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Pipeline company sues for access to 4 Lebanon Co properties

Written by Daniel Walmer/Lebanon Daily News | Feb 24, 2017 7:29 AM

 (Photo: Submitted)

Atlantis Sunrise owner seeks eminent domain after receiving FERC certificate

(Lebanon) -- The owner of the proposed Atlantic Sunrise pipeline has filed off a flurry of legal petitions, including four involving properties in Lebanon County, to obtain rights-of-way for property easements along the pipeline's path.

The move followed on the heels of Tulsa, Okla.-based Williams receiving a critical federal certificate that helps clear the way for construction.

The company is now at a point where it needs access to certain properties to complete the last remaining environmental surveys needed for the project, spokesman Chris Stockton said.

The motions filed in U.S. Middle District Court seek to use eminent domain to obtain permanent easements on about eight total acres in North Annville and South Annville townships. The pipeline would cross Lebanon County from north to south, bringing natural gas from Marcellus Shale-rich regions of northeastern Pennsylvania to the 10,000-mile Transco Pipeline.

atlantic_pipeline_lebanon.jpg

Williams is storing pipes at the former Alcoa plant at 3000 State Drive in South Lebanon Township. The segments are 40, 60 or 80 feet in length and some weigh about 10 tons. (Photo: Michael K. Dakota, Lebanon Daily News)

The easements would grant Williams access to install the pipeline underneath the affected properties. Most landowners have been cooperative and reached compensation agreements with Williams, Stockton said.

"We have been negotiating in good faith with affected property owners for the better part of two years," he wrote in an email. "Our goal is to treat all landowners fairly throughout this process. The use of eminent domain is only used as a last resort when all other attempts to negotiate an agreement fail."

Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, a subsidiary of Williams, filed requests for preliminary injunctions Monday and Tuesday to obtain the following, according to court records:

  • A permanent easement for 5.71 acres and temporary easements for 8.94 acres on West Main Street in South Annville Township.
  • A permanent easement for 0.91 acres and temporary easements for 1.62 acres on South Mount Pleasant Road in South Annville Township.
  • A permanent easement for 0.64 acres and a temporary easement for 1.21 acres on North Shanamantown Road in North Annville Township.
  • A permanent easement for 0.86 acres and temporary easements for 0.53 acres on a nearby property also on North Shanamantown Road.

Two pipelines fueled by Pennsylvania's natural gas boom - the Atlantic Sunrise and Mariner East 2 pipelines - are expected to bisect Lebanon County. Here's what you need to know. Lebanon Daily News

Williams hopes to begin construction on the pipeline in mid-2017, with full-service completed by mid-2018, according to its website.

Lebanon Pipeline Awareness is holding a presentation on how to monitor construction of the pipeline to ensure best environmental practices are used. The event, at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 27, will include a presentation from an environmental expert at the Delaware Riverkeeper Network.

Several property owners in eastern Lebanon County unsuccessfully fought eminent domain proceedings for a different pipeline, the Mariner East natural gas liquids pipeline owned by Sunoco Logistics that would cross Lebanon County from west to east. One of those cases has been appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

This story is part of a partnership between WITF and the Lebanon Daily News.

Published in Lebanon, News

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