Columbia East Side Expansion

Columbia Pipeline Group, Inc. was acquired by TransCanada Corporation in 2016. As a result, the Columbia content has been migrated to Transcanada's website. Visit Website

MapColumbia Pipeline Group's East Side Expansion project, in response to customer demand for additional capacity, is planning to upgrade and expand existing pipeline and compressor station facilities. The project involves the installation of new natural gas pipelines with approximately 9.5 miles in Chester County and 9.5 miles in Gloucester County, New Jersey. The project also includes modifications and upgrades to facilities in Northampton, Pike, Bucks and Montgomery Counties in PA, as well as Orange County, New York, and Harford County, Maryland. As of October 2015 this project is now complete and in service.

According to the East Side Expansion Project website, in response to landowner concerns, Columbia submitted a revised pipeline route to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). View a map of the re-routed Pennsylvania Segment.

Project Activity

Columbia Gas East Side Expansion Project Authorized to Commence Service

On October 21, 2015, FERC authorized Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC to commence service on their facilities associated with the Line 1278 Loop in Chester County, for the East Side Expansion Project. View Authorization

Columbia Gas Requests In-Service Authorization for East Side Expansion in Chester County

On October 19, 2015, Columbia Gas formally requested In-Service Authorization from FERC for the Line 1278 Loop, which is the portion of the East Side Expansion project that is located in Chester County. Hydrostatic testing was completed on October 15, 2015, and is ready to provide gas service. They have requested to commence service through this Loop no later than October 21, 2015. View Request

Columbia Gas finishes pipeline extension in Philadelphia
Philadelphia Inquirer, October 5, 2015

Columbia Gas Transmission L.L.C. has completed its East Side Expansion Project, adding 312 million cubic feet of capacity to its natural-gas pipeline surrounding Philadelphia. The company installed nine miles of additional pipeline in Chester County and nine miles in Gloucester County, along with additional capacity at its Milford Compressor Station and Easton Compressor Station in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The pipeline's customers include the 738-megawatt West Deptford Energy power plant in Gloucester County. View Article

Beaver Creek Crossing Notice

On June 23, 2015, FERC granted Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC's request to change the construction method at the first crossing of Beaver Creek (MP7.71-7.88). The new method of crossing will be via horizontal directional drilling, to avoid an existing sewer line. Residents should be aware that this could cause an increase in noise. View Notice

Cleanup complete of mud-like spill in Upper Uwchlan
June 18, 2015, Daily Local News

During the construction of the East Side Expansion Pipeline project by Columbia Pipeline Group, a mud-like substance was unintentionally released in a residential area. The material, called Bentonite, was inadvertently released in the unit block of Cambridge Road and the unit block of Buckingham Drive last Friday, said Scott Castleman, manager of external communications for Columbia Pipeline Group. A similar incident occurred last month during the start of the construction of this East Side Expansion Pipeline project. Bentonite was unintentionally released on May 2 near Hickory Park, in the township. During that incident, Castleman said the material was cleaned up within about 90 minutes. Castleman said landowners who have concerns about drilling activities near their home can 888-499-3450. View Article

FERC Partial Notice to Proceed Issued May 13, 2015

On May 13, FERC issued a Partial Notice to Proceed with Construction Activities on the Line 1278 Loop, allowing for the Beaver Creek conventional bore crossing. View Notice

Additional information on the May 2, 2015 Drilling Mud Incident in Upper Uwchlan Township

After receiving several questions from residents regarding the inadvertent release of drilling mud in Upper Uwchlan on May 2, 2015, CCPC spoke with Brendan Neal from Columbia to request additional information.

What was the liquid and how was it remediated?

The liquid, was drilling mud. This mud looks like a brown, glossy gel and is made primarily of bentonite. Bentonite is a naturally occurring non-toxic, non-hazardous clay that is found in the ground. The mud helps to facilitate the drill moving through the ground. The release was contained, and then put into a wastewater hauling truck to be treated and disposed of, in accordance with the environmental regulations.

Are there any restrictions on construction activities on peak use days/times at the park?

When Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) is selected as the method of construction, the crew works 24 hours a day until the job is complete, for safety purposes - to not leave the drill in the ground, or an empty hole, etc.

Why would this have occurred? Is this a common occurrence?

This occurrence is not unusual. It's called an inadvertent release with HDD. It tends to happen in areas where there is a high degree of porousness in the ground. If there is enough pressure, the mud will find its way to the surface, which is what happened in this instance. Columbia also indicated that had this occurred in an unpopulated or unmanned area, the drilling crew would know, due to either a drop in pressure, or loss of the mud, and would have been able to trace it back to the release site for containment.

Should residents be concerned about their wells?

If there was a release to occur in proximity to drinking water wells, there would be water quality testing and monitoring. If there were to be a hazard found, the Operator would supply potable water until the issue is resolved.

Are these incidents reported and documented?

Information on these inadvertent releases are documented and submitted to FERC and DEP in the regular reporting. (Additionally, the County Department of Emergency Services knew about this event, and was initially dispatched. Local responders subsequently indicated they were not needed to be on the scene.)

Spill Cleanup Complete in Upper Uwchlan
Daily Local News, May 5, 2015

According to the DLN article, "On Saturday, May 2, Columbia was performing horizontal directional drilling (HDD) near I-76 and had an inadvertent release of bentonite," said Scott Castleman, manager of external communications for Columbia Pipeline Group. "Bentonite is a non-toxic, mud-like substance used as a lubricant during the HDD process. The material was contained and cleaned up within approximately 90 minutes." View Article

April 16, 2015

On April 16, 2015 the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection reviewed Columbia Gas Transmission LLC's request for a 401 Water Quality Certification which had been submitted for DEP's review on December 11, 2013. The DEP letter, posted by FERC on May 4, 2015, indicates that the requested approval was granted. View Certification

March 13, 2015

On March 13, 2015, the following Filing was released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), providing a Partial Notice to Proceed with Construction Activities. This Notice will allow Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC, to begin certain construction activities for the East Side Expansion Project. It includes all certificated construction activities in uplands associated with the Line 1278 Loop in Chester County, including previously excluded tract ALT1-PA-CH-35.00. This approval excludes construction activities in wetlands as specified on page two of the letter. The Notice also allows for limited work at the Easton Compressor Station to begin in Northampton County, PA. View Notice

February 18, 2015

On February 18, 2015, the following Filing was submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), requesting approval to proceed with construction related to the Eagle Compressor Station and the crossing of Beaver Creek. View Request

January 7, 2015

In a letter dated January 7, 2015, Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC has formally requested a Notice to Proceed with construction of the East Side Expansion Project, in accordance with the FERC Certificate Order, dated December 30, 2014. The Certificate authorizes Columbia to move forward with construction from a Federal standpoint. The Operator must still obtain state-specific permits, in this instance; they still are working toward their PA DEP Chapter 105 permit (stream crossings and wetlands) and with the Conservation District on the Erosion and Sedimentation Control General Permit (ESCGP), neither of which have been issued to date. View Letter

December 18, 2014

In an Order, dated December 18, 2014, FERC has issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity, authorizing Columbia to construct and operate the East Side Expansion Project, as describe in this order and is authorized to abandon certain facilities by removal. View Order

September 29, 2014

On September 29, 2014, the Chester County Planning Commission (CCPC) and the Chester County Water Resources Authority (CCWRA) presented comments on the Draft Environmental Assessment for the Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC East Side Expansion Project.

August 29, 2014

On August 29, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued the Environmental Assessment (EA) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for comment. The FERC Docket Number is CP14-17-000. View Documents

To see all FERC postings on this project visit and enter Docket Number CP14-17 into the Search box.