The U.S. Department of Transportation will lead an effort to help expedite federal permitting for a 1,000 mile pipeline modernization project by NiSource, Inc. that will produce thousands of jobs, enhance safety and increase energy capacity.
Secretary Ray LaHood and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administrator Cynthia Quarterman recently met with Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and representatives from NiSource in Pittsburgh to pledge their support in expediting the construction.
Secretary LaHood said, “A year ago, I asked pipeline operators to take a hard look at their infrastructure and identify those sections of pipeline that need to be repaired, rehabilitated or replaced to ensure safer and more reliable delivery of energy resources. And we are happy to help NiSource speed up construction and replace some of the oldest pipelines in the nation, ensuring good jobs and increased safety for people in Pittsburgh, as well as throughout Pennsylvania and the other states that will benefit from this project.”
NiSource, Inc. has announced it will modernize its Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC gas transmission and storage system that serves communities in six states, including the Marcellus shale gas production region.
“At NiSource, we are pleased to play our part in this long-term, nation-wide commitment to enhancing America’s core energy infrastructure,” said Jimmy Staton, executive vice president and group CEO of NiSource’s gas transmission and storage business. “We welcome the Department of Transportation’s support in facilitating our investments through an efficient permitting and regulatory review process. We commend Secretary LaHood, Mayor Ravenstahl, President Obama and our many other federal, state and local stakeholders who play a role in helping modernize our nation’s energy infrastructure. We look forward to working together to get the job done.”
This modernization project will take place in Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, and it will promote the safe and reliable delivery of energy resources across the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States. NiSource projects that the modernization project will:
- Invest $4 billion over 10 to 15 years, beginning in 2012;
- Produce an estimated 7,000 to 8,000 direct jobs; and
- Replace approximately 1,000 miles of large diameter pipeline using domestic-made steel.
A year ago, Secretary LaHood issued a Call to Action to the nation’s pipeline operators, asking them to take a hard look at their infrastructure and identify pipelines that need to be repaired, rehabilitated or replaced to ensure safer and more reliable delivery of energy resources. This project is also in accordance with the President’s Executive Order to Improve Performance of Federal Permitting and Review of Infrastructure Projects.
This $4 billion commitment highlighted on Friday is in addition to the more than $4 billion NiSource started investing to modernize its local Columbia Gas utilities over the next two decades. Started about three years ago, the program has already replaced more than 1,000 miles of bare steel and cast iron lines with more modern, corrosion-resistant materials.
AGA members deliver clean natural gas to more than 177 million Americans every day through 2.4 million miles of pipeline infrastructure.