Dominion Energy has decided not to push forward with its $48 million pipeline project bringing Marcellus Shale natural gas from Pennsylvania to market in Eastern Ohio. Dubbed "The Sweden Valley Project," the company cited a protracted approval process at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) as its reason for pulling the plug.
In a letter to FERC, Dominion said that the environmental assessment issued last August concluded "if Dominion constructs and operates the proposed facilities in accordance with its application and supplements, and the staff's recommended mitigation measures below, approval of the Project would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment."
Nonetheless the positive assessment did not add any wind to Dominion sails, leading to a situation where the company will not be able to meet contractual demands for its gas.
Don Santa, a former FERC commissioner, said in an email that "in many cases, pipeline applicants request decision dates in order to be able to meet construction schedules and fulfill contractual obligations to the shippers who will transport natural gas using the newly constructed pipeline capacity."
Neil Chatterjee, FERC Chairman, reacted to the news on Twitter on Friday afternoon, saying he was "deeply disappointed that the unique circumstances of this case prevented the Commission from approving the project as quickly as the applicant had hoped, and that, as a result they are withdrawing the application."