New 3.5 Mile Pipeline Project to Drill Under the Potomac River

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Columbia Pipeline, now owned by TransCanada, recently (in March) filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to build a 3.5 mile, 8-inch pipeline that will carry natural gas from Pennsylvania to connect the Mountaineer Gas system in West Virginia with the Columbia Gas Pipeline in Pennsylvania. The purpose of the Eastern Panhandle Expansion project is to deliver natural gas via local distribution channels to a new industrial facility in Berkeley County, WV (scheduled to open in Fall 2017), and to provide gas to other local businesses and residents in the Tri-State area. Most of the pipeline crosses through a tiny sliver of Washington County, Maryland. The main issue with the project is that the pipeline will be drilled underneath the Potomac River, which serves as the border between WV and MD. That has antis in an uproar. The good news is that FERC has agreed to prepare an environmental assessment (EA) for the project. That is, this is now a real project with a high degree of likelihood it will get built…

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