PA DEP collects $736,000 from TransCo for Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline violations

Western PA News

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has collected more than $736,000 from the Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC (TransCo) for violations associated with the construction of the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline.

The DEP collected a civil penalty of $736,294.11 from TransCo for violations associated with the construction of the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline in Columbia, Lancaster, Lebanon, Luzerne, Lycoming, Northumberland, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, and Wyoming counties.

DEP will collect $680,000 of the civil penalty, and the remaining penalty, $56,294.11, will be distributed among the county conservation districts that inspected the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline during its construction to reimburse the costs they incurred during their inspections.

“Impacts from construction activities that harm or have the potential to harm waters of the Commonwealth are unacceptable, and we will continue hold operators accountable,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.

The violations included failure to properly maintain erosion and sedimentation best management practices, inadvertent returns of drilling fluids at drilling sites in Lebanon, Luzerne, and Wyoming counties, and sediment discharge into waters of the Commonwealth. Full details are available in the CACP.

In addition to the civil penalty, Transco will provide $100,000 to the Shamokin Creek Restoration Alliance to fund two water quality improvement projects in the Shamokin Creek watershed along Quaker Run and Buck Run in the Borough of Kulpmont in Northumberland County.

Recently a company spokesperson for Transco has released the following statement:

“Williams has safely and reliably operated in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for 70 years. The Atlantic Sunrise project, a large-scale expansion of the Transco system that was completed nearly two years ago, was designed to supply enough natural gas to meet the daily needs of more than 7 million American homes by connecting producing regions in northeastern Pennsylvania to markets in the Mid-Atlantic and southeastern states. During the extensive construction phase of the project, isolated severe weather events led to erosion-related issues that were quickly addressed once identified. Williams promptly notified state and local regulatory authorities who were kept informed until the issues were resolved. As a long-time builder and operator of critical energy infrastructure in Pennsylvania and across the United States, Williams is committed to maintaining an open and transparent dialogue with federal, state and local regulatory agencies as well as communities, landowners and other stakeholders to minimize environmental impacts and support conservation efforts.”

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