Originally posted on October 10th, 2018 by MARK TOOD

Developers of a $86 million natural gas pipeline extension project believe construction can begin this year if a federal regulatory agency gives its blessing soon.

“We expect it to be a do-able project this fall as long as we get timely approval,” Dennis Holbrook, spokesman for RH energytrans LLC, said recently.

RH is awaiting approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a project that would build more than 28 miles of 12-inch pipe from Meadville, Pennsylvania into Ashtabula County at a point in Conneaut. The line will end in North Kingsville.

This past summer FERC released a report that saw no environmental issues with the proposed project. A 90-day window for the public to respond to the report closed at the end of September.

RH is confident FERC will give formal approval. The Pennsylvania-based company is not aware of any issues that might be a concern, Holbrook said.

“We understand it’s up on the floor for approval,” he said. “This is the natural process. It may take a little longer than we might hope.”

A response is expected “any day now,” Holbrook said.

The new pipe will be attached to an existing line that ends in

Meadville. The addition will travel in a northwest direction into Conneaut and pass through a portion of Kingsville Township before

reaching its terminus in the area of routes 20 and 193 in North Kingsville.

The line will provide a volume of natural gas that local officials say will encourage economic development in the northeast corner of Ashtabula County.

RH energytrans must also obtain permits from communities affected by the project, Holbrook said.

“We’re pretty far along with that,” he said.

Last month Timothy Zee, mayor of North Kingsville, said RH representatives obtained applications needed to build a meter station in the village.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will also need to sign off on the project, Holbrook said.

“We’re in the process of working with their state agencies,” he said.

Late last month Conneaut’s City Council approved an agreement with RH that ensures city roads damaged by pipeline construction equipment will be repaired.

Almost 300 acres

of land will be used in the entire project, according to

FERC’s assessment. More than 60 percent of the work will involve existing infrastructure, such as roads and railroads, according to the assessment.

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