“The arrival of warmer spring weather often marks an increase in construction and home renovation across the state, making this a prime time to highlight the importance of safe digging practices,” noted Commissioner John F. Coleman Jr. during the Commission’s Public Meeting today. “Every year, there are approximately 6,000 hits on our underground infrastructure across the state, and each one of these poses a risk to contractors, utility workers and bystanders, along with the possibility of service In conjunction with National Safe Digging Month, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today reminded homeowners, businesses and contractors of the importance of dialing 8-1-1 before digging to help ensure the safety of their excavation projects.interruptions, environmental damage and costly repairs to damaged lines.”
State law requires contractors and residents to contact the PA One Call system at least three business days prior to excavation – triggering alerts to all utilities within an intended digging area and prompting them to mark where their facilities are located. Pennsylvanians can dial 8-1-1 to connect with the One Call system, while non-Pennsylvania residents can dial 1-800-242-1776.
“We urge everyone involved in excavation projects – whether it’s a small backyard improvement project or a large construction site – to ensure that utilities are marked before any digging begins,” Commission Coleman added. “A single call to 8-1-1 can go a long way toward preventing a potential tragedy or avoiding costly delays or repairs to underground utility lines.”
Governor Wolf and leaders from numerous counties across Pennsylvania have proclaimed April to be Pennsylvania One Call System Safe Digging Month, underscoring the invaluable nature of this service.
To learn how Prince Law Offices, P.C. can assist you or your business with real estate, construction, or PUC matters, contact attorney Jeffrey A. Franklin at Prince Law Offices, P.C.
Sunoco Pipeline L.P. (SPLP) and Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. (NYSE: SXL) have announced the commencement of a binding Open Season for its Mariner East 2 Expansion Project. This Open Season is for expanded capacity on the Mariner East 2 system which will be able to transport additional volumes of petroleum products, including natural gas liquids and condensate from processing facilities built in the liquid-rich Marcellus and Utica Shale areas in Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Eastern Ohio to Sunoco Logistics’ Marcus Hook Industrial Complex on the Delaware River.
The Open Season offers service for ethane, propane, butane, C3+, natural gasoline and condensate depending upon customer interest. Refined product movements will be considered if there is sufficient customer interest. The Mariner East 2 Expansion Project is expected to commence operations as early as 2017. Subject to the terms of the Open Season, priority service will be available to shippers making long term volume commitments during the Open Season.
Highlights of Mariner East 2 Expansion Project
- Potential Priority Service Shippers would have the ability to make a volume commitment to the Mariner East 2 Expansion Project for ethane, propane, butane, C3+, natural gasoline or condensate or any combination of such products.
- SPLP will consider providing refined product service as part of the Mariner East 2 Expansion Project if there is sufficient shipper interest in such service.
- Subject to regulatory approval, the committed volumes of Priority Service Shippers would not be subject to prorationing under ordinary operating conditions.
- Priority Service Shippers would not be exposed to construction cost risk on their volume commitments.
- It is anticipated that the Mariner East 2 Expansion Project would be in-service for the transportation of ethane, propane, butane, C3+ and natural gasoline in 2017 and for condensate in 2017/2018.
If you or your business have questions regarding energy law or real estate law, including right of way and easement negotiations, condemnations or eminent domain, contact attorney Jeffrey A. Franklin at Prince Law Offices, P.C.
You are not alone. Pipelines are common in our region and more are being proposed to transport the Marcellus and Utica gas play natural gas liquids (NGLs) such as propane, ethane, butane, and natural gasoline. They are described as liquids because they are moved through pipes in liquid form. In the atmosphere these substances usually take the form of a gas. Last Fall I wrote about PennEast Pipeline Co, LLC, located in Wyomissing, PA, submitting its application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a permit to proceed with construction of the proposed about $1 billion PennEast Pipeline that will offer natural gas to consumers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Today, we are discussing a new regional resource about pipelines and a January 20, 2016 DEP meeting.
Chester County has created a helpful website called the Chester County Pipeline Information Center (PIC). According to PIC, there are nearly 600 linear miles of existing pipeline corridors that cross through the landscape of Chester County’s 760 square miles. The goal of the PIC is to provide information to residents, pipeline operators and other local stakeholders, including farmers and non-profit land trusts and conservancies with large preserves, that are commonly crossed by pipelines.
Key stakeholder concerns include:
- Safety: By far the most common concern raised by residents and landowners is about pipeline safety. These include fear of gas leaks, explosion, and the long-term effect that living near a gas line might have on their children.
- Improved Communication: Another frequently occurring issue is the perception that pipeline operators do not sufficiently inform the public of proposed projects, or expediently notify landowners when pipeline operator staff will be walking on their property.
- Pipeline Saturation: Residents in communities with a large number of pipelines often express frustration that they already have many pipelines and are “saturated.” These residents feel that they are bearing more than their fair share of pipelines, and that any new pipelines should cross communities that are less saturated.
- Natural Resource Impacts: Common environmental concerns include potential impacts to water quality, impacts to stream crossings, the loss of open space, and the removal of woodlands and personal yard landscaping.
- Land Value Impacts: Landowners are concerned that environmental impacts and real or perceived safety concerns about pipelines could lower their property values. Property Rights: Landowners are often unclear as to the exact nature of the property rights that pipeline operator possess when the operators own a right-of-way, work space or other development rights.
Pipeline operators are also key stakeholders, operators noted the following:
- Operators use technical terminology that the public does not understand which can cause confusion.
- Operators must deal with both renters and owners which can cause complications for notification.
- Operators focus on coordination with land owners (which may or may not be the resident) whose property contains a pipeline right-of-way.
- Operators recognize that there are perceived gaps in communication with the public.
- Operators need to balance transparency with the need to keep proprietary information private so they can remain competitive in the marketplace.
Pipeline expansion projects and new lines have continued to be an issue to area residents. No one knows exactly how many new miles of pipelines need to be constructed to transport natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formation to markets for consumption. An additional issue is that it has been reported the Commonwealth’s current pipeline infrastructure system is not fully equipped to carry the volume of gas produced at the pressure needed to transport it to the market. A report from the Pennsylvania chapter of the Nature Conservancy estimated that between 10,000 and 23,000 new miles of pipeline would be needed for this purpose.
DEP Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force Final Meeting on January 20, 2016
The DEP Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force (PITF) final meeting will be held on January 20, 2016. The meeting will focus on determining which of the 184 recommendations in the draft Task Force Report are most important. The meeting will be held at DEP’s Southcentral Regional Office at 909 Elmerton Ave. in Harrisburg starting at 1:00.
A summary of many of the active pipeline projects is available here.
If you or your business have questions regarding energy law or real estate law, including condemnations or eminent domain, contact attorney Jeffrey A. Franklin at Prince Law Offices, P.C.
Prince Law Offices, P.C. is proud to announce that its Attorney Jeffrey A. Franklin is presenting on March 7, 2015 at the PA Local Government Training Partnership: New Tools and Opportunities for Advancing Sound Land Use at Albright College on the panel Pennsylvania Pipelines: Providing an Ounce of Prevention.
Also participating on the panel are Cheryl Auchenbach, Community Planner III, Berks County Planning Commission, Paul Janssen, Director Center for Excellence in Local Government at Albright College and Treasurer and Secretariat, Berks County Water and Sewer Association, and Shannon Rossman, Executive Director, Berks County Planning Commission.
Additional information and registration information is available from http://www.palocalgovtraining.org and http://www.BerksBar.org.
If you have questions about energy facilities including pipelines, please contact Attorney Franklin at JFranklin@PrinceLaw.com or visit our website at http://www.PrinceLaw.com.