Firm to outline alternate route for gas pipeline at meeting
SCHOHARIE COUNTY Landowners on Wednesday will see if a new path proposed for the natural gas pipeline project would impact their properties.
Constitution Pipeline is holding an open house in Cobleskill to outline the alternative “M” developed in response to calls from residents and officials to push the line closer to Interstate 88.
Meanwhile, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is calling on residents in the pipeline’s targeted areas to voice their thoughts as the agency begins a environmental review of the proposal.
The FERC is asking for comments on what issues should be addressed during the environmental review during public meetings slated for later this month.
Constitution Pipeline, a joint venture between Williams Partners and Cabot Oil & Gas, is proposing to build a new 30-inch-wide natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to a compressor station in the Schoharie County town of Wright.
Various alternatives are being proposed for the pipeline’s path, but a new route being reviewed Wednesday was developed at the urging of local officials and residents.
Constitution Pipeline spokesman Christopher Stockton said in an email Monday the new path, which diverts roughly 80 miles of the pipeline closer to the I-88 highway, is currently being reviewed by engineers.
“In response to the feedback we’ve received, we’re in the process of obtaining survey permission to begin conducting field studies to thoroughly analyze the environmental aspects and technical feasibility of the I-88 alternative,” Stockton said.
It’s unclear whether the new route will be feasible, he added.
“Our initial analysis of the route identified some significant constructability issues in certain areas, which is why it is still a route alternative at this point,” he said.
More-detailed engineering studies will determine how much of the pipeline can be placed closer to the highway, he said.
“If certain segments are viable, we’re committed to including them as alternatives in our certificate application that we intend to file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission early next year,” Stockton said.
FERC recently issued a notice announcing plans to begin an environmental review of the proposal, a step initiated as part of the agency’s “pre-filing” process meant to streamline a proposal’s review by getting some work done in advance.
This includes reviewing what a new pipeline and its construction would mean in communities along its route.
Wednesday’s meeting will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Best Western at 121 Burgin Drive in Cobleskill.
People interested in providing commentary to FERC can find details on the process online at www.ferc.gov.
The Constitution Pipeline project carries a docket number of PF12-9.
More details about the pipeline proposal can be found at Constitutionpipeline.com.