Shale + Large Conventional Gathering Pipes Added to PA One Call

In just about every state in the country, before you start digging a hole in the ground for some reason (water well, septic system, laying an underground electric line, etc.)–the first thing you do is call 811 or some similar phone number. The “one call” or “first call” reaches a state-authorized (not necessarily state-run) office where they have, on file, maps detailing any kind of underground cables, pipelines and other infrastructure. If such underground structures exist, a representative of the owner for the underground line will, if necessary, stop by and mark the areas so when you do begin digging, you don’t hit it. Makes sense. A bill introduced last year in the Pennsylvania legislature would “enhance” the existing 811 law in PA. One of the “enhancements” is that it removes an exclusion for low-pressure natural gas gathering pipelines from being required to be part of the 811 system, mainly lines run to low-producing conventional gas wells. The bill was opposed by the Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association (see PIOGA Opposes Bill to Regulate Unregulated PA Gathering Pipelines). The bill was reintroduced in March of this year (see PA State Senator Introduces Bill to Regulate Gathering Pipelines). Once again PIOGA pushed back, and in June a compromise was reached to exclude pipelines running to “stripper wells”–i.e. low-producing conventional wells. With that compromise in place, both the PA Senate and House have voted to adopt the plan and it is now on its way to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk for a signature, which is expected to happen…

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