Federal regulators on Wednesday issued a key approval for a $93 million expansion of pipeline infrastructure that will bring more natural gas to Connecticut.
Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co.'s so-called Connecticut Expansion Project, first proposed in 2014, involves building nearly 14 miles of pipeline in New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut. The largest portion, 8.3 miles, will be in Suffield and East Granby.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's "notice to proceed" allows TGP, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, to begin construction, including the controversial clearing trees of trees in a state forest in Western Massachusetts.
Environmental groups and others had unsuccessfully challenged the project in Massachusetts state court. In December, Kinder Morgan agreed to pay the state $640,000 to compensate for tree removal in Otis State Forest, the Hartford Courant reported.
The project has a scheduled completion date of Nov. 1 and is expected to provide approximately 72,100 dekatherms per day of additional natural gas capacity to subsidiaries of Eversource and Avangrid, according to Kinder Morgan.
The company had previously proposed a much larger $3 billion pipeline project called Northeast Energy Direct, which it shelved last year, blaming a lack of needed customer commitments.