Originally posted on June 28th, 2018 by Matt Knoedler

EDINBORO, Pa. – The future of an $86 million natural gas pipeline extension project linking Erie and Ashtabula counties could be determined Friday.

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is expected to issue its environmental review, a key obstacle for projects such as these. If approved, the construction on the new pipeline would begin in September, but things could start even sooner, according to Dennis Holbrook, spokesman for developers Erie-based RH EnergyTrans.

“They look at plant species, they look at animal life. Most of what we’re talking about is just during a construction period,” Holbrook said. “Once the pipe is in the ground… it’s about four-feet deep. You won’t even know it’s there for all practical purposes.”

On Thursday, Erie News Now received rare access to the natural gas compression station, located just west of Edinboro where that expansion is scheduled to begin later this summer. From there, 28 miles of pipeline would be built, ending up in North Kingsville, Ohio. It will connect to 32 miles of existing pipeline that starts near Meadville. The compression station is essentially halfway between the existing and new lines, Holbrook said.

RH EnergyTrans began developing the project over a year ago. Each day, the line would pump enough natural gas to supply more than 550 homes for the entire year, approximately 55,000 MCF per day.

About half of the expanded pipeline would be built in southern Erie County in Springfield, Conneaut, and Elk Creek Townships. It would then travel north of Interstate 90 for about 15 miles, into North Kingsville, Ohio. Nearly 100 property owners have already agreed to lease their land to the company.

“The challenge has always been that it’s a somewhat remote area of Ohio,” Holbrook said at a public meeting in Dec. 2017. “The challenge has been how to get gas supplies in here, both to sustain the existing market and create the opportunity for growth.”

Dominion Energy Ohio has already promised to buy about 75 percent of the gas produced from this pipeline, Holbrook added at that 2017 meeting.

Source: Erie News Now