Natural gas pipeline permit application withdrawn — for now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CLEARVIEW — A company has withdrawn a permit application to upgrade nearly 6 miles of natural gas pipeline through unincorporated Snohomish County.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; nhaglund@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @NWhaglund.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Everett
Everett gets state Auditor’s Office stewardship award

State Auditor Pat McCarthy presented the award during the most recent Everett City Council meeting.

Representative Rick Larsen speaks at the March For Our Lives rally on Saturday, June 11, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Larsen to hold community meeting in Everett on Monday

The veteran Democratic lawmaker will address recent legislation passed by Congress and other topics.

King County map logo
U.S. 2 closed near Skykomish again due to Bolt Creek fire

A 1-mile stretch of U.S. 2 was closed in both… Continue reading

FILE - Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., speaks during a news conference the vote to codify Roe v. Wade, in this May 5, 2022 file photo on Capitol Hill in Washington. Murray is one of the U.S. Senate's most powerful members and seeking a sixth term. She is being challenged by Tiffany Smiley, a Republican from Pasco, Wash. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
Providence continues to face questions about hospital debt collection

The hospital group has pushed back against the notion that Providence “intentionally takes advantage of those who are vulnerable.”

Officers working in North Everett located and arrested the suspect from a June 20 shooting that left two dead and one injured in the 2000 block of Lexington. (Everett Police Department)
Everett triple shooting suspect tied to another homicide

A search warrant points to Shayne Baker, 26, as the suspect in the killing of Scott Pullen at a storage facility in Everett.

People gather outside of the new Northwest Carpenters Institute building prior to a grand opening celebration Thursday, Sep. 29, 2022, in Burlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Building a workforce: Northwest Carpenters expand training center

About 160 Snohomish County tradespeople take the apprentice classes in Burlington center. There’s ample room to grow.

A Coast Guard cutter searches for a crashed chartered floatplane near Mutiny Bay Monday afternoon in Freeland, Washington on September 5, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
5 more bodies recovered from floatplane crash off Whidbey

About 80% of the plane, including the engine, was recovered using remotely operated vessels.

Students make their way after school at Edmonds-Woodway High School on March 12, 2020. All public and private schools in Snohomish, King and Pierce counties must close for six weeks. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Police: Student, 15, arrested with loaded gun at Edmonds high school

Around 1 p.m., students reported a classmate with a gun at Edmonds-Woodway High School.

Carolanne Warren directs her mother through the ruts on Mt. Pilchuck Road Wednesday afternoon in Granite Falls, Washington on September 7, 2022.   (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
To get to iconic Pilchuck lookout, hikers must brave ‘hell on wheels’

Mount Pilchuck is one of the most beloved hikes in the region. The 7-mile pothole-riddled road to get there? Not so much.

Most Read