PUC Approves Joint Settlement Permitting Bi-Directional Operations Along Laurel Pipeline; Maintains State Oversight, Preserves East-West Capacity
Published on 8/29/2019
Filed under: Gas
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today approved a Joint Petition for Approval of Settlement permitting the initiation of bi-directional service of petroleum products along the Laurel Pipeline, while preserving the existing east-to-west capacity that enables transportation service from points of origin near Philadelphia to delivery points in western Pennsylvania.
The Commission voted 5-0 to adopt a Recommended Decision by Administrative Law Judge Eranda Vero recommending approval of the joint settlement agreement among Laurel Pipeline Company, L.P. (Laurel); the PUC’s independent Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement (I&E); and several Complainants, including Giant Eagle, Inc., Guttman Energy, Inc., Lucknow-Highspire Terminals LLC, Monroe Energy, Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refining & Marketing LLC, and Sheetz, Inc.
The settlement agreement reaffirms the Commission’s jurisdiction over the Laurel Pipeline. In its Statement in Support (of the settlement agreement), I&E asserted that Laurel satisfactorily addressed safety issues raised in this proceeding, stipulating the company’s commitment to ongoing compliance with federal pipeline safety regulations while providing for I&E’s Safety Division to continue pipeline inspections. Additionally, today’s approved joint settlement agreement includes the following key provisions:
- Guarantees the Complainants substantial east-to-west capacity on the Laurel pipeline for a significant period of time;
- Limits, subject to contingencies, Laurel and Buckeye’s right to propose further extensions of bi-directional service or a full reversal of service;
- Establishes a process for disseminating information, convening calls/meetings to resolve complaints regarding bi-directional service; and
- Permits the proposed initiation of bi-directional service on October 1, 2019, pursuant to Transportation Service Agreements between Buckeye and certain committed shippers, providing access to new Pennsylvania markets for petroleum products originating in the Midwest.
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Docket No.: C-2018-3003365
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