Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that the agency will lead the 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.
“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,” said LaHood. “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. will modernize its Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC gas transmission and storage system by replacing aging infrastructure that serves communities in six states, including the Marcellus shale gas production region, where the majority of the pipeline infrastructure is more than 40 years old and running on inefficient platforms.
This massive modernization project will take place in Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. NiSource projects that the modernization project will:
- Invest $4 billion over 10-15 years, beginning in 2012;
- Produce an estimated 7,000- 8,000 direct jobs by replacing aging infrastructure with safer and more reliable pipelines; and
- Replace 1,000 miles of large-diameter pipeline using domestic-made steel.
“A modern pipeline infrastructure is crucial for the efficient and safe delivery of our nation’s resources, and this is exactly the kind of project that government should help facilitate,” said PHMSA Administrator Cynthia Quarterman. “We will help them work through the process, and make sure the project is constructed safely.”