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. If approved by federal regulators, it would cut through portions of 10 central Pennsylvania counties (Columbia, Lancaster, Lebanon, Luzerne, Northumberland, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Wyoming, Clinton and Lycoming). The pipeline 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.
In 2014, Williams began the pre-filing phase of the project with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)– the agency charged with siting and regulating interstate pipelines. Williams has already agreed to re-route about a quarter of the line in Pennsylvania based on public feedback. The commission is expected to make a final decision about the project in late 2016 or early 2017.