Pipeline expansion would pass through IW, Surry – The Suffolk News-Herald

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is seeking public comment on the environmental impacts of a proposed gas pipeline expansion in southeast Virginia.

Columbia Gas Transmission LLC, a Canadian-based subsidiary of TC Energy not affiliated with Columbia Gas of Virginia, is seeking federal approval for what the company has called its “Virginia Reliability Project.” The project is to replace an existing 12-inch pipeline dating from the 1950s that runs through the city of Suffolk and the Isle of Wight, Surry and Southampton counties with a 24-inch pipeline to meet growing demand for natural gas in the Hampton Roads area.

The expanded pipeline would connect to existing sections in Prince George and Greensville counties, as well as the company’s Petersburg and Emporia compressor stations. According to the company’s website, the project is expected to generate a one-time increase of $7.7 million in local tax revenue.

If approved, pipeline construction would begin in mid-2024 and be operational by November 2025. It would provide an additional 100,000 decatherms per day, a measure of the calorific value of 1,000 standard cubic feet of natural gas.

“Improving the system to meet existing and growing needs will create significant positive economic impacts across the region to offset the more than $4 billion lost in economic growth over the past five years due to a shortage of natural gas supply available,” states a sheet company fact.

A March 16 press release from the Virginia chapter of the Sierra Club, however, claims that there is “no shortage of natural gas in Hampton Roads” and that communities through which the pipeline passes are already experiencing “overloaded infrastructure existing fossil fuels”.

“These new fossil fuel industry applications require careful consideration with FERC’s expanded criteria, including – GHG (greenhouse gas) climate impacts, impacts on vulnerable communities, and necessity,” said Virginia Chapter Community Outreach Coordinator Lynn Godfrey said in the press release.

The proposed project would take a different path through the region than the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline Dominion Energy and Duke Energy, based in North Carolina, proposed in 2014 and abandoned in 2020.

FERC issued notices on Feb. 22 and March 7 seeking comment on any environmental issues regarding the proposed pipeline, and will compile public comments into a document that will inform its decision-making process for determining whether the project is in “public convenience.” “. and necessity”.

Much like the state-level “certificate of public need” process that Riverside Health Systems recently went through to gain approval to build a 50-bed hospital in Isle of Wight County, the federal law on natural gas requires natural gas companies to obtain a “Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity” from FERC before they are allowed to build new pipelines or expand existing ones.

The public has until 5 p.m. on April 6 to provide such input by submitting an electronic comment or electronic filing at www.ferc.gov/ferc-online/overview. For eFilings, users must have or create an eRegistration account.

The public also has the option of submitting their comments on paper, by referring to file number PF22-3-000.

If using the U.S. Postal Service, send the letter to Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First St. NE, Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.

If using another postal service, address the letter to Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 12225 Wilkins Ave., Rockville, MD 20852.

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