Reference: Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC
Atlantic Sunrise Project
Docket No. PF14-8
Atlantic Sunrise ID is PF14-8-000
My home is located within ¼ – ½ mile from the re-route that has been proposed in West Hempfield Township, Lancaster, County, by Williams Partners for the Atlantic Sunrise Expansion Project. The map details are shown here for our township:
The pipeline is being proposed to cross Bridge Valley Road, Mount Joy, Pa, West Hempfield Township, Lancaster County, PA at a historically sensitive and water sensitive area. The pipeline will pass through a small corridor where, adjacent to the West, lies a recently restored historic covered bridge. The bridge was built in 1869 by Elias McMellen. In 1980 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places as structure number 80003512. What will Williams do to protect the foundation of this structure during construction and in the event of a pipeline leak/explosion?
The pipeline, passing through this same corridor, will also be adjacent to the Farmdale Pumping Station which is run by the Lancaster Area Sewer Authority. This area is a declared floodplain and my concern, as a resident of the area, is the impact of construction on a floodplain, and its potential negative impact on the bridge and the pumping station. We are worried about the bridge experiencing a foundation shift from construction, and possible sewage leaks from the pumping station if it is impacted during construction. These concerns are also increased if the pipeline were to leak/explode after construction is finished. What will Williams do to protect the sewage pump station during construction and in the event of a leak/explosion?
An additional concern is the impact on Chiques Creek which is part of the Chesapeake Bay Program/Watershed Implementation Plan supported by the PADEP and by a local watershed protection program. Construction will have a detrimental impact on this floodplain and will cause erosion on the banks of the Chiques Creek, which ultimately flows to the Susquehanna River and then into the Chesapeake Bay. What will Williams do to protect erosion along these important rivers/creeks and waterways that are part of the Chesapeake Bay Program and local watershed protection acts?
In general, many residents, who are directly impacted by the pipeline in the West Hempfield Township area, are opposed to this project, as demonstrated at a recent township meeting. From a letter received from a residents’ insurance company, this resident has been told that if he receives money from Williams for the pipeline, it will be considered a business, and he will have to pay additional liability insurance for the pipeline area. This is an unexpected and unjustified expense for impacted residents who will see no other benefit from the pipeline, but will take all of the risk. Will Williams be providing liability insurance to the residents to cover accidents/leaks/explosions?
Much of the pipeline goes through ag preserve farmland in our township. From a resident statement at a recent meeting, the areas where pipelines have previously been installed on his property has shown decreased crop production. How will Williams ensure that the ground is properly settled and compacted so that crop production is not impacted in the long term? The way in which our local agricultural preservation act is worded, above ground residential structures are mostly prohibited, which is why a pipeline can be approved on these preserves. http://web.co.lancaster.pa.us/DocumentCenter/Home/View/142 We feel that Williams is using this loophole wording of such acts against the residents of the township and in favor of their own business interests.
The anticipated route in West Hempfield Township, Lancaster County, PA parallels Prospect Road. This road is a heavily traveled North to South route that connects two major highways: Route 283 and Route 30. One of the residents’ homes is only 11 inches from the road. This road is very dangerous and cannot handle additional traffic without an upgrade, which is nearly impossible considering the number of homes that closely border the road. How is Williams prepared to handle the traffic increase on Prospect Road and protect our residents and travelers on this major artery? We are greatly concerned about the potential for increased accidents due to truck traffic from pipeline construction.
Many of the fire companies that cover the proposed pipeline area are volunteer companies on limited budgets. Much of their equipment and training is not in preparation for pipeline leaks or explosions, should they occur. Will Williams be providing training, at no cost, and the proper equipment, at no cost, to our volunteer fire companies to equip them properly in the event of a pipeline accident? We do have a safety training center within our county where these trainings could take place, and equipment possibly stored: http://www.lcpstc.org/
At a meeting two weeks ago at the township, many members of our community came out in support against the pipeline going through our community, and the county as a whole. This has been a common sentiment at township meetings throughout the county where pipeline construction is being proposed. I have been working with West Hempfield Township manager Ron Youtz in hopes of scheduling a town hall meeting for West Hempfield residents to ask questions both of legislatures and Williams representatives to address their concerns regarding this pipeline project in Lancaster County. I ask that a FERC representative consider attending a town hall meeting for West Hempfield residents in order to hear from residents in person. I hope that this would be a priority for you. Please let me know if a representative is open to attending this meeting once a date/time has been determined. For specific details on the meeting, you can reach out to the township manager, Ron Youtz, at email@example.com or by phone at (717) 285-5554.
In the consideration of these issues, in addition to those addressed by other residents, the pipeline is not in the best interest of the county, the state, or the commonwealth. This is a bypass line, not a main pipeline, and would provide the most benefit to the finances of Williams, not to the country as a whole in terms of a federal project. This project would have a long term detrimental impact on historic structures, watersheds, forestation, preserved land, crop production and the general livelihood and rights of property owners.