Atlantic Sunrise: Voices of Support shared during PA DEP hearings

Citizens, community, labor and business leaders from across Pennsylvania have expressed support for Williams Partners’ Atlantic Sunrise expansion – a nearly $3 billion energy infrastructure investment in the continued growth and development of the state’s economy and thousands of jobs for workers.

Since the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity in February, supporters have signed petitions, contacted their representatives, attended public meetings and submitted comments to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP). 

Recently, during the 30-day PA DEP public comment period, the Atlantic Sunrise outreach team collected more than 1,100 signatures from business owners, union members and economic development leaders urging the PA DEP to issue two critical permits for the project.

To highlight the impressive amount of support for this project, we compiled notable examples in a document appropriately titled Voices of Support. In addition to recent letters to the editor and public comments, this compilation features stories about Williams’ environmental and community stewardship in Pennsylvania. There is also an overview of the permitting process and a project timeline update.

Download the Voices of Support document.

Atlantic Sunrise friends, family take in a night at the ballpark

Hot dogs, cold beverages, home runs — and natural gas?

Friends, family and neighbors of the energy industry joined baseball fans at PNC Field in Lackawanna County recently for Energy Night. Williams, in partnership with Cabot Oil & Gas, Lackawanna College, Invenergy, Southwestern Energy and Borton-Lawson, celebrated the energy industry with food, games and fellowship prior to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders’ game against the Pawtucket Red Sox.

“It’s a fun night to bring energy supporters from across the region to enjoy a wonderful ballgame,” Williams Public Outreach Manager Mike Atchie said. “But it’s also a great opportunity to showcase the great deal of support for the energy industry and what it has meant for the commonwealth.”

The relationship between America’s pastime and energy was a fitting theme for the evening — nearly every part of the game is touched by natural gas and natural gas byproducts, from the fertilizer used to treat the field to the equipment, stands and scoreboards, and gas-fired electric generation to power stadium lights.

The energetic atmosphere of game night was highlighted by industry supporters sharing why they stand in support of the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project, with more than 130 people signing a petition urging the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) to approve the project’s Chapter 102 and 105 permits that night alone.

 

“It’s finally time to build,” Cody Anderson said after signing. Her signature was added to the many voices of support on the petition letter that was delivered to the PA DEP this week.

Williams intern and Lackawanna College School of Petroleum and Natural Gas student Joseph Caprio agreed. “I support the Atlantic Sunrise project because of the great career opportunities.”

Many supporters cited the jobs the project will create and the local economic impact as the reasons they stand behind the energy infrastructure project.

“These are family-sustaining jobs,” state Rep. Jonathan Fritz, who attended the game and added his signature to the petition, said. “It used to be our best export was young talent — now we have a younger generation staying here, making a real living, having families, and it’s just so healthy for our area and the state.”

Atlantic Sunrise Supporters to PA DEP: It’s Time to Build!

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) hosted four public hearings to accept public comment on pending Chapter 102 and 105 permit applications for Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise expansion project. The hearings were held June 12-14 in Columbia, Lancaster, Lebanon and Wyoming counties.

Each speaker was provided up to three minutes of oral testimony: More than 120 people registered to speak and hundreds attended the hearings. Open and public discussions like the PA DEP public meetings are an important stage in the permitting process.

A wave of supporters descended upon each venue, gathering in solidarity for the Atlantic Sunrise project and offering testimony for why they’re behind this critical energy infrastructure project. A majority of registered speakers voiced support for Atlantic Sunrise and told the PA DEP it’s time to build and put Pennsylvania energy to work.

Supportive speakers included chamber of commerce directors, labor union representatives and private landowners. Each spoke in favor of the project for various reasons, mainly supporting the project because of the economic benefits it will provide. In addition to the jobs and economic benefit to communities, many commenters stated that Williams is an excellent steward of the environment, and that in their personal dealings with Williams, they were very impressed.

Below are just some of the positive supportive comments shared at the hearings:

“Williams has been working with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) for more than two years, providing the data and information needed for the permit applications to be processed in a timely and efficient manner. The Chapter 102 and 105 permit applications reflect the cooperation and collaboration Williams has demonstrated with PA DEP, as well as federal and state permitting agencies, to avoid or minimize impacts to wetlands, waterbodies and other sensitive environmental areas.”

Jeff Logan, President, Pennsylvania Chemical Industry Council

 

“For the past 9 years, we have provided engineering and environmental consulting services for natural gas industry clients, including Williams. During this time, we have worked with numerous facets of the Williams’ organization and have found their performance and standards related to design practices, environmental compliance and safety to be exemplary.”

Chris McCue, P.E. Vice President, Borton Lawson Engineering

 

“Investment in new technologies has lowered our carbon footprint and that is, in large part, due to the natural gas industry and how gas is shipped to market. Williams takes extra steps to protect and preserve the environment. I know they will do it right”

Robert McQuay, Appellation Pre-Fab

 

“This project has been thoroughly vetted by various entities. It has receiveda Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from FERC in February of this year. Williams has been working with DEP for more than two years, providing the data and information needed for the permit applications to be processed in a timely and efficient manner. It is now time after these two-plus years for this project to receive the DEP approval that it has demonstrated it has earned.”

Jason Fink, Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce

 

“Manufacturers depend on natural gas to remain globally competitive.”

David Taylor, President, PA Manufacturers’ Association

 

“When we build pipelines, we build them safely, with the least amount of environmental impact possible.”

David Butterworth, Business Agent, Pipeliners Local 798

 

“The good jobs created by this project will support families across the state.”

Toby Mack, President, Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance