What's New at NGA?

September 16, 2019
Call Before You Dig - Dig Safely!
The Common Ground Alliance (CGA) and its stakeholders remind homeowners and contractors to call 811 before they dig to prevent injuries, property damage and inconvenient outages. More information is at: https://call811.com/

In addition to the national 811 service, NGA reminds its members - and the general public - that each of the Northeast states has a local "One Call Center." NGA has links to all the sites linked through the "Public Awareness" section of its web site, at www.northeastgas.org. Utilize these important resources - be aware - and be safe!

NGA and GTI Release Interconnect Guide for Renewable Natural Gas in New York State
On September 16, 2019, NGA and GTI released a report called: "Interconnect Guide for Renewable Natural Gas in New York State." The report was sponsored by and developed in coordination with several New York State natural gas utilities. The guidance document provides a framework and technical guidance by which all parties - including project developers and the local gas utility - can work together utilizing common core principles and a rigorous technical framework to facilitate maximizing the acceptance and introduction of RNG into the natural gas pipeline network. While developed for New York State, this report provides a guideline for RNG pipeline interconnections that will be applicable and of value throughout the U.S. and Canada. The report can be found on the NGA Publications page: https://www.northeastgas.org/publications.php

NGA Recognizes Con Edison and Orange & Rockland Utilities as 2019 Health & Safety Award Recipients
Each year NGA conducts its "NGA Excellence in Health and Safety Recognition Program." The goal of the program is to recognize a new safety and/or health program developed by an NGA member utility company that has positively impacted the lives of employees, customers, or the general public.

NGA was pleased to announce on September 9 that the 2019 utility recipients are Consolidated Edison Company of New York (Con Ed), and Orange & Rockland Utilities (ORU).

Con Edison is being recognized for the Development and Implementation of Residential Leak Detection Programs; and Orange & Rockland Utilities for the Development and Implementation of a Field Employee Wellness Program.

Congratulations to Con Ed and ORU!

U.S. Natural Gas Resource Base at Record Levels, Reports PGC
On September 11, the Potential Gas Committee (PGC) released its year-end 2018 biennial report: Potential Supply of Natural Gas in the United States. The new assessment finds that the United States possesses a technically recoverable natural gas resource potential of 3,374 trillion cubic feet (Tcf). This is the highest resource evaluation in the PGC's 54 year history-exceeding by 557 Tcf the previous record-high assessment from year-end 2016. The PGC notes that shale gas accounts for 62% of the country's total potential resources, at 2,107 Tcf. Furthermore, The Atlantic area ranks as the country's richest resource area with 41% of total U.S. traditional resources...The largest volumetric gains (264 Tcf or 25%) were reported in the Atlantic area. The major reason for the increase is new drilling and production results from Marcellus and Utica shale plays in the Appalachian basin.
Look for further details here: http://potentialgas.org/press-release

Williams Completes Rivervale South to Market Project
On September 3, Williams (NYSE: WMB) announced that it has successfully placed into full service its Rivervale South to Market project - an expansion of the existing Transco natural gas pipeline system to meet growing heating and power generation demand for northeastern consumers. The Rivervale South to Market project provides 190,000 dekatherms of firm natural gas service (enough natural gas to meet the daily needs of about 1 million homes) by uprating 10.3 miles of existing Transco pipeline, adding less than a mile of new pipeline looping, and upgrading or modifying existing facilities, all in New Jersey. A portion of the Rivervale South to Market project (140,000 dekatherms per day) was placed into service on July 1, 2019. The remaining portion of the project (50,000 dekatherms per day) was placed into service on Sept. 1, 2019.

NGA's Fall Operations Conference to be held Oct. 17-18
NGA's Fall Operations Conference will be held October 17-18, 2019 in Hartford, CT. The conference will feature four topical tracks addressing: Field Services/Measurement; Damage Prevention; Pipeline Safety Management; and Quality Management. Registration is underway. Look for further information online: https://www.northeastgas.org/2019_fall_ops_conf.php

Vermont Gas Announces Renewable Natural Gas Partnership & Development
On August 20, Vermont Gas participated in an event at a farm in Salisbury, VT with representatives from Middlebury College, Vanguard Renewables, Goodrich Farm, and the State of Vermont, to mark the official groundbreaking for an anaerobic digester. The facility will combine cow manure and food waste to create Renewable Natural Gas (RNG). The project is a milestone toward the College's goal of using 100 percent renewable energy sources, and Middlebury will be the primary consumer of the RNG produced at the dairy farm. During the event, speakers from each organization discussed the facility, which will be the largest anaerobic digester east of the Mississippi River. Look for more information here: https://www.vermontgas.com/vgs-middlebury-college-and-partners-celebrate-groundbreaking-for-facility-that-turns-manure-and-food-waste-into-renewable-energy/

FERC Issues Order Determining that the NYS DEC Has Waived its Authority under the Clean Water Act Regarding the Proposed Constitution Pipeline
On August 28, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) issued an Order which stated that "the Commission determines that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has waived its water quality certification authority under section 401 of the Clean Water Act with respect to the Constitution Pipeline Project." This case, involving a petition for declaratory order filed by Constitution Pipeline Company, LLC (Constitution), was before the Commission on voluntary remand from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. At issue is the question whether, in light of the D.C. Circuit's recent decision in Hoopa Valley Tribe v. FERC, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (New York DEC) waived its authority under section 401 of the Clean Water Act to issue or deny a water quality certification for the proposed Constitution Pipeline Project.

On June 13, 2013, Constitution applied to the Commission for a certificate of public convenience and necessity pursuant to section 7 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) to construct and operate the 125-mile-long Constitution Pipeline Project from Pennsylvania into New York.

On December 24, 2014, New York DEC issued a Notice of Complete Application and opened a public comment period. On April 27, 2015, Constitution sent a second two-page letter to New York DEC-identical to the May 9, 2014 letter-"simultaneously withdrawing and resubmitting" its application.10F New York DEC issued a second Notice of Complete Application on April 27, 2015, and a press release on April 29, 2015, announcing a second public comment period. On April 22, 2016, New York DEC denied Constitution's application.

In its August 2019 Order, the Commission stated: "We find that it would not be in the public interest to stay construction of the Constitution Pipeline Project. The Commission concluded that the project is required by the public convenience and necessity, and commencement of construction will allow Constitution to provide 650,000 dekatherms per day of firm transportation service under long-term contracts to deliver natural gas from supply sources in Pennsylvania to interconnections with the Iroquois and Tennessee Gas Pipeline systems for further transportation. For these reasons, the Commission finds that New York DEC has not demonstrated that it will suffer irreparable harm and further finds that a stay would harm Constitution and would not be in the public interest. Therefore, the request for stay is denied."

The Order can be found online here:

https://www.ferc.gov/CalendarFiles/20190828174308-CP18-5-000.pdf