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DOE Considers Natural Gas Utility Service Options: Proposal Includes 30-mile Natural Gas Pipeline from Pasco to Hanford

January 23, 2012 - 12:00pm


RICHLAND, WASH. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is considering natural gas transportation and distribution requirements to support the Waste Treatment Plant (WTP) and evaporator operations at the Hanford Site in southeastern Washington State.

DOE awarded a task order worth up to $5 million to the local, licensed supplier of natural gas in the Hanford area, Cascade Natural Gas Corporation (Cascade). Cascade will support DOE and its Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) contractor in the preparation of the EIS to examine the potential for a service line extension by Cascade to this area of Hanford. The EIS is required by the National Environmental Policy Act.

DOE’s Notice of Intent to prepare the EIS in today’s Federal Register invites public comment on the scope of the EIS during a 30-day public scoping period and announces a public scoping meeting in Pasco, Washington, on February 9, 2012. DOE expects the EIS process to take approximately two years, which means the Hanford Site will be ready to make a decision on whether to proceed with the project to provide natural gas service during the 2014 or 2015 timeframe.

Natural gas would be the primary fuel source for the WTP and natural gas would replace the 242-A Evaporator’s current use of diesel fuel to generate steam.

Use of natural gas supports the goals and objectives of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct), Executive Order (EO) 13423, “Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management,” and EO 13514, “Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance,” as well as DOE goals for significantly reducing fuel costs, greenhouse gas emissions, and dependence on foreign fuel sources.