Proposed Pipeline

Posted May 9, 2016:
Last week the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) released their draft environmental impact statement for the Atlantic Sunrise gas pipeline.  A review of the report by Ad Crable of Lancaster News can be read here to read the entire FERC report click here.

The Lancaster Conservancy remains committed to protecting forests and is concerned with the many proposed stream crossings especially Tucquan Glen.  We plan to continue to monitor the situation and will be participating in the upcoming public meeting scheduled for June 13.  We are seeking expert testimony from engineers and scientists to support directional drilling at Tucquan Creek, a Pennsylvania Wild and Scenic River.

We encourage everyone to voice your opinion in support of protecting our limited forests, our water resources, and our Lancaster County environment.  Please contact FERC directly by clicking here and file your opinions and comments.  All written comments must include the project docket number CP15-138-000.

Posted January 11, 2016:
January 8, 2016

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street, N. E.
Washington, D. C.  20426

Submitted via FERC Online

Re: Supplemental Comments of the Lancaster County Conservancy
Atlantic Sunrise Project, Docket CP15-138-000

Dear Commissioners,

I am writing as CEO of the Lancaster County Conservancy to supplement previous comments provided by our Board, members, and supporters regarding the impact of the Atlantic Sunrise Project on preserved natural lands in Lancaster County.

The Conservancy has worked with its many preservation partners at the national, state, and local level, and with the applicant, to reduce the impacts to preserved and natural lands, should this Project be approved. We agree with the comments, recently submitted on behalf of the Lancaster Farmland Trust, that Lancaster County is unique in its mix of incredibly productive farmland and very limited forests. Our critical forests maintain the quality and quantity of the water needed to farm these lands and support populations both within Lancaster County and downstream in the Chesapeake Bay area. Lancaster County has less than 15% of its land in forests. Very few intact larger blocks of forest (50 acres or more) remain. These lands are critical to the health of not just Lancaster County citizens but also to those who rely on clean water downstream.  We have consistently maintained that a certain number of these natural preserved lands have exceptional, unique eco-systems and native plant colonies that should not be disturbed.

We echo the comments of Lancaster Farmland Trust that public investment in preserved lands in Lancaster County is unique. We have worked with our partners for over 45 years to protect our limited forests and maintain interior forest habitat while providing recreational, environmental, and health benefits to the public. The public has invested over 40 million dollars in direct acquisition costs and tens of millions of dollars in funds to steward the 4,470 acres of land we protect. This land is held for, and open to, the public. The majority of these limited forest blocks are along the Lower Susquehanna River. They are the last opportunity we have to clean the waters emptying into the River. We protect streams and riparian buffers for over 50 tributaries that empty into the Susquehanna River.

We urge the Commissioners to consider the impact that any additional proposed route changes would have on these unique tracts of land that protect water supplies and clean the air for the public.  Pipeline impacts to forests are forever. The trees are not permitted to be replanted, the interior forest habitat is fragmented, the ability of the lands to clean the air and water is compromised, and the public investment in lost forever.

Lancaster County is a unique place and our large quantity of protected and preserved lands are one of the features that make us different from many communities.  Please be certain that the pipeline, if built, stays off these unique, preserved, and natural tracts.

Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Respectfully submitted,

Philip R. Wenger, CEO
Lancaster County Conservancy

cc: Board of Lancaster County Conservancy

Click here to review official letter

Call To Action
To access information or post a comment regarding the proposed Atlantic Sunrise gas pipeline go to the FERC website at https://ferconline.ferc.gov/QuickComment.aspx.  All correspondence for the Atlantic Sunrise should use ID  CP15-138-000.

  • Fill in your complete information, name, address, email and phone number.
  • A link will be sent to your email address.  click the link
  • Fill in docket number CP15-138-000 and click ‘search’
  • Click the ‘select’ button on the following line.
  • Enter up to a 6,000 letter comment.
  • Do not forget to click the ‘send comment’ button at the bottom of the page.

There is no limit to how many comments one makes. If you would like to review filings click on elibrary and General Search and fill in the information requested. The FERC number is utilized to access information.

Suggested discussion points with respect to forested and Conservancy lands are:

  1. Lancaster County is less than 15% forest land. In Lancaster County our trees are critical to our ability to maintain clean air and water. Pipelines should not cross our limited remaining forests and several high and exceptional value streams and permanently clear cut those forests impairing already impaired air quality, creating erosion corridors for more sediment into our streams, heating streams, and reducing water quality.
  2. National, State, and Local governments, organizations, non-profits, and individual donors invested tens of millions of dollars to protect the forests of the Susquehanna Riverlands. Initiatives to protect the forests, riparian buffers, recreational lands, water quality, sensitive natural resources, viewshed, and cultural resources of the Susquehanna Riverlands have been  ongoing for decades. Three years ago FERC supported these efforts with the decision to release PPL’s forests and streams from the FERC boundary so they could be permanently protected through transfer to the Lancaster County Conservancy. Those same forests and streams were threatened by the initial Atlantic Sunrise pipeline route. The FERC decision cited protection and stewardship of the DCNR Conservation Landscape of the Susquehanna Riverlands as support for removal of these forests and streams from the FERC boundary. These lands have also recently been identified as an Indigenous Cultural Landscape.
  3. The Tucquan Glen, Shenks Ferry, Kelly’s Run and Safe Harbor preserves were within the initial proposed Atlantic Sunrise pipeline route.  The final route has not been approved.
  4. The limited protected natural lands we have in Lancaster County are those most critical to the health of Lancastrians, and our neighbors downstream. These lands were protected as a result of thoughtful planning and resource analysis. These lands are fundamental to the long term sustainability of wildlife, wildflowers, threatened and endangered species, and clean air and water for all creatures.
  5. The impacts of a gas pipeline on forests are forever.  When the forests are removed the pipeline company does not permit replanting.

Posted Spring 2015:
Message from Lancaster County Conservancy:

We appreciate the broad community response to the natural gas pipeline proposed by Williams Partners. Early in this process, our board agreed on a position related to this pipeline. That position is as follows:

The Lancaster County Conservancy is opposed to pipelines or any intrusions that destroy natural lands or resources.

Our mission and our priority is to preserve natural lands. We are working daily on multiple fronts – including with County Commissioners, County Planning staff, federal elected officials, representatives of the agricultural preservation community, staff at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and representatives of Williams Partners – to achieve the best possible outcome. We respect that many would prefer that no pipeline come through Lancaster County, and while that would be our strong preference as well, if that ceases to be an option our top priority is preserving natural lands, and especially addressing the threat to the Tucquan Glen and Shenk’s Ferry preserves.

On Wednesday there is a public meeting hosted by Williams Partners. This is the only meeting they are required to hold, and it’s likely to be the only meeting that takes place. There are three things that are important to know in advance of this meeting:

Posted April 8 2015:
On Monday morning, April 7, the Lancaster County Conservancy’s Board of Directors called a special meeting to discuss recent developments regarding the pipelines proposed for Lancaster County.  The Board adopted the following position.  The Lancaster County Conservancy is opposed to pipelines or any intrusions that destroy natural lands or resources.

Please reference the article (Pipeline adjacent to power lines) in the Lancaster Newspaper dated April 8, 2014.

To date several hundred comments have been submitted to FERC. We need thousands of people to submit comments to fully engage and create a significant impact.

In addition to the issues stated in our April 4 posting we ask that you emphasize the following when you comment to FERC and your representatives:
On December 21, 2012 the FERC approved the removal of 1,260 acres of land from the PPL Holtwood LLC FERC boundary for transfer to the Lancaster County Conservancy for protection. This decision was supported by national, state, and local agencies and non-profits.  The transfer of these lands was funded with millions of dollars in funds coming from PADCNR, Lancaster County, York County, The Conservation Fund, PPL, Lancaster County Community Foundation, and the Conservancy.  The Govenor of the State of Pennsylvania submitted a letter of support to FERC. The pipeline would go through these same lands and undermind the decades of work and millions of dollars invested in protecting this landscape and the waters that run through it.

  • Tens of thousands of mature trees would be permanently removed.
  • Forest fragmentation.
  • Soil compaction.
  • Water quality degradation.
  • The creation of a pathway for stormwater runoff.
  • Forest impact from a gas explosion / fire. No easy access to forested areas in the Riverlands corridor. (See attached article)   April 05 – Pipeline

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The Lancaster County Conservancy recommends community engagement regarding the proposed pipelines through Lancaster County.

Call To Action
To access information or post a comment regarding the proposed Atlantic Sunrise gas pipeline go to the FERC website at https://ferconline.ferc.gov/QuickComment.aspx. Now that Williams has filed with FERC all correspondence for the Atlantic Sunrise should use ID  CP15-138-000.  At the top of the screen go to Documents and Filings.  If you would like to comment click on ecomment and the prompts will direct you. You will be asked to put in an email address.  A link will be sent to your email address, where you can then enter up to a 6,000 letter comment.  Do not forget to submit. There is no limit to how many comments one makes. If you would like to review filings click on elibrary and General Search and fill in the information requested. The FERC number is utilized to access information.

Suggested discussion points with respect to forested and Conservancy lands are:

  1. Lancaster County is less than 15% forest land. In Lancaster County our trees are critical to our ability to maintain clean air and water. Pipelines should not cross our limited remaining forests and several high and exceptional value streams and permanently clear cut those forests impairing already impaired air quality, creating erosion corridors for more sediment into our streams, heating streams, and reducing water quality.
  2. National, State, and Local governments, organizations, non-profits, and individual donors invested tens of millions of dollars to protect the forests of the Susquehanna Riverlands. Initiatives to protect the forests, riparian buffers, recreational lands, water quality, sensitive natural resources, viewshed, and cultural resources of the Susquehanna Riverlands have been  ongoing for decades. Three years ago FERC supported these efforts with the decision to release PPL’s forests and streams from the FERC boundary so they could be permanently protected through transfer to the Lancaster County Conservancy. Those same forests and streams were threatened by the initial Atlantic Sunrise pipeline route. The FERC decision cited protection and stewardship of the DCNR Conservation Landscape of the Susquehanna Riverlands as support for removal of these forests and streams from the FERC boundary. These lands have also recently been identified as an Indigenous Cultural Landscape.
  3. The Tucquan Glen, Shenks Ferry, Kelly’s Run and Safe Harbor preserves were within the initial proposed Atlantic Sunrise pipeline route.  The final route has not been approved.
  4. The limited protected natural lands we have in Lancaster County are those most critical to the health of Lancastrians, and our neighbors downstream. These lands were protected as a result of thoughtful planning and resource analysis. These lands are fundamental to the long term sustainability of wildlife, wildflowers, threatened and endangered species, and clean air and water for all creatures.
  5. The impacts of a gas pipeline on forests are forever.  When the forests are removed the pipeline company does not permit replanting.

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Call To Action
To contact your government representatives regarding these issues address your concerns to:

 

Lancaster County Conservancy

Did you know?  For every 5% increase of tree canopy, stormwater runoff decreases by 2%. Help us plant more trees !
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