How much of the route has changed since the project was introduced?

Williams has made adjustments to more than 50 percent of the original route to address concerns identified by landowners, public officials and permitting agencies.

Williams has already incorporated more than 400 route variations into the proposed route to address stakeholder concerns – and we are still making adjustments. As recently as May 18, 2016, we made a supplemental filing with FERC, which included the adoption of 39 additional minor route adjustments in response to landowner requests.

Is the route now considered final?

The route filed with FERC in the 7(c) Certificate Application reflects the current preferred alignment incorporating data, comments and input received through Dec. 1, 2014. As additional data is gathered the preferred route may still be adjusted after filing the 7(c) application with FERC. Alternatives that have been and are being considered for the project were filed with FERC as part of the 7(c) application.

Will there be any local benefit from construction?

The FERC Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), issued in  May 2016, estimated that “construction activities will generate about $16.9 million in additional state taxes and that total payroll would be about $501.6 million during the construction phase.”

Researchers at The Pennsylvania State University forecast that the Atlantic Sunrise project will directly employ approximately 2,300 employees in the ten Pennsylvania counties during the project’s one-year construction phase. This will result in an estimated $1.6 billion increase in economic activity in the project area. The 2,300 employees would stimulate the local and regional economies in the project area and support an additional 6,000 indirect and induced jobs. The Project is also expected to generate an additional $245 million in labor income in the project area during construction. Additional positive economic impacts would continue during the operations phase. An estimated 15 full-time permanent positions will be needed to operate and maintain the pipeline, compressor stations, and related facilities. These 15 direct jobs are expected to support an additional 14 indirect and induced jobs. Maintenance and operations expenditures related to the Project are expected to generate approximately $1.9 million in labor income in the project area each year.

Click here to view the full Penn State study.

Was the route for the Central Penn Line chosen because it is less expensive than upgrading the existing Transco pipeline?

The existing Transco pipeline system is extremely capacity constrained in New Jersey and Southern Pennsylvania, as it operates in very densely populated areas. The Central Penn Line has been designed with fewer landowner and environmental impacts than could be accomplished by adding the same amount of looping and compression to the existing Transco pipeline. Attempting to do so would result in greater impacts to residential and development areas, land uses, forest lands, agricultural lands, wetlands and water bodies. In addition, because of encroachment of residential and commercial structures along the Transco system, certain areas would be nearly impossible to loop and would require other greenfield portions to be constructed, further increasing the overall impact of the project.

Will this gas be exported overseas?

We expect the vast majority of natural gas transported by this project will be consumed domestically in markets along the East Coast, displacing natural gas which previously originated in production areas located within the Gulf of Mexico. Domestic commercial, industrial and power generation markets throughout the Mid-Atlantic and southeastern United States will benefit from this new access to abundant and economic Marcellus gas supplies.

Pennsylvanians will consume natural gas transported by this project. The Transco pipeline already provides 1/3 of the natural gas consumed in Pennsylvania. For 50 years that gas originated in the Gulf of Mexico. Today, an increasing amount of that gas is coming from Pennsylvania. Once the Atlantic Sunrise project is placed into service, it will even further extend the reach of our existing Transco infrastructure so that those existing Transco customers in Pennsylvania and other parts of the country (local distribution companies, manufacturers, power plants, etc.) will have direct access to Marcellus supply originating in northeastern Pennsylvania. This is highly sought after because the price of natural gas sourced from this Marcellus supply area trades at a lower cost than natural gas originating from other gas supply basins (such as the Gulf of Mexico or Canada). So for example, even though your local distribution company may not be an Atlantic Sunrise customer, they can still contract directly with a Marcellus producer to receive gas supply via Atlantic Sunrise. The bottom line: all of Transco’s customers, including those in Pennsylvania, will benefit from the direct access the Atlantic Sunrise project will provide.

How is this expansion serving customers as far south as Alabama?

An important component of this project is the addition of facilities that will allow the Transco pipeline to flow gas bi-directionally. The natural gas supply landscape has shifted as a result of new gas discoveries, particularly those located in the Northeast. As a result, pipelines like Transco are being modified so that gas that used to flow south-to-north can also flow north-to-south. In 2001, just 2 percent of U.S. natural gas production was from shale gas. By 2011, shale gas accounted for 34 percent of total US natural gas production. By 2020, that share will grow to 64 percent.

Who are your customers?

Our customers are a mix of nine natural gas producers, local distribution companies and power generators located in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast United States.

It is important to note that even though your local distribution company may not be an Atlantic Sunrise customer, it can still contract directly with a Marcellus producer to receive gas supply via Atlantic Sunrise.

How do you expect this project to affect the price of natural gas?

This project will provide customers in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast United States with access to economically priced natural gas originating from the largest gas supply region in the country.

Because of a lack of pipeline infrastructure, during times of peak demand some Transco customers pay up to 25 times more than the price of gas traded on the spot market in Pennsylvania.

How large is the natural gas supply area accessed by this project?

The supply in the Marcellus-Utica is the single largest natural gas deposit in the country. In fact, the Marcellus produces more natural gas than all of Canada. Despite low commodity prices, the Marcellus Shale remains the country’s most active production area (more than 16 Bcf/d), accounting for 89% of the nation’s total growth in natural gas production (EIA).