News Release
Feb. 02, 1998

MARITIMES & NORTHEAST PIPELINE RECEIVES DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT FOR PHASE H

BOSTON -- The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued on Friday, January 30, 1998, a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the remainder of Phase II of the natural gas pipeline proposed by Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, L.L.C. This portion of the project includes approximately 200 miles of mainline pipeline traversing southern, central and eastern Maine from Westbrook to Baileyville as well as 147 miles of laterals and spurs to serve paper mills and electric generators.

"We are extremely pleased with the commission’s timely action in issuing the DEIS. This is another significant step in enabling Maritimes & Northeast to meet our U.S. regulatory schedule and our in-service date of November 1999," said George Mazanec, chairman of the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline Management Company. "Achieving this milestone provides our customers in Atlantic Canada and the Northeast U.S. added reassurance that we’ll be ready to meet their energy needs before the turn of the century."

On September 24, 1997, Maritimes & Northeast received from FERC a preliminary determination on non-environmental matters to build, own and operate Phase II. Maritimes & Northeast plans to transport natural gas from the Sable Offshore Energy Project (SOEP) to markets in Atlantic Canada and the Northeast United States by November 1999.

Canada’s National Energy Board approved applications from SOEP and the Canadian portion of the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline Project in December 1997. Drilling offshore Sable Island is anticipated to begin in the second quarter of this year.

The DEIS issued by FERC studies the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of this portion of the proposed project. The DEIS concluded that the project can be constructed with limited adverse environmental impact. FERC will be holding public meetings in Maine to receive comments on the DEIS prior to issuing a final environmental impact statement. The public comment period will close on March 23, 1998.

"We appreciate the input we have received on the project from FERC staff, state and local officials, and landowners," stated Tom O’Connor, president of the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline Management Company. "We have addressed many of the issues brought to our attention and will continue to work with interested parties to resolve the siting issues that remain.

The Maine Board of Environmental Protection and Land Use Regulation Commission are also reviewing applications submitted by Maritimes & Northeast. Public hearings on these applications are expected to be held this spring and summer. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is also reviewing an application submitted by Maritimes & Northeast.

The first phase of the pipeline from Dracut, Mass. to Westbrook, Maine, received final approvals from FERC in 1997. For this part of the project, construction is expected to begin this spring with an in-service date of November 1998.

Duke Energy, through its affiliates, is responsible for the overall development of the $1 billion, 800-mile Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline and directly responsible for the United States portion of the project. Westcoast Energy Inc., a major energy company located in Vancouver, British Columbia, is responsible for the development of the Canadian pipeline portion of the project.

Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK) is a global energy company with more than $20 billion in assets. Duke Energy companies provide electric service to approximately 2 million customers; operate pipelines that deliver 12 percent of the natural gas consumed in the United States; and are leading marketers of electricity, natural gas and natural gas liquids. Globally the companies develop, own, and operate energy facilities and provide engineering, management, operating and environmental services. Contact Duke Energy on the World Wide Web at http://www.duke-energy.com.

Contact: Brian prenda
Phone: 617 560-1450
24 Hour Phone: 704 382-8333
Email: media_relations@duke-energy.com