PennEast Pipeline Company LLC will re-route its proposed natural gas pipeline to share a current utility easement at Popple Construction’s Stone Quarry in Plains Township, a spokesperson for the gas line company said.
The route change was one of 33 PennEast filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Friday.
Deviations in the pipeline’s path were devised to reduce impacts on endangered species and wetlands, make better usage of existing utility rights of way and in response to concerns from the public and regulatory agencies, according to a news release issued by PennEast.
The quarry was just many areas of concern as the planned 36-inch pipeline path crosses the region from Dallas Township and extends 120 miles southeast to Mercer County, New Jersey, transporting up to one billion cubic feet of Marcellus Shale Natural Gas.
“PennEast is working to co-locate the proposed PennEast Pipeline within an existing PP&L right of way on the asphalt operation,” Pat Kornick, spokesperson for PennEast Pipeline, said in an email. “The pipeline would be more than 200 feet from active quarry operations and well outside the distance Pennsylvania regulations require for quarry operators to take precautionary measures.”
“It also would be well beyond the minimum range PennEast’s technical experts deem necessary to maximize safety by avoiding adverse impacts on the pipeline operations by quarry activities.”
Other pipeline route changes include:
• The proposed Auburn/Leidy/Transco meter station will be relocated with a Williams-Transco pipeline, and “co-located with an existing UGI Utility meter station,” according to the release;
• PennEast is working with the Blue Mountain Ski Resort in Carbon County to reroute the pipeline to avoid the hang gliding area and existing underground infrastructure;
• The pipeline’s route on the Appalachian Scenic Trail will now include a trenchless trail crossing and a 400-foot buffer area in the region to avoid impacting scenic views.
A complete list of changes to the pipeline’s route are available at penneastpipeline.com and click on the “Official Filings” tab.
“From the Project’s outset in 2014, PennEast pledged to develop a route that would balance our desire to find the most direct path with a firm commitment to minimizing impact on the community and environment,” Peter Terranova, chair of the PennEast board of managers said in an emailed news release. “The route revisions announced today reflect PennEast’s commitment to environmental stewardship, structural effectiveness and land-use efficiency.”