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Longterm plans to build a new natural-gas pipeline that would cut through Lewis County and stretch from Sumas to Woodland are moving forward.

Williams, the Oklahoma-based company that already runs one natural-gas pipeline through Lewis County, filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to build, own and operate the new pipeline in June.

The proposed project, known as the Washington Expansion Project, would add about 140 miles of 36-inch diameter pipeline, paralleling the existing system between Sumas, Whatcom County, and Woodland, Cowlitz County.

About 26 miles of the new pipeline would run through Lewis County.

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Michele Swaner, spokeswoman for the Washington Expansion Project, said the reason for the new pipeline, which would transport an additional 1.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, is to respond to a request from Oregon LNG to provide more transportation of natural gas.

Oregon LNG exports liquefied natural gas.

Swaner said FERC requires the application to prove convenience and necessity before it will allow the project. It will take a year before FERC responds to the application, Swaner said. If the project stays on schedule, work would begin in the spring of 2017.

Before Williams could even apply with FERC, Swaner said, public-comments sessions have to be held. Local residents can view the application at the Centralia Timberland Library, the Chehalis Timberland Library and the Winlock Public Library.

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