Williams Partners has announced construction is officially underway on its multi-billion dollar Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline, which is being built to connect Marcellus Shale gas in northeastern Pennsylvania to markets along the eastern seaboard.
“We are committed to installing this infrastructure in a safe, environmentally responsible manner and in full compliance with rigorous state and federal environmental permits and standards,” Micheal Dunn, Williams’ executive vice president and chief operating officer said in a press release. “Our construction personnel are experienced, highly-qualified professionals who have undergone extensive training to ensure that this important project is installed safely and responsibly.”
The company broke ground Friday on two new natural gas compressor stations in Orange Township, Columbia and Clinton Township ,Wyoming county. Work on the pipeline itself is expected to begin September 25. Once completed, the line will run underground, through 10 Pennsylvania counties: Columbia, Lancaster, Lebanon, Luzerne, Northumberland, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Wyoming, Clinton and Lycoming.
The project has been met with considerable public push-back, especially in Lancaster County. Hundreds of people have pledged to engage in civil disobedience in an effort to block the project.A Williams spokesman says some preliminary work is beginning in the Lancaster area, but most of it will get underway in mid-to-late October.
“We are always disappointed when the regulatory agencies give another approval or permit for the industry to violate the rights of the people,” says Malinda Clatterbuck of the protest group, Lancaster Against Pipelines. “That is how we see this decision, as an outright violation of our communities’ constitutional rights to clean air and clean water, and a healthy and sustainable future.”
The pipeline is part of a broader network of controversial new natural gas infrastructural projects under construction throughout the Northeast to connect natural gas production in the Appalachian Basin to new markets within the U.S. and abroad.