People sound off to builder over Natural Gas Pipeline in Lancaster County

“I want you to get your dirty pipeline, and your greedy intentions out of my beautiful county,” said Sherry Wolfe, who grew up in Lancaster County. “With your track record of accidents we do not believe any of the lies that you’re public relations team is spinning,” Wolfe said to representatives of Williams, the proposed builders of a Natural Gas Pipeline awaiting approval in Lancaster County.

People came from all over Lancaster County to a meeting with Lancaster County Commissioners Tuesday.

“The people have a right to clean air, pure water and the preservation of our natural environment,” one man said.

“This could undermine the years of work, and millions of dollars invested in protecting this landscape and the waters that run through it,” said Mark Platts, President Susquehanna Gateway Heritage Area.

Lancaster County Commissioners also spoke out. “Once this line goes through are Lancaster county residents ever able to have to economic benefit from that line, or is this just the means to move it through and send it everywhere else?” questioned Commissioner Scott Martin.

“Because we are Federally regulated, we cannot deny anyone from tapping into our line, or putting gas in, or taking gas out. It’s not a simple process to do that, it’s a very expensive process,” said Cindy Ivey, a spokesperson with Williams.

The representatives appeared before commissioners and the public to share their preliminary plans and field questions.

The proposed ‘Atlantic Sunrise Project’ would connect Marcellus Shale pipelines to the Trasnco Pipeline that already runs through Southern Lancaster County. The pipeline would run through several counties in Lancaster.”Because we already have three main lines going through Southern Lancaster County, this is the prime place for the gas to enter the Transco system for the southward flow,” said Ivey.

The company said this will expand their capacity by 20%, and is the biggest undertaking to date for the company.

The project still has to be approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. If approved pipelines could be installed by 2017.

“If FERC does approve a pipeline, I think everyone is in agreement that it will leave a lasting scar on Lancaster County,” said Lancaster County Commissioner Craig Lehman.

Atlantic Sunrise Project
Williams operates a natural gas transmission pipeline known as the Transco pipeline, which transports natural gas from production areas to customers such as utility companies and power plants located throughout the northeastern and southeastern United States.

In response to a supply shift, Williams is in the preliminary stages of developing a pipeline proposal known as the Atlantic Sunrise Project. This proposal is being designed to de-bottleneck pipeline capacity constraints.. It would include expanding the existing Transco transmission pipeline by adding new pipeline infrastructure in Pennsylvania, as well as modifying some existing Transco facilities in other states, to allow gas to flow from north to south.

Preliminary Schedule
Spring 2014 – Field surveys begin
Spring 2014 – FERC pre-filing process begins
Late spring 2014 – Open houses and informational meetings
Early 2015 – Submit 7(c) application to FERC
Summer 2016 — Anticipated construction start
Second half of 2017 – Target in-service