Hearing planned for gas pipeline expansion expected to affect Norwich, Montville wetlands

Norwich - The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will host a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 9 at the Holiday Inn to hear comments about an environmental analysis on the impact of a natural gas pipeline expansion that would impact wetlands and waterways in Norwich, Montville, Lebanon and Franklin, as well as towns in western and central Connecticut and Massachusetts and New York state.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which has been asked to grant a separate permit for the project, will participate in the hearing. Comments will be taken at the hearing both on the impact statement and the permit application.

The expansion is proposed by Alogonquin Gas Transmission, which is seeking a permit from the Army Corps to deliver 342,000 dekatherms per day of natural gas service to Connecticut and Massachusetts.

FERC, the lead agency for the review of this project, has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement. The draft statement and instructions for submitting comments to FERC can be found at http://1.usa.gov/1tjC7Br. For assistance, call (866) 208-3676 or email FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov.

The permit application states that the project would involve filling about 1.4 acres of waterways and wetlands.

The project would include replacement of 13.5 miles of existing pipeline and installation of 8.4 miles of new pipeline. An estimated 69 waterways and 86 wetlands would be temporarily or permanently impacted, the corps said in a news release.

The project would also include modifications to 13 metering stations, including those in Salem and Montville.

Comments on the permit application should be sent no later than Sept. 19 to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (Attn: Cori Rose), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751.

For additional information, contact Permit Project Manager Cori Rose at (978) 318-8306 or at (800) 343-4789 or (800) 362-4367, or at cori.m.rose@usace.army.mil.

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