commission foundthe settlement to be in the public interest.

's has filed asettlement with FERC for a 34.8% increase in its general transportation rateand for a three-year $837 million capital maintenance program.

Thenew settlement rates are effective Aug. 1, subject to FERC's ultimate approval,according to a Sept. 21 news release.