2017-02-23 / News

Consumers Energy to enlarge gas line on right of ways

GENESEE COUNTY — Although a final route depends on the attainment of easements, Consumers Energy reports they will be replacing about 78 miles of 12 and 16-inch gas transmission pipeline which is reaching the end of its operational life with a new 24-inch pipeline (called the Saginaw Trail Pipeline project).

For Grand Blanc, this means the right of way where the pipeline already delivers gas to homes will be under construction to add the bigger pipe, however, Consumers has measures in place to ensure no service is interrupted.

Based on their original filing with the Michigan Public Service Commission(MPSC), the proposed new line would be built at the Oakland County line at the south end of the township just east of Halsey and Ray Road and follow a direct route north parallel and slightly west of Dort Hwy.

At that point it would meet with the existing line which runs between Fox Hill Glens Apartments and the Grand Wailea subdivision, jogs northeast south of Gibson Rd., and then follows an eastward track about two-tenths of a mile south of Hill Rd., to just east of Vassar in Atlas Township.

It then goes north to Clio before tracking west again. Including re-routes around urban areas, the pipeline will be 94 miles in length and in some areas will be rerouted to avoid proximity to residential backyards and areas of environmental sensitivity. In other areas it will follow the existing route. When the pipeline was originally built in 1942 much of the current developed land was primarily agricultural.

Wherever possible Consumers Energy is following its utility easements, or will be obtaining new ones, trying to determine the route of least impact on customers and the environment. The plan must first be approved by MPSC.

The original request filed with the MPSC and following documents, in extended detail, are available online at: http://efile.mpsc.state. mi.us/efile/viewcase.php?casenum= 18166. Detailed local maps are on pages 79-82 here: http://efile.mpsc.state. mi.us/efile/docs/18166/0001. pdf.

If approved, construction of this new pipeline will begin in the summer of 2017 and will involve approximately 650 landowners in Saginaw, Genesee and Oakland Counties. Construction will be completed in five phases, with final completion anticipated by 2022.

Cost of the project is $636 million. Consumers Energy has serviced Michigan with natural gas for more than 130 years and assures customers it is committed to ensuring pipeline integrity and the ability to continue providing safe and reliable products to its customers.

Their press release also assures they will work with all applicable federal, state and local agencies to ensure any environmental concerns are taken into consideration and will have an onsite environmental monitor present throughout construction. — P.S.

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