Shell Tries to Calm Troubled Ambridge Water Authority re Pipeline

Shell wants to build a 97-mile ethane pipeline to feed the mighty $6 billion cracker plant its building in Beaver County, PA. Shell chose not use eminent domain but instead negotiated with (paid big bucks for) rights of way along the pipeline’s path. Earlier this month additional details came out about the proposed project when the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) published an application from Shell for stream crossing permits. When the details became known, the Ambridge Water Authority (in Beaver County), an organization that oversees a reservoir that provides drinking water for ~30,000 people, expressed “strong opposition” to the route of the pipeline (see Ambridge Water Authority Strongly Opposes Shell Ethane Pipe Route). But wait. Didn’t Ambridge know the route back in October 2017, when Shell first filed an application for the project? Yes they did. However, the stream crossing permit application reveals details either not in, or not obvious, in the original application–details that the pipeline will go under three streams that feed the Ambridge reservoir. That got the board up in arms. In a statement, the Water Authority said, “we will do everything in our power to try and have the pipeline relocated outside of our watershed and away from our main, and only, raw water line.” Tuesday night the Authority held a regularly scheduled meeting. Shell sent along several officials to talk with members of the board, to try and calm the troubled waters at Ambridge, so to speak. Did it work? Not really…

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