HOWELL, Mich. (AP) — Plans for a natural gas pipeline are being modified to pass through fewer Michigan counties following resistance to the project from residents near the initially proposed route.
Officials with Rover Pipeline announced Monday that a deal with an existing pipeline operator means the ET Rover pipeline will no longer be built in Genesee, Lapeer, Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair and Shiawassee counties, the Detroit Free Press and MLive.com reported.
"As a part of the project, we're always looking at route tweaks and alternative routes," ET Rover spokeswoman Vicki Granado said. "This has been something in the works and analyzed for a while."
Terms of the deal with operators of the Vector Pipeline were not disclosed.
Republican U.S. Rep. Candice Miller of Michigan applauded the news. She asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to "thoroughly and transparently" address the concerns of residents along the proposed pipeline route.
"I have long advocated for greater access to energy, and that obviously means additional infrastructure to transport it, but we must ensure that we do it in a way that minimizes disruption for homeowners and local communities," she said in a statement.
The ET Rover pipeline requires federal approval. It would carry more than 3 billion cubic feet of gas per day from production areas of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio to Midwest markets including Michigan and beyond through a hub near Sarnia, Ontario.
Genesee County's Mundy Township was among the communities upset over the project. Township Supervisor David Guigear said it's an important update for local residents that appears will lessen the potential impact on some communities.
"I am pleased that they listened to the people who would have been affected by this project," he said.
The 42-inch pipeline would still be partly constructed in Michigan, from a hub in Defiance, Ohio, and run through Lenawee, Washtenaw and Livingston counties. It would link with the existing Vector pipeline, operated by DTE Energy and Enbridge.
Rover Pipeline is a subsidiary of Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners. The 348-mile, 42-inch Vector Pipeline began operation in 2000, officials said. It transports about 1.3 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from the Chicago area to parts of Indiana and Michigan, and then to Canada.