Next Gas Task Force Meeting Will Spotlight Pipelines

From Potter County Today

pipelineagainusedNext meeting of the Potter County Natural Gas Task Force will focus on a topic with far-reaching implications as the Marcellus Shale natural gas rush intensifies: pipelines. The Tuesday, May 10, meeting (7 pm, Gunzburger Building) will be of particular interest to private landowners and municipal officials. To prepare for the local meeting, members of the Task Force’s Public Education Committee participated in a workshop, titled “Understanding Pipeline Infrastructure,” on Monday.  They came away from the session convinced that there’s important information that township/borough officials and property owners should know as the construction of the smaller gathering lines from individual wells, as well as larger interstate distribution pipelines, intensifies.

Regulation and inspection of pipelines is a complex issue with gaps that the Pennsylvania General Assembly is seeking to remedy. Townships and boroughs do have some power to regulate the location of pipelines and compressor stations to minimize their impact, while property owners should be aware of their rights when negotiating with companies seeking to locate pipelines or related facilities on private land.

During Monday’s workshop, Penn State Cooperative Extension educator Dave Messersmith emphasized the urgency in local government officials and landowners familiarizing themselves with the issues. “Much of this infrastructure has yet to be built, so we still have an opportunity to affect it,” he said. “It’s going to be with us for a long time.” More details on the May 10 meeting will be announced.

Meanwhile, two major gas pipeline projects are moving forward. One of the pending developments, National Fuel Gas (NFG) Supply Corporation’s Northern Access Project, will be the subject of a site review on Thursday, April 14. The session includes a tour of the Ellisburg Compressor Station in northern Potter County. That facility has been targeted for expansion. Thursday’s tour is open to the public. Those planning to attend should meet at the Westgate Inn lobby in Coudersport at 8 am.

The Northern Access Project will allow the company to transport gas produced from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale to the TransCanada Pipeline at Niagara Falls, N.Y. Both National Fuel and Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. have applied for Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval. Tennessee owns the Niagara Spur Loopline, which is part of this project, in addition to the “300 Line,” an interstate transmission line which traverses Potter County and interconnects with the National Fuel Gas line in Ellisburg. The project will include the addition of two compressor units totaling approximately 9,500 HP at the Ellisburg Compressor Station. The company expects FERC approval by October and will begin site work then. (Curt Weinhold photo)

Potter County Today is a timely information site courtesy of the Potter County Commissioners. Reprinted with Permission.


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