Natural gas pipeline permit application withdrawn — for now

Environmentalists have a long list of concerns about plans to enlarge almost six miles of pipe.

CLEARVIEW — A company has withdrawn a permit application to upgrade nearly 6 miles of natural gas pipeline through unincorporated Snohomish County.

The project known as the North Seattle Lateral Upgrade isn’t likely to disappear, however. Northwest Pipeline had been hoping to start construction next year to enlarge the transmission system serving Puget Sound Energy customers.

“We’re gathering information to supplement the application, and we’ll submit it as soon as we can,” said Keith Isbell, a spokesman for Northwest Pipeline’s parent company.

Northwest Pipeline is part of The Williams Companies Inc., based in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The upgrade would replace 8-inch pipe with 20-inch pipe. It would relocate and replace a short distance of 16-inch pipe, along with other upgrades.

The county last month issued a determination of non-significance for that work. The county withdrew the decision Nov. 14. That happened after Northwest Pipeline and county planners agreed more study was needed to gauge potential environmental impacts.

The withdrawal came after planners learned that a storage facility related to the upgrade sits in a channel migration zone, an area where a river or stream is likely to change course.

The project has attracted scrutiny from environmental groups. They’re asking the county to take a closer look at how the enlarged pipeline might increase pollution or safety risks. An estimated 45 people attended a Nov. 7 meeting at the Brightwater Center about the project, according to organizers.

Concerns include potential damage to wetlands from a project that would cross 15 streams. Critics worry the project would contribute to an increase in greenhouse gases. They say it relies on environmentally damaging fracking techniques to extract gas from the ground. They also point to deadly pipeline explosions in other parts of the country.

The North Seattle Lateral delivers gas to homes and businesses in north King and Snohomish counties.

The proposed upgrade would start west of the Bothell-Everett Highway and extend eastward until just short of Highway 9, passing through the communities of North Creek and Clearview. Much of the route lies south of 180th Street. It would cross 154 land parcels.

”The growth we have experienced in the region has put a strain on the infrastructure, which triggered the need for the upgrade so that PSE can continue to provide reliable service, especially on the coldest days of the year when demand for natural gas is highest,” said Janet Kim, a PSE spokeswoman.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted initial approvals for the upgrade earlier this year.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; Twitter: @NWhaglund.

Talk to us

More in Local News

A driver struck a woman in a motorized wheelchair Saturday in Lynnwood. (Lynnwood police)
Woman on wheelchair hit by car in Lynnwood, seriously hurt

The woman was on a sidewalk, passing by a drive-thru in Lynnwood, when a driver pulled out and hit her.

A barge worker hauls in an oil boom before heading off with the remains of the Mukilteo Ferry Dock ramp and pier on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021 in Mukilteo, Washington. With the new dock in operation, all that is left is to tear down the old ticket building. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Old Mukilteo ferry dock afloat on the barge of ‘Lincoln Logs’

The haul included 213 wood pilings, 15 concrete pilings, 47 steel pilings and a “Speed Limit 15” sign.

State Patrol worker from Everett charged with attempted child rape

Trevor Smith worked as a commercial vehicle enforcement officer assigned inspecting school buses.

FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2021, file photo, the Legislative Building is shown partially shrouded in fog at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. Washington state's richest residents, including Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, would pay a wealth tax on certain financial assets worth more than $1 billion under a proposed bill whose sponsor says she is seeking a fair and equitable tax code. Under the bill, starting Jan. 1, 2022, for taxes due in 2023, a 1% tax would be levied not on income, but on "extraordinary" assets ranging from cash, publicly traded options, futures contracts, and stocks and bonds. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Federal package could drive more than $10B to Washington

The state would get $7.6B for COVID response, schools and child care. Snohomish County is in line for $160M.

Samantha Lake
Missing girl, 12, found safely

Seattle FBI located Samantha Lake on Friday.

Everett man identified after being found dead in creek

The cause of death for Renee Baltazar Romero remained under investigation Thursday.

Jeanette Ho Shin Weddell, 96, died of COVID-19 on Dec. 29, 2020. (Contributed photo)
Marysville grandmother, 96, was one in half a million lost

In a week when the president took time to mourn COVID deaths, local families were grieving, too.

An access road leads into plot of land located in north Darrington that could potentially be used to build a 30-acre Wood Innovation Center, which will house CLT manufacturing and modular building companies on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 in Darrington, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
$6 million grant is green light for Darrington timber center

The Darrington Wood Innovation Center is set to become a reality — bringing roughly 150 jobs with it.

Report shows vaccine inequities in Snohomish County

The county’s Hispanic population is getting doses at a third of the rate of white residents.

Most Read