Mountaineer Plans Pipe Expansions in WV Panhandle “Every Year”

Eastern Panhandle Expansion – click for larger version

In 2017, Mountaineer Gas launched its Eastern Panhandle Expansion pipeline project–a project to deliver natural gas via local distribution channels to a new industrial facility in Berkeley County, WV, and to provide gas to other local businesses and residents in the Tri-State area. Mountaineer’s pipeline expansion will be fed by a 3.5-mile Columbia Gas pipeline due to run under the Potomac–which is being fought vigorously by anti fossil-fuelers. There are three phases to the Eastern Panhandle Expansion project: Phase One runs a 22.5-mile, 10-inch-diameter steel pipeline from Morgan County to Martinsburg; Phase Two includes a loop to Charles Town (Jefferson County); and Phase Three will build a four mile segment of pipeline into Martinsburg. The West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Protection approved the Eastern Panhandle Expansion in February (see WV DEP Issues Permit for Mountaineer Gas Pipeline in Eastern WV), and work on Phase One began in March (see Mountaineer Gas Begins Work on Morgan County, WV Pipeline). According to an article just published, work on Phase One was initially delayed because of heavy rainfall in April/May (but is now going well), and Phase Two is planned to begin in the first or second quarter of 2019. The interesting thing (for us) is a comment from Mountaineer VP Thomas Westfall, who said this: “Over the next 20 years, we will have a lot of additional interest [in gas service in the Tri-State area], and we will be proposing expansion projects in this area every year.” Meaning Phases One, Two, and Three are only the beginning, which is sure to drive the antis bonkers…
Continue reading

Mountaineer Gas Begins Work on Morgan County, WV Pipeline

Anti-fossil fuel nutters have been on a holy mission to stop a 3.5-mile, 8-inch pipeline from being installed under the Potomac River (see Maryland Antis Oppose 13th Pipeline Under Potomac as “Dangerous”). They are trying to pressure the pusillanimous RINO governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan, to block the project–a project from Columbia Gas Transmission (now part of TransCanada). Don’t tell the antis, but the pipeline system Columbia’s proposed 3.5-mile pipeline will feed is now under construction in West Virginia, just on the other side of the Potomac. In 2017, Mountaineer Gas launched the Eastern Panhandle Expansion pipeline project–a project to deliver natural gas via local distribution channels to a new industrial facility in Berkeley County, WV, and to provide gas to other local businesses and residents in the Tri-State area. Mountaineer’s pipeline expansion will be fed by the 3.5-mile Columbia Gas pipeline under the Potomac. There are three phases to the Eastern Panhandle Expansion project: Phase One runs a 22.5-mile, 10-inch-diameter steel pipeline from Morgan County to Martinsburg; Phase Two includes a loop to Charles Town; and Phase Three will build a four mile segment of pipeline into Martinsburg. The West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Protection approved the Eastern Panhandle Expansion in February (see WV DEP Issues Permit for Mountaineer Gas Pipeline in Eastern WV). As of last week, work on Phase One has begun, on both ends of the 22.5-mile pipeline…
Continue reading

WV DEP Issues Permit for Mountaineer Gas Pipeline in Eastern WV

In 2017 Mountaineer Gas launched the Eastern Panhandle Expansion pipeline project–a project to deliver natural gas via local distribution channels to a new industrial facility in Berkeley County, WV, and to provide gas to other local businesses and residents in the Tri-State area. There are three phases to the Eastern Panhandle Expansion project: Phase One runs a 22.5-mile, 10-inch-diameter steel pipeline from Morgan County to Martinsburg; Phase Two includes a loop to Charles Town; and Phase Three will build a four mile segment of pipeline into Martinsburg. The West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Protection held a hearing on Phase One in January, at the Berkeley Springs High School (see Old Hippies Turn Out at WV DEP Hearing to Oppose Mountaineer Pipe). All of the people who spoke at the hearing, some 33 of the 80 people present, spoke against the project. Even though local residents object, on Wednesday the WV DEP issued a permit for the project…
Continue reading

Old Hippies Turn Out at WV DEP Hearing to Oppose Mountaineer Pipe

In April 2017, MDN brought you the news that Columbia Pipeline (now owned by TransCanada) had 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 the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia with the Columbia Gas Pipeline in Pennsylvania (see New 3.5 Mile Pipeline Project to Drill Under the Potomac River). That small section of pipeline is hotly opposed and part of the larger Eastern Panhandle Expansion project–a project to deliver natural gas via local distribution channels (local utility Mountaineer Gas) to a new industrial facility in Berkeley County, WV, and to provide gas to other local businesses and residents in the Tri-State area. There are three phases to the Eastern Panhandle Expansion project: Phase One runs a 22.5-mile, 10-inch-diameter steel pipeline from Morgan County to Martinsburg; Phase Two includes a loop to Charles Town; and Phase Three will build a four mile segment of pipeline into Martinsburg. The WV Dept. of Environmental Protection held a hearing on Phase One on Tuesday, at the Berkeley Springs High School. All of the people who spoke at the hearing, some 33 of the 80 people present, spoke against the project. If you look at a picture of the crowd, you’d swear you were at a ZZ Top look-alike convention. That is, a bunch of old hippies. Here’s a report on the Tuesday hearing…
Continue reading

Anti-Pipe Objections Aired in Wrong Forum in Morgan County, WV

As MDN has previously reported, Mountaineer XPress Pipeline includes 165 miles of new pipeline with approximately 2.7 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day of transportation capacity from existing and future points of receipt along or near the Columbia pipeline system–most of it located in West Virginia (see Details on Columbia Pipeline Mountaineer XPress Pipeline Project). Just last month the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) gave Moutaineer XPress and its companion project, Gulf XPress, a favorable final environmental impact statement (see FERC Issues Favorable Final EIS for Mountaineer/Gulf XPress Pipes). The only thing left now is for FERC to issue a certificate for construction to begin–which won’t happen until Sen. Chuck Schumer and obstructionist Democrats allow a Senate vote on new commissioners, to restore a voting quorum at FERC. Don’t hold your breath. At any rate, a few local residents in Morgan County, WV appeared before the Morgan County Commission last night to complain about the project. The residents were there at the prompting of several Big Green groups, who organized the effort. Problem is, Morgan County can’t do a thing about the pipeline project. It was the wrong forum to complain in, but that didn’t stop them…
Continue reading

WV Fight Over Simple Expansion of Local Gas Delivery Pipeline

Eastern Panhandle of WV

In April, MDN brought you the news that Columbia Pipeline (now owned by TransCanada) has 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 the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia with the Columbia Gas Pipeline in Pennsylvania (see New 3.5 Mile Pipeline Project to Drill Under the Potomac River). The purpose of the Eastern Panhandle Expansion project is to deliver natural gas via local distribution channels (local utility Mountaineer Gas) 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 proposed 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 radical anti-fossil fuelers in an uproar. They spit and spout about “fracked gas from Pennsylvania,” among other reasons to oppose the project. At its core, this is a project to bring Marcellus/Utica natural gas to more businesses and residents that want access to that gas–primarily in West Virginia. And yet there is a full court press by antis to defeat the project. Their aim these days is to prevent building a single inch of new pipelines that flow “evil fossil fuels.” And so this project, which would connect new customers to clean-burning natgas, is in a fight for its life…
Continue reading

Mountaineer Gas Files App to Build $45M Pipeline Expansion in WV

Mountaineer GasWest Virginia’s largest natural gas LDC (local distribution company) is Mountaineer Gas–with 220,000 customers, 450 employees and servicing 49 of WV’s 55 counties. Mountaineer Gas maintains close to 6,000 miles of pipeline. They’d like to add another 56 miles of pipelines to that number. Mountaineer has filed an application with the WV Public Service Commission to build a $45 million expansion of their distribution network in Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties (the eastern panhandle of WV). Why? To deliver more Marcellus Shale gas to industrial customers who want to build manufacturing plants in the region. There is some natural gas in the area now–but not nearly enough. The new lines, which are not high pressure transmission lines but low pressure distribution lines, would bump up the volume of gas and deliver it to locations where new plants want to build. Local economic development people are excited as this provides a foundation for long-term growth in the region. Below are the details of Mountaineer’s application, along with a copy of the official paperwork they’ve filed with the WV PSC…
Continue reading