Pipelines

As natural gas companies continue to propose infrastructure expansions throughout Pennsylvania and the Eastern Seaboard, Clean Air Council remains steadily committed to supporting impacted communities in their struggles for a clean and healthy environment. Our pipeline work supports residents as they face proposals for natural gas pipelines, natural gas liquids pipelines, and the related infrastructure needed to process and pressurize the gas or liquids, including compressor stations and pumping stations.

Since 2011, communities have faced a drastically increased number of natural gas pipeline projects. The existing pipelines used to transport natural gas cannot handle the glut that has developed from fracking, so industry wants to develop more infrastructure, particularly with large-diameter pipelines. This is a unique opportunity for Pennsylvanians to have a conversation about what type of investment we want for our communities and who benefits from increased infrastructure.

When a company proposes an infrastructure project in your community, it can sometimes feel like a daunting task to learn about the potential impacts and to think critically about how to respond to the project. This webpage is intended to serve as a growing resource for impacted community members, activists, and policymakers to get information about the proposed project and to begin organizing.

Resources

 

Terminology

Trying to navigate the alphabet soup of industry and government terms in pipeline applications? The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has a great online resource with some of the terminology you might come across. (http://primis.phmsa.dot.gov/comm/FactSheets/FSProductList.htm)

Maps

Using the Clean Air Council’s map, members of the public can see compressor stations, dehydration stations, gas processing plants, natural gas liquid pumping stations, power plants, and pipelines in Pennsylvania. They can also report pollution issues from nearby facilities directly to regulatory agencies—including the Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry—by filling out some basic information about the problem they are experiencing. (http://wikimapping.net/wikimap/gas.html)

Webinars

While the number of drill rigs fracking in Pennsylvania has dropped substantially in the last year, there continues to be an increase in the number of proposed large-scale transmission pipeline projects designed to transport shale gas to various markets. When natural gas transmission pipelines or expansion projects are proposed, it is crucial that the public has access to the technical information needed to meaningfully participate in decisions and ensure that public safety, health, and environmental protection are prioritized. Data and information about pipeline technology can strengthen the quality and public participation in public hearings and commenting opportunities and support a more critical review of a project.

In this webinar, Clean Air Council, Sierra Club, Conservation Voters PA and League of Conservation Voters explain how to comment on a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Draft Envrionmental Impact Statement.  This pipeline is focused on the Penn East, but the steps apply to any FERC-related DEIS comment a resident would like to make.

 

In this webinar, Dr. Peter DeCarlo, an air quality expert from Drexel University , discusses his team’s findings from air sampling completed near natural gas pipelines and related infrastructure in Pennsylvania. Richard Kuprewicz, a pipeline safety expert with the engineering firm Accufacts Inc. , will discuss his review of EPA-recommended technologies used for pipeline infrastructure.

Click to Download the Webinar

 

More resources

Pipeline Safety Trust, an independent non-profit, also maintains a substantial list of resources and information for landowners and community groups.

Are you a landowner? Then you should know your rights!

Proposed pipelines










Public Engagement

There are many ways to make your voice heard when a company attempts to build natural gas infrastructure in your community. Some of these avenues for public participation are required through regulatory bodies such as the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, as well as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. There are also avenues for engaging outside of the regulatory process, including community organizing and direct action.

Tracking and Participation Guide

This guide contains step by step information about how to track natural gas operations and related rules and regulations, and how to effectively use this information to impact decision-making on permits, rules, and regulations. The guide is divided into three broad sections: how to impact decisions through the regulatory process, how to find information on proposed projects and current facilities regulated at the state level, and how to access information about shale gas projects regulated by certain federal agencies. This guide will provide tips on how to stay informed on local and state issues and will also give you detailed instructions on how to comment on proposed regulations, testify at public hearings, and intervene in quasi-legal proceedings. The purpose of this guide is to give you the information you need to stand up for your health and local environment. In dealing with pipeline proposals, please note that there is a section specifically about participating in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission decision-making process, but also consider referring to other sections on the guide to learn how to track state air and water permits required for pipeline projects.

Community Organizing Guide

This guide contains step by step information about how to organize around natural gas operations and related rules and regulations, and how to effectively use information to impact decision-making on permits, rules, and regulations. The guide is divided into four broad sections: how to develop a campaign, how to recruit members, how to facilitate discussion and how to use media as a tool for advancing your campaign.

Organizing local campaigns are one of the most effective ways to create meaningful change on the issue of shale gas development. Clean Air Council has worked with dozens of groups to help community leaders tackle shale gas issues affecting them. This guide is a response to local leaders who expressed an interest in learning organizing skills to better respond to an ever-expanding industry, and to learn about different approaches being used successfully in Pennsylvania communities.

This work is made possible by a grant from the William Penn Foundation. For more information about the Foundation, please click here.

If you’re interested in beginning to organize in your community, or would like additional information about other infrastructure projects that are not listed here, please contact Deirdre Lally at 570-854-2288 or email dlally@cleanair.org.

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