WUOMFM

Company revises plan for large natural gas pipeline in Michigan, cuts 6 counties from route

Feb 3, 2015

The Texas-based pipeline company Energy Transfer announced that they plan to cut through fewer counties in Michigan when building the Rover natural gas pipeline.

The company's new agreement, they say, will eliminate their need to build new pipeline in six Michigan counties.

From Energy Transfer's press release:

The capacity arrangement with Vector eliminates the need for Rover to build its pipeline through Michigan’s Shiawassee, Genesee, Lapeer, Oakland St. Clair, and Macomb Counties. This new development is consistent with Rover’s ongoing efforts to minimize the project’s footprint. It is also consistent with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s guidelines and expectations which encourage companies to evaluate alternative routes that maximize the use of existing utilities and utilize existing rights-of-way, where possible. Through this agreement, Rover will eliminate 110 miles of pipeline through Michigan, and will eliminate the Canadian portion entirely.

The plan for the 42-inch pipeline now goes through three counties - Lenawee, Washtenaw, and Livingston.

The company says the pipeline will carry natural gas from production fields in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio up through Michigan and on to a major natural gas hub in Sarnia, Ontario.

Once the new natural gas pipeline reaches Livingston County, it will connect with the Vector Pipeline (the green line in the map above) which will then carry the gas eastward to Sarnia. The Vector Pipeline is a joint venture between DTE Energy and Enbridge.

This new plan has many residents and homeowners in Michigan relieved - especially those who endured the recent Line 6B replacement project from Enbridge. In a statement on the deal, Rep. Candice Miller, R-MI, said it should minimize the impact on landowners.

I have long advocated for greater access to energy, and that obviously means additional infrastructure to transport it, but we must ensure that we do it in a way that minimalizes disruption for homeowners and local communities. Now, as a result of this contract, local residents will gain greater access to affordable energy without the hassle and worries associated with new construction. This decision is a welcome end to this entire process.

But those who have endured a major pipeline construction project point out that there are still many details to learn about the Rover natural gas pipeline project.

Jeff Insko runs the Line6B Citizens Blog. He writes, "don't uncork the champagne just yet." The plans for just what Energy Transfer plans to build in Lenawee, Washtenaw, and Livingston counties are still in the early stages. He points out the possibility that the company could add a second 42-inch line along their planned route.

The company says the pipeline in Michigan is expected to be in service by mid-2017. The company says they'll make adjustments to their plans and submit them to FERC by the middle of this month.