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Friday, March 16, 2012

Marcellus pipeline to be built in townships

Because Tom Corrupt-bett has agreed to Act 13, the worst piece of legislation to hit communities and our quality of life, he will allow pipelines to be built without local regulation. This could end up being a total Clusterf*ck for us all.

From the Post Gazette

By Andrea Iglar 3-15-12

A six-mile pipeline for gathering natural gas extracted from Marcellus Shale is planned to span two Washington County townships and cross beneath local streams.
MarkWest Liberty Midstream and Resources LLC of Cecil plans to build the pipeline in Robinson and Mount Pleasant townships, according to MarkWest's engineering and consulting firm, Tetra Tech Inc. of Green Tree.
Plans include approximately 32,600 feet of 12-inch and 20-inch pipes within a 100-foot-wide right of way on multiple properties.
Some pipes would be installed along the Panhandle Trail and underneath streams, including Robinson Run and unnamed tributaries of Robinson Run and Cherry Run.
The project lies in northwestern Washington County, within 10 miles of west communities such as McDonald, Oakdale, North Fayette, South Fayette and Findlay.
The pipeline is planned in Mount Pleasant, which includes the village of Hickory, and Robinson, a rural township not to be confused with the same-named Allegheny County community containing the mall.
The name of the project -- Imperial Lands Pipeline -- apparently refers to Imperial Land Co., whose Robinson property contains well pads operated by Range Resources Appalachia LLC.
Robinson Supervisor Brian Coppola said Monday the project would involve the first major Marcellus pipeline in Robinson, but the township does not have authority to regulate pipelines under the new state law that limits local control of the industry.
"It's significant, and it's going to be pre-empted under Act 13," said Mr. Coppola, chairman of the supervisors board.
Tetra Tech notified township supervisors and Washington County commissioners in February that its client, MarkWest, intends to apply to the state Department of Environmental Protection, Pittsburgh Regional Office, for a water obstruction and encroachment permit and an erosion and sediment control permit for earth disturbance related to the Imperial Lands Pipeline.
In a Feb. 22 letter, Tetra Tech civil engineer Jacquie Speakman said work would involve clearing and grubbing within the right of way, excavating trenches, installing pipe and restoring the sites.
After pipes are installed under the streams, the trenches will be filled to pre-construction elevations, and stream banks will be restored and stabilized, the letter said.
According to an attached map, one end of the pipeline is located just south of Midway, near Center Cemetery and the intersection of Bowen and Belgium-Hollow roads in Mount Pleasant. From there, the pipeline heads roughly west and then north, crossing Joe Cain Road and then Grant Street about one mile east of Bulger Candor Road.
The pipeline then runs along the Panhandle Trail for about 3,000 feet before heading northeast into Robinson, crossing Midway Candor Road and Quicksilver Road before splitting to the north and south. The branches appear to serve two well pads operated by Range Resources on property locally owned by the Aloe Family/Imperial Land Co.
According to Robinson officials, Range Resources is in the process of hydraulic fracturing at the north well pad and plans to begin fracking at the south pad in May.
In addition to the planned pipeline, Robinson has at least 37 Marcellus wells and one gas processing plant within its 21 square miles, and further gas development is planned.
Robinson supervisors approved an application last month for Midland, Texas-based seismic surveyor Dawson Geophysical Co. to perform natural gas exploration on various properties south of Route 22. The firm, which works with Range Resources, must comply with regulations set forth in the township's seismic testing ordinance.
Also in February, supervisors approved a settlement agreement with gas gatherer and processor Laurel Mountain Midstream LLC that requires the company to pay Robinson $15,000 annually for eight years to help fund inspections of a dew point control facility, Mr. Coppola said.
"We're out there [inspecting the Laurel Mountain facility] three, four times a week," he said.
The facility -- similar to a gas processing plant or compressor station -- is located in the Robinhill development on Bigger Road, near the Clinton area of Findlay.
Robinson had initiated legal action last year against Laurel Mountain, which is a joint venture of The Williams Cos. Inc. and Atlas Energy, owned by Chevron Corp. The township had contended the facility was built without the proper permits or oversight, and various appeals, countersuits and legal proceedings followed in Washington County Common Pleas Court. The settlement ends all of the litigation.

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