The Atlantic Sunrise pipeline is a project of Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Williams Partners. It’s one of many large-scale pipeline projects in the works in Pennsylvania. Williams currently operates the Transco system which has over 10,000 miles of pipeline moving gas to other businesses, like utility companies and power plants.
The Atlantic Sunrise is a $3 billion expansion of the Transco system. It’s designed to move Marcellus Shale gas from Susquehanna County in northeastern Pennsylvania as far south as Alabama. It was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in February 2017. The pipeline still needs permits from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, but Williams expects construction to begin in mid-2017, and aims for an in-service date of mid-2018. The line would go through 10 central Pennsylvania counties (Columbia, Lancaster, Lebanon, Luzerne, Northumberland, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Wyoming, Clinton and Lycoming). It would carry the gas to markets along the eastern seaboard, including the Cove Point liquefied natural gas export terminal on the Chesapeake Bay.
The project has been met with considerable public push-back, especially in Lancaster County, where opponents started building encampments last fall. Hundreds of people have pledged to engage in civil disobedience in an effort to block the project.