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Fundraiser draws crowd in pipeline fight

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Martic Soul, a part of Lancaster Against Pipelines, held a fundraiser on Saturday at Tellus360 in Lancaster.

It was a different kind of events for the group, after months of protests. Williams Partners, developer of the proposed Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline, submitted its final route to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission this week. Pipeline opponents say they're gearing up for a long fight.

"The infrastructure of pipelines is coming to our county, and if we don't stand up and try and stop it now and protect whats sacred to us now, I don't know when we will before its too late," says Melinda Clatterbuck of Martic Township.

At the event at Tellus360, called "Tell Us about the Pipeline," the Lonesome Stragglers and Robert Bobby Duo performed, and there were poetry readings and a slideshow.

The money from the fundraiser will go to help the group send out mailings, pay to reserve spaces for town hall meetings and help cover legal fees. They're trying to track down landowners affected by the route of the pipeline.

"Our approach is wait until it gets to eminent domain," says Clatterbuck. "Then the less likely FERC is to give permission for this pipeline to go through, so you can then negotiate how much you want for your land, so do your homework."

Williams Partners says they've worked for the past year to develop solutions to address concerns and they've changed nearly half of the overall route as a direct result of feedback.

Protestors say they will organize more fundraisers and they're pushing for townships to pass ordinances banning pipelines.

"This is big time stuff, and we're not stupid, we're not blind we're doing this knowing there could be a lawsuit and we accept that," says Tim Spiese of Martic Township.