ME2 Construction in Lebanon County Stopped for 50 Gal Mud Spill

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) has just shut down further drilling for the Mariner East 2 Pipeline project at Snitz Creek in Lebanon County, PA because of a 50 gallon spill of non-toxic drilling mud. This isn’t the first time the DEP has stopped underground horizontal directional drilling (HDD) work at Snitz Creek. Last November they did the same thing for a piddly 1 gallon spill (see PA DEP Shuts Down ME2 Drilling in Lebanon, PA for 1 Gal Mud Spill). In the parlance of today, leaking 50 gallons of drilling mud into Snitz Creek is a nothing-burger. Biased reporters like those at PBS StateImpact Pennsylvania make it out to be the environmental crime of the century. There’s more environmental damage from overfilling a gas tank at the local Sheetz that spills two gallons of gasoline onto the pavement than there is from spilling 50 gallons of non-toxic kitty litter (or toothpaste, or lipstick) into Snitz Creek. But there you go. Sunoco voluntarily reported the incident, and was promptly shut down at that site until further notice. Meanwhile, a few weeks ago a farmer in nearby Lancaster County spilled 100,000 gallons of manure into two creeks–with zero consequences. Why didn’t the DEP shut down the farm?…
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Maryland Approves NatGas Pipeline Under Potomac River

Anti-fossil fuel nutters have been on a holy mission to stop a 3.5-mile, 8-inch pipeline from being built under the Potomac River by Columbia Gas (see Maryland Antis Oppose 13th Pipeline Under Potomac as “Dangerous”). The pipeline will be built to feed a larger pipeline project being built by Mountaineer Gas called the Eastern Panhandle Expansion–a pipeline to deliver natural gas via local distribution channels to a new industrial facility in Berkeley County, WV, and to provide gas to other local businesses and residents in the Tri-State area. Last week MDN reported that Mountaineer has just begun work on their project (see Mountaineer Gas Begins Work on Morgan County, WV Pipeline). We commented that Maryland, under RINO Gov. Larry Hogan, had not (yet) caved to radical antis and their pressure to block the Columbia project–which would be the 13th pipeline Columbia has built under the Potomac River (see Maryland Antis Oppose 13th Pipeline Under Potomac as “Dangerous”). Good news. On Friday Maryland (surprisingly) granted the necessary permits for the Columbia project…
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Empire Pipe Plans 2 Compressors in PA & NY to Move Marcellus Gas

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Empire Pipeline, the midstream (pipeline) subsidiary of National Fuel Gas Company (based in Buffalo, NY), earlier this month filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to build two new compressor stations along the Empire Pipeline–one in Tioga County, PA, the other in Ontario County, NY. Without building any new pipeline, the addition of these two compressor stations will allow an extra 205,000 dekatherms per day (or 205 million cubic feet/day) of PA Marcellus gas to flow through the Empire Pipeline system. The project, called Empire North Project, will provide much-needed natural gas for Upstate NY and Canada. It will also connect to the Tennessee Gas Pipeline, so who knows? Maybe some Marcellus molecules will find their way into New England too. The gajillion dollar questions is, will the Andrew Cuomo-corrupted NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation try to stop this project as they have just about all other Marcellus-to-NY projects?…
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FERC OKs Transco Garden State Expansion Phase 2 for Startup

In April 2016, three Obama-appointed Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) commissioners approved the $116 million Williams Transco Garden State Expansion pipeline project (see FERC Approves NJ Pipeline – More Marcellus Gas on the Way!). The project was created to address supply disruptions following Superstorm Sandy in 2012. By upgrading compressor stations and adding a new meter station, the Garden State Expansion project will supply an extra 180 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of natural gas to a new delivery point on Transco’s existing Trenton Woodbury Lateral pipeline. However, two towns in Burlington County, NJ (Bordentown and Chesterfield), where some of the work would be done for Phase 2 of the project, filed a lawsuit last year asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to overturn FERC’s previous decision to allow the project (see FERC Fights NJ Town Effort to Decertify Garden State Expansion). We’re happy to report the lawsuit was unsuccessful. We’re even happier to report that both compressors are built and as of Friday, FERC granted permission for both stations to come online and begin pumping extra Marcellus gas through the system…
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PA State Program Spends $980K for NatGas Pipe in Monroe County

Monroe County, PA

Every now and again Pennsylvania spends money to build new local distribution pipeline systems to bring home-grown Marcellus Shale gas to PA residents. The state has a program called the Pipeline Investment Program (PIPE). Last November the PIPE program committed $1 million (out of a $2.4 million project) to fund natural gas lines in Tunkhannock Township (Wyoming County), to provide Marcellus Shale gas to 102 residential homes, 13 businesses and several civic buildings (see PA Approves $2.4M Project to Run NatGas Pipes in Wyoming County). The program continues. On Friday the state announced another such investment–this time in Monroe County. The PIPE program is chipping in $980,000 as part of a $2.7 million project to construct a natural gas line extension along the Route 611 corridor in Pocono Township to the Monroe County Transit Authority…
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Spirited Defense of Proposed Potter County Shale Wastewater Plant

In January MDN told you that a new shale wastewater treatment facility that works in tandem with a local sewage treatment plant may be on the way in Coudersport (Potter County), PA (see Shale Wastewater Treatment Plant Planned for Potter County, PA). Epiphany Water Solutions, via a subsidiary company called Epiphany Allegheny, plans to build a centralized water treatment facility in Coudersport. That brought out the antis who made all sorts of wild accusations, including the Seneca Indians which live 65 miles down the Allegheny River from the proposed site (see Seneca Indians Fighting Proposed Potter County Wastewater Facility). The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently published an update on the controversy. It is an extensive article written by anti-fossil fuel “reporter” Don Hopey. The way it’s spun: shale wastewater has high levels of radioactivity (a false assertion, but it’s made nonetheless), and over time even treated wastewater with radioactivity will “degrade” the Allegheny River–a river that provides drinking water for “millions of people downstream, including Pittsburgh.” That’s the anti argument against this project, in a nutshell. Scare millions of people that their drinking water supply will be threatened by this nasty, filthy, vile recycling plant. However, the article uncharacteristically presents the Epiphany side of the argument, the counterargument to these false claims…
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Other Energy Stories of Interest: Mon, Mar 19, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: Marcus Hook refinery fined $750K; it’s time to get an ethane cracker up and running somewhere in the northeast; Ohio’s DeWine says he’ll be kind to Ohio Utica if elected gov; pipeline build-out unplugs Marcellus constraints; Heinz opposes fracking to protect its own foreign investments; Ohio figures out how to reduce methane emissions without govt interference; electric vehicles are always five years away; natgas under assault in some states; and more!
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