Pa.’s new pipeline task force to meet this week

  • Marie Cusick
A natural gas pipeline in Lycoming County.

Marie Cusick / StateImpact Pennsylvania

A natural gas pipeline in Lycoming County.

Pennsylvania’s newly formed pipeline task force will hold its first meeting in Harrisburg Wednesday. Governor Tom Wolf formed the group in order to bring planning and best practices to the pipeline building boom that includes an estimated 4,600 new miles of interstate pipes over the next three years.

The meeting will be chaired by state Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Quigley.

States have little regulatory authority in this arena, because interstate pipelines are regulated almost exclusively by the federal government. However the task force does include three representatives from the federal government, including one from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)– the agency charged with siting and approving new pipelines.

In a presentation posted online, the DEP lists the group’s objectives:

• Plan, site and route pipelines in ways that avoid or reduce environmental and community impacts
• Amplify and engage in meaningful public participation
• Maximize opportunities for predictable and efficient permitting
• Employ construction methods that reduce environmental and community impact
• Ensure pipeline safety and integrity during operation of the pipeline

The meeting will be held from 1- 4pm tomorrow at the DEP’s Southcentral Regional Office, 909 Elmerton Ave., Harrisburg. It will also be live-streamed online here. The group’s next meeting will be held August 26th. The task force is expected to give a report to the governor early next year.

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