Natural gas pipeline in Lewis County to Woodland nears federal approval

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Centralia — A proposed natural gas pipeline that would cut through Lewis County and stretch from Sumas to Woodland is nearing approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Williams, the Oklahoma-based company that already runs one natural gas pipeline through Lewis County, filed an application last year with FERC to build, own and operate the new pipeline.

The project, known as the Washington Expansion Project, will add about 140 miles of 36-inch diameter pipeline, paralleling the existing system between Sumas and Woodland.

About 26 miles of the new pipeline will run through Lewis County, while 35 miles will go through Cowlitz County. Thurston County will have 8 miles of pipeline run through it.

Since applying last year, Michele Swaner, spokewoman for the Washington Expansion Project, said FERC recently requested a revised set of resource reports that better detail the pipeline plans.

Residents can view the application at the Centralia, Chehalis and Winlock Timberland libraries.

The resources reports and application are also available online at elibrary.ferc.gov. Public comments are welcome on all phases of the project.

If the project stays on schedule, work would begin in the spring of 2017, with an in-service date for the pipeline in November 2018.

The new pipeline, which will transport an additional 1.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, is being planned in response to a request from Oregon LNG to provide more transportation of natural gas, according to Williams.