Originally Posted on December 10th, 2018 by NICOLE DANTZLER

CONNEAUT — An $86 million natural gas pipeline received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to move forward Friday.

RH energytrans is making arrangements for pre-construction activity for the Risberg Line project, which was granted a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from FERC on Friday deeming it a public convenience and necessity — a mandatory step before the project could move forward.

The permit approval from FERC was a huge step in the timeline of this project because FERC, “under the federal Natural Gas Act, has responsibility for evaluating environmental and landowner impacts associated with project construction and must determine whether the project is required by the public convenience and necessity,” according to RH energytrans.

After receiving notice for construction approval, RH energytrans said they will be reviewing the 72-page FERC Certificate Order and submitting the required additional information.

RH energytrans expects to begin construction before the end of this year and looks forward to “continuing to work closely with regulators, landowners and all of our stakeholders,” said Dennis Holbrook, RH energytrans spokesperson.

The Risberg Line Project is a 28-mile natural gas pipeline addition to the 32-mile pipeline already existing in Pennsylvania. The additional pipeline will go from Meadville, Pennsylvania up through northwest Ashtabula County.

About 16 miles of pipeline will be added in Pennsylvania and 12 miles will be added in Ohio.

The pipeline will reach a point in Conneaut and end in North Kingsville.

“This is a great project that will bring a myriad of economic development opportunities to the entire county. I’m happy to see it moving forward,” said Conneaut City Manager James Hockaday.

The project aims to provide large amounts of clean burning natural gas, an estimated 55 million cubic feet per day, primarily for Dominion Energy.

The project is estimated to cost $86 million. Officials say the pipeline has three benefits: access to resources, new job opportunities and increased tax revenue.

Growth Partnership Executive Director Greg Myers said the county has lost out on investment and job opportunities in the past because it couldn’t meet the need for natural gas — both for new businesses and expansions. He has called the project “an absolute necessity” for economic development.

“We’ve been working with them since the beginning to help bring the project to fruition,” he said.

“It’s an exciting day to hear they received their certificate and got approved for construction.”

Instead of being hand-strung and limited, Myers said once the project is complete the county can attract new companies with manufacturing and
engage in new investments.

“It’s a huge win for us to overcome that impediment, he said.

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