Path for new gas line released

With NRG Dunkirk planning on converting from being a coal-fired generator of electricity to using natural gas to power three generators, getting the needed amount of natural gas to the plant on Dunkirk’s harbor requires more transmission capabilities.

The route for that new natural gas line has been officially announced.

According to a legal notice in Tuesday’s OBSERVER, the 16-inch buried line will run some 11.3 miles from the plant’s Route 5 site to a new tap point in the existing Tennessee Gas Transmission Mainline Pipeline just west of Cummings Road in the town of Pomfret.

The plan calls for the pipeline to run approximately 1.3 miles through the city of Dunkirk, beginning at the NRG generating station and following the existing railroad tracks until crossing Point Drive North just north of Route 5, where it will turn south, following the existing National Grid electric transmission line right-of-way for some 0.4 miles adjacent to and parallel to Grid’s right-of-way.

The pipeline will then cross the CSX railroad tracks and follow along the south of the railroad right-of-way for approximately 0.4 miles through the town of Dunkirk. For some 1.6 of the approximately 1.7-mile route through the town of Dunkirk, the pipeline will be located adjacent to and parallel to the existing Grid right-of-way.

The pipeline would continue in a southwest then south direction when it gets to Pomfret and be located adjacent to and parallel to the existing National Grid right-of-way for the majority of the initial approximately 4.8 miles. The remaining approximately 3.4 miles of the pipeline route will traverse Pomfret in a new 50-foot-wide corridor to the new tap point with the existing Tennessee Gas Transmission Mainline Pipeline just west of Cummings Road in Pomfret.

According to the notice, the Dunkirk Gas Corporation will file an application with the state Public Service Commission for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need as required by Article VII of the state’s Public Service Law.

The Dunkirk Gas Corporation is a direct subsidiary of NRG, according to NRG spokesman David Gaier.

“The pipeline must receive a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need under Article VII of the NY State Public Service Law, from the NY PSC, before construction can begin,” Gaier added. “For the plant itself we need an air permit modification. We will start construction as soon as we receive our Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need.”

The project also includes the construction of a new metering station in Pomfret, a new regulating station within the NRG Dunkirk property fence line and two mainline isolation valves along the pipeline, one located in Pomfret and one in the town of Dunkirk.

The application will be filed with the PSC on or about Aug. 11. Once filed with the PSC, copies of the application will be available for public inspection during normal business hours at the Dunkirk Free Library, the Darwin R. Barker Library Association in Fredonia and the Cassadaga Branch Library. Copies will also be available in the PSC’s Albany office and the application will be posted on the PSC website, www.dps.ny.gov.

Interested persons may contact the secretary of PSC, Kathleen H. Burgess, by phone at 518-474-6530; fax at 518-486-6081; or email at secretary@dps.state.ny.us.

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