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Court rejects challenges to Pa. permit for Transco's Atlantic Sunrise pipeline

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Court rejects challenges to Pa. permit for Transco's Atlantic Sunrise pipeline

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit denied environmental groups' and a landowner's requests to review a Pennsylvania agency's decision that granted a permit to Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC's 1.7-Bcf/d Atlantic Sunrise pipeline expansion, the last pieces of which are due in service in September.

The 3rd Circuit denied the petitions in a Sept. 4 order. The Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Lancaster Against Pipelines, Geraldine Nesbitt and the Sierra Club had asked the court to review a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's decision to issue a Clean Water Act Section 401 water quality certificate to Transco, a subsidiary of Williams Cos. Inc. (U.S. Appeals Court for the 3rd Circuit dockets 16-2211, 16-2212, 16-2218, 16-2400)

Project opponents have made last-ditch attempts to stop the project in court and at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. In July, the 3rd Circuit said it could not hear a petition from a group of Roman Catholic nuns to review the FERC decision to approve the Atlantic Sunrise project because the group had not participated in the Natural Gas Act permitting process.

Transco has asked FERC to place the expansion into full service by Sept. 10. Substantial portions of the project are already in service. The nearly $3 billion project, which consists of about 200 miles of pipeline, and compressor stations and other facilities, is designed to move gas from the Marcellus Shale to the Transco mainline for further transportation to mid-Atlantic and Southeast markets. FERC approved the project in February 2017. (FERC docket CP15-138)