Conestoga 8 plea guilty in Lancaster County Court

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A group of pipeline protestors known as the Conestoga 8 plead guilty in Lancaster County Court Thursday. They now owe a $100 fine plus court charges for a total of $253. Last month, police arrested them for trespassing on PPL owned land, along the Conestoga River. It's where Williams Partners was collecting soil samples to determine construction methods for the Atlantic Sunrise natural gas project.

In an ongoing attempt to end natural gas drilling, dozens of pipeline protestors united outside of the Lancaster County District Justice Office, in Millersville.

Protestor, Sally Wilson says, "We had eight people who were incredibly brave, put their reputations on the line, families, by coming out and standing up for everybody."

The Conestoga 8 were arrested for shutting down Williams Partners pipeline preparation work along the banks of the Conestoga River. The District Attorney's office offered them a deal to drop charges, but only if they avoid stepping on PPL owned land. The group rejected the deal and pleaded guilty.

Dr. Nancy Jeffries was arrested. She says, "Our pride for our land, our concerns and love for Lancaster County is what motivated all of us to act."

A spokesman for Williams Partners says the company ensures their work is conducted safely to avoid sensitive cultural resource impacts. But the Conestoga 8 attorney, Tom Houghton, says his clients are still afraid.

Houghton says, "This is not just a pursuit because it's a fun hobby. These folks are concerned for their property, homes, community, family."

After court, Lancaster residents made another stop at Williams Partners in Greenfield Industrial Park.

Dr. Jeffries says, "They have refused to engage with us, the community, so now we will knock on their door and tell them, your dangerous pipeline is not welcome in Lancaster County."

Protestors say they'll continue to stand up for what they believe in, even if means breaking the law again.

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