Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Begins Work in Northumberland County, PA

Good news for Northumberland County: Atlantic Sunrise is rising in your neighborhood. Work on the $3 billion, 198-mile natural gas pipeline project that will run through 10 Pennsylvania counties to connect Marcellus Shale natural gas from northeastern PA with the Williams’ Transco pipeline in southern Lancaster County has begun in Northumberland County. Last week a Williams subcontractor working on that portion of the project gave a tour to a local newspaper. Atlantic Sunrise will pass through approximately 10 miles of Northumberland County, entering from Columbia County and exiting to Schuylkill County. So far, “Everything seems to be going really well” according to the contractor in charge of that portion of the project. They expect to begin welding pipes together by the end of this month…
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Atlantic Sunrise Files 13 Eminent Domain Cases in 4 Counties

There’s always a few holdouts, no matter how hard you try to be reasonable. We’re talking about landowners who refuse to negotiate in good faith with pipeline companies. Earlier this month amidst a flurry of activity, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) handed Williams a final final final approval for its Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project–a $3 billion, 198-mile pipeline running through 10 Pennsylvania counties to connect Marcellus Shale natural gas from PA with the Williams’ Transco pipeline in southern Lancaster County (see Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Gets Final Approval by FERC). There have been a committed small number of protesters against the project (what’s new?), including some of the landowners along the pipeline route. Although Williams has been attempting to negotiate with them for the past two years, some (very few) landowners have refused. So now Williams, via its Transco subsidiary, has sued 13 landowners in Columbia, Lebanon, Northumberland and Schuylkill counties using eminent domain. Meanwhile, the only thread antis are left hanging by is a lawsuit against a single landowner who they say illegally signed with Williams…
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Eminent Domain Begins for Landowners in Path of Atlantic Sunrise

You beg and plead and beg and plead. You come with your hat in your hand. You try to explain that no, the pipeline isn’t going to avoid your property, Mr. or Ms. Landowner. But some landowners refuse to negotiate. So the last resort option must be exercised. That’s the situation with Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline in several counties in Pennsylvania–including Lancaster, Lebanon, Columbia, Northumberland and Schuylkill. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a final certificate for Atlantic Sunrise, allowing construction to begin, just two weeks ago today (see Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Gets Final Approval by FERC). Although the project is still waiting on an approvals from the Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the State Historic Preservation Office, Williams expects to begin construction soon. Very soon. Landowners who either oppose the pipeline because they hate fossil fuels, or because they thought they might get a higher offer, or because they thought they could just make it go away by singing, “La la la la, I don’t hear you!”–are now out of time. Atlantic Sunrise is taking recalcitrant landowners to court and will soon have a court order allowing them to proceed with construction…
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UGI Sunbury Pipeline Gets FERC Approval, Built by November?

UGI Marcellus assets map
UGI Marcellus assets map – click for larger version

Contrary to the lies spread by anti-pipeline groups like THE Delaware Riverkeeper, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is no rubber stamp for the oil and gas industry. In December 2014 Pennsylvania utility company UGI pre-filed an application to build a new 35-mile pipeline to feed a natgas-powered electric generating plant in Snyder County, PA (see UGI Pre-Files with FERC for New Marcellus Pipeline in Central PA and UGI Building 35-Mile Pipeline for Panda Power Electric Plant). The project was estimated to cost $150 million–money that goes into the local economy. It took long enough, but last week the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) finally approved the project. The 20-inch Sunbury Pipeline will start in Lycoming County and travel through Montour, Union, and Northumberland counties, cross the Susquehanna River and ending up at Hummel Station Plant in Shamokin Dam in Synder County…
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Minuteman Sues AG Kane’s Office for $20M + Punitive Damages

What a sad story. In May 2013, Pennsylvania’s anti-drilling Attorney General, Kathleen Kane, had the offices of Minuteman Environmental Services in Milton (Northumberland County) raided using the FBI, IRS and the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) agents, in addition to agents from the AG’s office (see Shale Environmental Services Company Raided by PA AG’s Office). After conducting a witch hunt of Minuteman for 13 months following that raid, Kane finally charged them (see PA’s Anti-Drilling AG Charges Minuteman with Enviro Crimes). During that 13 months and following, Kane’s office terrorized the family and drove the company–that employed over 100 people with $49 million in revenues–into bankruptcy (see Minuteman Enviro Says PA AG Office “Terrorized” Family Members, Filing Lawsuit). Minuteman’s owners threatened to sue the AG’s office and they followed through. We have an exclusive copy of the lawsuit…
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Shale Environmental Services Company Raided by PA AG’s Office

handcuffsNatural gas drilling support company Minuteman Environmental Services supplies fracking fluid, drilling mud, and hauls away fracking wastewater for shale drillers in the Marcellus Shale. Minuteman’s corporate headquarters in Milton (Northumerland County), PA was raided on Wednesday by a swarm of agents from the PA Attorney General’s office, along with agents from the PA DEP, FBI and IRS. MDN has no idea why the Minuteman office was raided–the Attorney General’s office won’t say.

Minuteman owner and president Brian Bolus says disgruntled former employees have made baseless accusations. About what, we don’t know. In fact, no one in authority is talking, so we don’t know much. Here’s what we do know:
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Why Sunbury, PA Mayor Supports Marcellus Waste Facility

As MDN reported yesterday, Clean Harbors Environmental Services of Norwell, Mass. wants to build a Marcellus Shale waste processing facility in Sunbury, PA (see this MDN story). Some area residents are not happy about it, but not so with Mayor David Persing. He supports it and offers his thinking and rationale for supporting the proposed project:

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Marcellus Waste Processing Facility Planned for Sunbury, PA

Clean Harbors Environmental Services of Norwell, Mass. has applied for a permit to build a “waste processing facility” in Sunbury (Northumberland County), PA. The facility will accept up to 1,000 tons of Marcellus Shale drill cuttings, drilling mud and other materials per day. Although the waste is not toxic, some local officials are concerned and upset that the state DEP alone will make a decision about whether or not to approve the permit (Sunbury has no say in the matter). Sunbury mayor David Persing supports the new facility.

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