Wolf Administration announces members of new pipeline task force

  • Susan Phillips
Workers build the Laser pipeline in Susquehanna County, Pa.

Kim Paynter / Newsworks/WHYY

Workers build the Laser pipeline in Susquehanna County, 2012.

Governor Wolf has announced members of the state’s new Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force, which will be led by DEP Secretary John Quigley. The 48-member body was chosen from an applicant pool of about 200 people. An additional 101 people will serve on working groups that will help inform the task force, according to a press release issued today.

Although states have little authority when it comes to major interstate pipeline construction projects, the Wolf administration says it wants to bring all stakeholders together in an attempt to institute planning and best practices to a pipeline building boom that includes an estimated 4,600 new miles of interstate pipes over the next three years, according to the Energy Information Administration. That’s in addition to thousands of miles of gathering lines, which carry gas from the well heads to the interstate lines. Much of those smaller lines are unregulated.

Strong opposition to new pipelines have sprung up across the state and have ranged from local attempts to ban pipelines, lawsuits and direct action. DEP Secretary John Quigley told StateImpact in March that the state is not interested in any new regulatory action and says participation in any new proposals would most likely be voluntary.

“We’re not under any illusion to reduce [pipeline construction] impact to zero,” Quigley told StateImpact. “There’s going to be impact but are there opportunities to plan smarter? Share rights of way for example? Can companies work together to optimize development? I don’t know the answers to those questions but I think they’re worth asking.”

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, makes decisions on interstate pipelines. Rules and regulations are set by the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration, or PHMSA. In areas where new pipelines have become the first visible signs of the state’s shale gas boom, local residents have expressed frustration with trying to influence the FERC process.

Governor Wolf has included three federal employees on the task force, including FERC’s outreach coordinator.

“Pipeline expansion is important to our economy and growing energy sector,” Wolf said in the release. “We will work together to make sure that this important infrastructure can be developed effectively and responsibly with consideration for the environment, residents and local communities.”

The task force includes 14 people from state government, along with one local and one county level official, and two Democratic state lawmakers. Industry has 14 representatives on the task force, in addition to an industry lawyer. Environmentalists are represented by four members.

A complete list of task force members and their affiliations are posted on DEP’s website, along with the mission of the group and the list of work group members. It will be organized into twelve separate working groups, which include pipeline safety and integrity, siting and routing, environmental protection, conservation, agriculture, emergency preparedness, natural gas end use, county government, local government, public participation, workforce and economic development, and historical, cultural and tribal issues.

Members will meet for the first time at a public meeting July 22 in Harrisburg, which will be live-streamed. Wolf has asked the task force to submit recommendations by February 2016.

Below is a list of task force appointees:

State Government: 
• John Quigley, Secretary, DEP (task force chair)
• Dennis Davin, Secretary, Department of Community and Economic Development
• Karen Murphy, Secretary, Department of Health
• Leslie S. Richards, Secretary, Department of Transportation
• David Sweet, Special Assistant, Governor’s Office
• John Hanger, Secretary, Policy and Planning, Governor’s Office
• Dan Devlin, State Forester, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
• Michael F. Smith, Executive Deputy Secretary, Department of Agriculture
• Richard D. Flinn, Jr., Director, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency
• Heather Smiles, Chief, Division of Environmental Services, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
• Michael R. DiMatteo, Chief, Division of Environmental Planning and Habitat Protection, Pennsylvania Game Commission
• Sarah Bellew, Deputy State historic Preservation Officer, Pennsylvania Historic Museum Commission
• Paul Metro, Manager, Gas Safety Division, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission
• David Smith, Property Management Administrator, Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission

Federal Government:
• David Hanobic, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Outreach Coordinator
• Colonel Ed Chamberlayne, Baltimore District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
• Steve Tambini, Delaware River Basin Commission

External Stakeholders: 

Agriculture
• David Messersmith, Penn State Extension, of Honesdale, Wayne County

Conservation and Natural Resources
• Mark Gutshall, LandStudies, of Lititz, Lancaster County

Conventional Oil and Gas
• Nicholas Geanopulos, Geanopulos Representations, of Mount Lebanon, Allegheny County

County Government
• Kathi Cozzone , Chester County Commissioner, of Exton, Chester County

Emergency Preparedness
• William Kiger, PA One Call System, of West Mifflin, Allegheny County

Environmental Protection
• Davitt Woodwell, Pennsylvania Environmental Council, of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County
• Kenneth Klemow, Wilkes University, of Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County
• Michael Gross, Post & Schell, P.C., of Philadelphia, Philadelphia
• Michael Helbing, Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future, of Archbald, Lackawanna County

Historic/Cultural/Tribal
• Curtis Biondich, BL Companies, of Oakmont, Allegheny County

Local Government
• Marvin Meteer, Wyalusing Township, of Wyalusing, Bradford County

Natural Gas End User
• Cristina Jorge Schwarz, Apex Companies LLC, of Malvern, Chester County
• Wayne Gardner, W E Gardner Company, LLC, of Downingtown, Chester County

Pipeline Industry
• Duane Peters, American Council of Engineering Companies – PA Chapter, of Harrisburg, Dauphin County
• Joe Fink, CONE Midstream Partners LP, of Canonsburg, Washington County
• Thomas Hutchins, Kinder Morgan, of Tomball, Texas
• Dave Callahan, MarkWest, of Canonsburg, Washington County
• Joseph McGinn, Sunoco Logistics Partners LP, of Philadelphia
• Cindy Ivey, Williams, of Houston, Texas

Pipeline Safety and Integrity 
• Keith Coyle, Van Ness Feldman, of Arlington, Virginia

Unconventional Oil and Gas
• Fredrick Dalena, EQT Corporation, of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County
• Justin Trettel, Rice Energy, of Canonsburg, Washington County
• Mark Reeves, Shell, of Sewickley, Allegheny County
• Sarah Battisti, Southwestern, of Camp Hill, Cumberland County
• Walter Hufford, Talisman Energy/Repsol, of Warrendale, Allegheny County

Workforce/Economic Development
• Anthony Gallagher, Steamfitters LU420, of Philadelphia
• Don Kiel, of SEDA-COG, of Lewisburg, Union County

Legislative Appointments:

President Pro Tempore of the Senate
• Terry Bossert, Range Resources, of Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County

Minority Leader of the Senate
• Andrew Dinniman, Pennsylvania Senate, of West Chester, Chester County

Speaker of the House
• Lauren Parker, Civil and Environmental Consultants, of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County

Minority Leader of the House
• William F. Keller, Pennsylvania House, of Philadelphia 

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