Transco Wins “Precedential” Fed Court Decision to Use Eminent Domain

Williams’ Transco Pipeline has just won a major eminent domain court case for its Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project that will have implications for all pipelines. Yes, Atlantic Sunrise is now in the ground and flowing natural gas (see FERC Approves Atlantic Sunrise for Startup! Pipe Opens Sat. Oct. 6). However, a small group of landowners in Lancaster County opposed to Atlantic Sunrise resisted and would not allow Transco to build. So Transco sued and won a court order, based on the right of delegated eminent domain granted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), to immediately take possession of those properties and build the pipeline. The landowners continued to fight the order and the case eventually ended up in federal court.
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Lancaster Nuns Ask U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Pipeline Case

The Sisters of the Corn (our name for the a group of nuns in Lancaster County, PA) are not giving up their hypocritical lawsuit against Williams for building the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline across their property. As we told you in September, the sisters planned to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case, claiming infringement of religious freedom (see Lancaster Nuns Appeal Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Case to US Supreme Court). The sisters made good and filed. Yesterday morning they held a press conference on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court to try and catch a little more attention for their hypocritical case.
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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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Lancaster Nuns Appeal Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Case to US Supreme Court

The Sisters of the Corn (our name for the a group of nuns in Lancaster County, PA) are not giving up their wildly hypocritical lawsuit against Williams for building the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline across their property. The good sisters are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case, claiming infringement of religious freedom. The nuns use natural gas to heat an old folks home they operate, yet are trying to block the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline from traversing that very same property. We don’t know how they justify using natural gas yet actively try to block a pipeline that delivers it. The nuns, with the help of local anti group Lancaster Against Pipelines, stuck a garden trellis and a few wooden park benches in the middle of a corn field owned by the nuns (leased to a local farmer) directly in the path of the pipeline, declaring the site a “chapel.” Hence our attempt at humor, calling them “Sisters of the Corn.” The sisters then sued to block the pipeline based on religious grounds (see Lancaster Nuns Demand “Religious Freedom” Trial re Pipeline). It was a flimflam lawsuit from the beginning and the courts saw through it. The case was thrown out by a lower court, and appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third District. In July, the Third District tossed the case too (see Fed Court Tosses Lancaster Nuns’ Lawsuit re Atlantic Sunrise Pipe). The only legal option left to the sisters is to pray for a miracle–that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case, and find in their favor…
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Fed Court Tosses Lancaster Nuns’ Lawsuit re Atlantic Sunrise Pipe

It’s the end of the road for a highly hypocritical order of nuns in Lancaster, the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, who use natural gas to heat an old folks home they operate, yet are trying to block the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline from traversing that very same property. The nuns appear to be radical environmentalists. We don’t know how they justify using natural gas yet actively try to block a pipeline that delivers it. Only in the mind of a leftist. The nuns, with the help of local anti group Lancaster Against Pipelines, stuck a garden trellis and a few wooden park benches in the middle of a corn field they own (leased to a local farmer), declaring it a “chapel”–hence our attempt at humor, calling them “Sisters of the Corn.” The sisters then sued to block the pipeline based on religious grounds (see Lancaster Nuns Demand “Religious Freedom” Trial re Pipeline). It was a sham lawsuit from the beginning and the courts saw through it. The case was thrown out by a lower court, and appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third District. Yesterday that court tossed the case too. The nuns now say they are “exploring their options” for what to do next. We’d say they’ve run out of options. Upon hearing of the court’s ruling, the radicals at Lancaster Against Pipelines encouraged fellow wackos to continue breaking the law (i.e. “civil” disobedience) in order to protest the pipeline…
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Pipeline Rage: Anti Hits Flagger with Car in Lancaster Co.

Daniel Forry

This is “old” news. An old man (77 years old) got so “riled up” against Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline work happening near him in Lancaster County, PA that in three separate incidents he either engaged in violent acts, or threatened to. It’s old news in the sense that two of the incidents happened in March and one in June. However, the three incidents are just now coming to light. In one case, the crotchety old anti inched his car forward and “tapped” a flagger–someone standing on the roadway to prevent cars from passing and hitting workers who were crossing the road. In another incident, the man attempted to drive around a flagger, actually hitting him. The man’s actions are not only threatening and menacing, they are illegal and violent. What’s to say that next time the old man won’t simply run someone down? According to the District Attorney’s office no one was injured during his bouts of “pipeline rage.” The man has been served with papers to appear in court to answer for his illegal actions. Here’s the kicker. The old man, Daniel K. Forry, is a member of the board of education for the Hempfield School District…
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2 Lancaster Radicals Arrested Stopping Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Work

The married couple who started Lancaster Against Pipelines (LAP), Mark and Malinda Clatterbuck, are far-left radicals who pretend to be mom and pop, salt-of-the-earth, neighbor-next-door, aw-shucks common folks who would never engage in “violent” protests. Mark Clatterbuck admits to traveling to North Dakota to participate in the mass action against the Dakota Access Pipeline–a “protest” that turned quite violent and destroyed millions of dollars of property. No, we’re not saying nor implying that Clatterbuck himself engaged in illegal actions while there. We are saying the Clatterbucks’ sympathies lie with protest movements that sometimes result in such actions. The Clatterbucks made some big boasts–that some 1,000 people had pledged to protest and get themselves arrested to stop Atlantic Sunrise, a $3 billion, 198-mile pipeline project running through 10 Pennsylvania counties to connect Marcellus Shale natural gas from northeastern PA with the Williams’ Transco pipeline in southern Lancaster County. Something under 50 people have actually been arrested for illegal actions in trying to stop construction. As the Atlantic Sunrise project nears completion in all locations, including Lancaster County, apparently LAP is feeling neglected. Nobody talks about them anymore. They didn’t/couldn’t stop the pipeline, as they had boasted they would. So in an attempt to grab one more headline, Mark and another LAP protester, Elliot Martin, connected themselves together at a pipeline construction site using a “sleeping dragon”…
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PA DEP Grants Williams NE Supply Enhancement Pipe Key Permit

NESE map – click for larger version

The Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) is a Williams Transco Pipeline project meant to increase pipeline capacity and flows heading into northeastern markets (see Time to Support Transco’s Northeast Supply Enhancement Project). Transco wants to provide more Marcellus natural gas to utility giant National Grid beginning with the 2019-2020 heating season. National Grid operates in New York City, Long Island, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. There are a number of components to the project, but the key component, the heart of the project, is a new 23-mile pipeline from the shore of New Jersey into (on the bottom of) the Raritan Bay–running parallel to the existing Transco pipeline–before connecting to the Transco offshore. After an initial rejection by the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Williams refiled an application for the project in May with the DEC (see Williams Refiles Application with NY DEC for Transco NESE Project). Meanwhile, there are portions of the project in Pennsylvania that have already been approved by the PA’s Dept. of Environmental Protection. In a notice published in the June 16 Pennsylvania Bulletin, the DEP issued the project a Section 401 Water Quality Certification for work being done in Lancaster and Chester counties. According to the PA Environment Digest Blog: “The Project facilities consist of approximately 10.17 miles of new 42-inch diameter natural gas pipeline in Drumore, East Drumore, and Eden Townships, Lancaster County and the addition of one 21,902 horsepower motor-driven compressor at the existing Compressor Station 200 in East Whiteland Twp., Chester County.” Too bad the dysfunctional NY DEC couldn’t be more like the mostly-functional PA DEP…
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Atlantic Coast Pipeline Nearly Done in Lancaster County – July

Good news. The main part of the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project–where it runs through Lancaster County, PA–is almost finished. Atlantic Sunrise is a $3 billion, 198-mile pipeline project running through 10 Pennsylvania counties to connect Marcellus Shale natural gas from northeastern PA with the Williams’ Transco pipeline in southern Lancaster County. The most opposition to the pipeline has happened in Lancaster County. Right now 90% of the pipeline has been welded in Lancaster County and sits above ground. By the end of July, all of it will be done and buried in the ground. It won’t be long after that that the entire 198 miles will begin to flow northeast PA Marcellus gas…
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ATF Cuts Back on Agents Hunting for Perps Who Stole Dynamite

As we previously reported, someone(s) stole a bunch of dynamite and the blasting caps (used to ignite the dynamite) on the weekend of April 14-15 from a locked storage trailer sitting at an Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline construction site in Lancaster County, PA (see Dynamite Stolen from Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Site in Lancaster County, PA). The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) immediately swung into action, offering $20,000 for information leading to an arrest and flooding the county with agents (see ATF Doubles Reward re Stolen Dynamite; 40 Agents in Lancaster Co.). Then last week, someone discovered some, perhaps all of the stolen dynamite (see Stolen Dynamite from Atlantic Sunrise Site Discovered in Creek). The ATF has still not found a suspect. They now believe the amount of dynamite recovered was all of it. Some 10 agents are left in the county, working their way through interviewing 900 workers who had access to the site…
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Stolen Dynamite from Atlantic Sunrise Site Discovered in Creek

Stolen dynamite looked like this

As we’ve reported daily since the news broke, someone stole a bunch of dynamite and the blasting caps (used to ignite the dynamite) from a locked storage trailer sitting at an Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline construction site in Lancaster County, PA (see Dynamite Stolen from Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Site in Lancaster County, PA). As of last Thursday, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) had doubled the reward money to $20,000 and upped the estimated amount of explosives and blasting caps stolen (see ATF Doubles Reward re Stolen Dynamite; 40 Agents in Lancaster Co.). Someone walking across a bridge in Riverfront Park (East Donegal Township) last Friday peered into the creek and noticed a lot of something that didn’t look like it belonged–the missing dynamite and blasting caps. Except the amount recovered is only half of the amount the ATF previously said was stolen. A day after the discovery the ATF changed its story and now says it is “increasingly confident” that all of the stolen dynamite has been recovered. The ATF says the contractor botched the paperwork recording how much dynamite was actually in inventory. The ATF has still not awarded the $20,000 reward money–because a suspect has not yet been apprehended. The investigation is ongoing. So has the ATF recovered all of the dynamite, or not?…
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ATF Doubles Reward re Stolen Dynamite; 40 Agents in Lancaster Co.

The stolen dynamite looks similar to this picture – click image for larger version

We don’t want to belabor this issue too much, but once again we have more/new information about a serious situation in Lancaster County, PA. As we reported earlier this week, someone(s) has stolen a bunch of dynamite and the blasting caps (needed to detonate the dynamite) from a construction site for the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline (see Dynamite Stolen from Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Site in Lancaster County, PA and More Dynamite Stolen from PA Pipe Site than Originally Reported). Investigators with the federal ATF–Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives–are “moving with a sense of urgency” to locate the thieves. How urgent? ATF has just doubled the reward money, from $10,000 to $20,000 for information leading to an arrest. They also have “30-40 agents” swarming through Lancaster County working on the case. Make no mistake, they will find out who did it. The ATF also says it appears the contractor storing the dynamite violated federal storage standards, making it easier for someone to steal it…
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More Dynamite Stolen from PA Pipe Site than Originally Reported

We have an update to a story we first brought you yesterday, that someone(s) has stolen a bunch of dynamite and the blasting caps needed to detonate it from a construction site for the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline in Lancaster County, PA (see Dynamite Stolen from Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Site in Lancaster County, PA). Investigators with the federal ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) are “moving with a sense of urgency” to locate the thieves. Two new bits of information. First, even more dynamite was stolen than previously reported–some 704 pounds (instead of 640) and 450 blasting caps (instead of 400). The second bit of information is that the contractor who was storing the dynamite is being investigated to see if the material was stored properly, according to strict federal guidelines. You don’t leave dynamite in a trailer without the wheels being removed from the trailer and industrial strength locks and lock shields. Here’s the latest on this developing situation…
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Dynamite Stolen from Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Site in Lancaster County, PA

Approximately 640 pounds of dynamite and 400 blasting caps were stolen from a locked trailer at a construction site for the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline in Marietta (Lancaster County), PA this past weekend. Because the theft involved explosives, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has been called in to investigate. The ATF is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction. We sincerely hope the perp(s) are caught and go to jail–for a long time. If you know anything, call the ATF hotline at 888-ATF-BOMB (888-283-2662). Not sure who thought up that phone number for the ATF, but it’s certainly memorable! Here’s the details…
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Lancaster Nuns Continue to Agitate Against Already-Installed Pipeline

The Adorers of the Blood of Christ, a group of nuns in Lancaster County, PA, simply can’t stay away from sacrificing Christ on the alter of politics. The Sisters didn’t want the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project passing through their property. They own several buildings (one of them an old folks home heated with natural gas) on the very same property. The pipeline was due to run through a nearby field owned by the Sisters that they lease to a local farmer who grows corn on it. The Sisters took up with radical anti-fossil fuelers from Lancaster Against Pipelines to protest the project, putting a few wooden park benches and a flower tressle in the middle of the corn field, calling it a “chapel” (see Catholic Nuns Use Radicals to Build Chapel in Path of PA Pipeline), which is why we refer to them as Sisters of the Corn. They’ve tried a couple of different lawsuits, trying to spin the pipeline crossing their property as a religious freedom issue (see Lancaster Nuns Demand “Religious Freedom” Trial re Pipeline). Fast forward to Palm Sunday. The pipeline is now in the ground and covered up, and the farmer can plant his corn over top of it this spring. Yet the Sisters held a political protest service on Palm Sunday at the site of the pipeline. How enormously sad to sully the name of Christ in that way…
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5 Old Hippies Arrested for Blocking Pipeline in Lancaster County

It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything from the so-called “more than 1,000” protesters willing to get themselves arrested in Lancaster County in their holy mission to stop the Williams Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline. As of last November, the unofficial tally we could determine is that 45 people who belong to Lancaster Against Pipelines (LAP) have gotten themselves arrested for illegal actions in attempting to stop the pipeline (see 5 More Protesters Arrested in Lancaster Co. Blocking Pipeline Work). LAP is a small but committed group. It’s hard to stick to your so-called principles when there’s a foot of snow on the ground–so all winter long there hasn’t been much in the way of protests. But spring is beginning to break in Amish country. On Saturday, a busload of around 50 protesters visited Williams’ Lancaster County headquarters in an attempt to terrorize the workers by entering the building, walking the halls singing and plastering “Do Not Cross” police tape on the doors (and leaving behind a fake pipeline). The protesters then visited a construction site where five of the nuttier nutjobs, ranging in age from 55-72 (most of them from Philly), climbed onto a piece of equipment and refused to come down, delaying construction by three hours, forcing state troopers to arrest them…
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