Did Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Contribute to Mobile Home Park Flood?

Sometime this week we expect to blow the trumpets and wave the flags that finally (finally!) the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline in Pennsylvania has begun flowing Marcellus gas south. Typically pipelines like Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise do a good job of working with landowners and municipalities to address concerns and tweak the route. We’ve heard some legitimate complaints over the past few years when a pipeline company seemed to turn a deaf ear to concerns by landowners. But usually those complaints were from other builders, not Williams. This time we have a story to share that (for us) is atypical. When building Atlantic Sunrise in Lancaster County, Williams said it was necessary to “temporarily” remove a stormwater basin (small pond to catch runoff) near two dozen mobile homes in Rapho Township. Over the objections of the local town, Williams went ahead (with state Dept. of Environmental Protection blessing) and completely removed the stormwater basin. Then a series of unfortunate events happened. Some 10 inches of rain fell–quite unheard of, supposedly a 1,000-year event. And the mobile home park got flooded. Would the nearby stormwater basin have helped prevent the flood if it were still there? Maybe, but (according to town officials), probably not. Not with 10 inches of rain. Still, it does raise a question. Was the flooding of the park made worse because the basin was gone? And if so, how much worse?…

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