Tennessee Pipeline Construction Racks up 45 Violations in 3 Months

A conservation official in Pike County, PA is “fed up” with the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company and their project to expand their 300 Line pipeline by adding seven looping segments in Pennsylvania and New Jersey totaling 127 miles of 30-inch pipeline. Pike County Conservation District Executive Director Susan Beecher is asking the state DEP to assess a fine sooner rather than later, to send a message and encourage Tennessee to tighten up its operations.

The Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company has racked up 45 violations of the Clean Streams Law documented in 10 Pike County inspection reports in the last three months.

The violations happened in Lackawaxen, Shohola, Milford and Westfall townships between June 22 and Sept. 19, Pike County Conservation District Executive Director Susan Beecher reports.

Included in the violations are 17 instances in which dirt and sediment were discharged into Pennsylvania waters and pollution was documented.

In seven cases, violations were for work site conditions that had a potential for water pollution, and 21 examples of failure to implement or maintain effective erosion and sediment best management practices.

Environmental violations were also detected during inspections by the Wayne County Conservation District. Director Bob Muller said 16 inspections uncovered 15 violations in Wayne County.

Beecher expressed frustration at the number of violations during a conservation district board meeting Monday.

"The things we see go wrong are the same stupid mistakes over and over again. I do not trust the contractor and company to manage this project," Beecher said. "I am pressing the DEP to assess a penalty."

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection generally calculates penalties only once, when the project is finished and all the violations are added up.

Beecher wants to send a message now.

"To wait until they are done is not effective," Beecher said.*

*Stroudsburg Pocono Record (Sep 20, 2011) – Pike conservation official fed up with gas company’s violations