MILESTONE: PA DEP Approves Key Permits for Atlantic Sunrise Project

Williams Partners Receives Key Pennsylvania DEP and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Permits for Atlantic Sunrise Project; Receives FERC Approval to Place Portion of Project into Service on Sept. 1

  • Company will immediately commence the process of requesting FERC’s Notice to Proceed for all remaining construction

  • Greenfield pipeline construction in Pennsylvania expected to commence early this fall

  • Modifications to existing Transco facilities in Virginia and Maryland will be placed into service Sept. 1

  • Critical energy infrastructure connects abundant, cost-effective Pennsylvania gas supply with East Coast markets; Supports 8,000 jobs, $1.6 billion economic impact in project area

     

TULSA, Okla. – Williams Partners L.P. (NYSE: WPZ) today reported that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have issued required permits for the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project – an expansion of the existing Transco natural gas pipeline to connect abundant Marcellus gas supplies with markets in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern U.S.

PADEP & USACE Permits

The company received the Chapter 105 (Water Obstruction and Encroachment) and Chapter 102 (Erosion and Sediment Control) permits from PADEP on Aug. 30 and the Clean Water Act Section 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Aug. 29.

The receipt of these remaining state and federal permits will allow the company to immediately commence the process of requesting a Notice to Proceed with construction from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), targeting commencing greenfield pipeline construction in Pennsylvania this fall. The full project capacity is scheduled to be placed into service in mid-2018.

Early Partial Mainline Service

The company also reported today that, in advance of the greenfield portion of the project coming into service, it has received Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval to place a portion of the project into service early and, accordingly, expects to begin partial service Sept. 1, providing 400,000 dth/day of firm transportation service on Transco’s existing mainline facilities to various delivery points as far south as Choctaw County, Alabama. The partial service milestone is the result of recently completed modifications to existing Transco facilities in Virginia and Maryland designed to further accommodate bi-directional flow on the existing Transco pipeline system.

Company Perspective

“We are very pleased to have reached these important milestones for the Atlantic Sunrise project,” said Alan Armstrong, Williams’ president and chief executive officer. “This vital project will leverage existing infrastructure to deliver economic growth and help millions of Americans gain access to affordable Pennsylvania-produced clean-burning natural gas.”

Micheal Dunn, Williams’ executive vice president and chief operating officer, commented: “The Atlantic Sunrise project has been through a rigorous, thorough review process in Pennsylvania and we are committed to installing this important infrastructure in an environmentally responsible manner and in compliance with the state’s high environmental standards.”

The FERC authorized the project in February 2017, concluding that environmental impacts associated with the project would be reduced to “less than significant levels” with the implementation of mitigation measures proposed by the company and FERC.

About Atlantic Sunrise

Once complete, the Atlantic Sunrise expansion will help alleviate infrastructure bottlenecks in Pennsylvania, connecting abundant Marcellus gas supplies with markets in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern U.S. The nearly $3 billion expansion of the existing Transco natural gas pipeline is designed to increase deliveries by 1.7 billion cubic feet per day (enough to provide daily service to seven million homes). Williams Partners’ net investment in the Atlantic Sunrise project is expected to be approximately $1.9 billion. Pennsylvania State University researchers forecast the Atlantic Sunrise project to directly and indirectly support approximately 8,000 jobs in the 10 Pennsylvania counties during the project’s construction phase, resulting in an estimated $1.6 billion economic impact in the project area.

Additional information about the Atlantic Sunrise project can be found at www.williams.com/atlanticsunrise.

 

Little League World Series, Williams make a winning team

The Little League World Series is bigger than a game; it’s about a community — a community of baseball lovers and skilled young athletes.

Players from the Mid-Atlantic Region team wave during this year’s Little League World Series grand slam parade.

And, for the modest Pennsylvania town of Williamsport, it’s a chance to shine in the national spotlight. The World Series is a 10-day event filled with big-time hits and exciting victories, heartfelt moments of sportsmanship and gripping moments of competition.

Baseball and natural gas go hand in hand, a relationship recognized by Williams at the annual worldwide tournament for players 11 to 13 years old. For the past two years, the company has been proud to support events such as the kickoff parade and block party for the teams visiting Lycoming County.

“It’s a great opportunity to showcase Williamsport and Pennsylvania to the world and to support young athletes as they compete in America’s favorite pastime,” Williams public outreach manager Mike Atchie says.

Atchie and thousands of spectators lined West Fourth Street last week at the annual Grand Slam Parade that kicks off Little League World Series activities.

“It’s a great display of pride and excitement for these young athletes who have the honor of participating in one of the most renowned events in sports,” Atchie says. This year, more than 40,000 people were estimated to have attended the parade, which features all 16 World Series teams.

More than a tournament

The Little League World Series draws athletes and celebrities alike, including the parade’s grand marshal, Baseball Hall of Famer Eddie Murray, who played mostly for the Baltimore Orioles during his 21-year career. Also participating this year will be Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, “Mr. October,” who will attend Friday’s Williamsport Welcomes the World Street Fair.

The fair, which is also supported by Williams, kicks off championship weekend. Food, music, games — and autographs from Mr. October — will welcome visitors and Williamsport families. Employees from Williams will be on hand to distribute free back-to-school supplies, including pencils, notebooks and sneaker bags stuffed with goodies.

Jackson will sign autographs during the street fair and will serve as a base coach during the annual World Series Challenger Division game Saturday morning.

The U.S. and international division championship games will be held Saturday, with the winners vying for the world title on Sunday.

Energy: The Invisible 10th Player in Baseball

There isn’t anything much more American than baseball. The iconic game has served as a cultural unifier for families, friends and sports-lovers alike on warm summer nights beneath the glow of stadium lights.

As the game has evolved, a new supporter has appeared behind the scenes. While maximizing player equipment and field conditions, baseball has adopted an invisible 10th player — energy.

It’s unusual to make the connection between petroleum and natural gas and baseball, but the game wouldn’t be the same without those energy sources.

The baseball itself was modernized to allow players to knock it out of the park and to guarantee consistency in performance. As the ball has changed, it has become what it is with the help of natural gas-based components.

The ball used in the major leagues is made of a cork center surrounded by synthetic rubber, which is made from petrochemical feedstocks produced by putting crude oil through several processes.

The core of the ball is submerged in a latex adhesive (also made from petroleum) and wrapped in three layers of woolen yarn. After that, the ball is wrapped a fourth time with polyester/cotton yarn, made in part by petroleum, which ensures the surface will be smooth. This is the last layer before the cowhide cover is applied and stitched together by hand.

The players’ uniforms are polyester, a synthetic fiber made from natural gas byproducts. Their gloves are often softened with petroleum jelly. The artistry of wooden bats is developed through stains and finishes, which contain petroleum derivatives. From the gasoline that fuels the mowers that shape the field to the natural gas byproducts that makeup the plastic seats in the stands, oil-based products are found all over the ballpark.

Natural gas plays a critical role to the field our national pastime is played on as well. It manufactures the nitrogen product fertilizer that makes the infield and outfield grass a vibrant green. The machines that manufacture bats and electronics that allow fans to tune in are powered by electricity, which is increasingly generated by reliable, cleaner-burning natural gas.

So next time you attend a game or watch on TV, remember the invisible 10th player that makes it all possible.

Industry, elected officials address hundreds at rally in support of Atlantic Sunrise

It’s time to build.

That was the message delivered by Williams — and echoed by the many laborers, supporters and officials in attendance — at a rally in Tunkhannock, Pa.

Beneath a backdrop of clear blue skies and a massive American flag, hundreds gathered in support of the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project with a call to Pennsylvania legislators to construct energy infrastructure across the state.

“After an unprecedented amount of regulatory review, it’s finally time to build,” Mike Atchie, manager of public outreach for Williams, said. The nearly $3 billion project received the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) approval in February following a three-year review process.

The rally drew corporate leaders across several industries, legislators, natural gas workers and nonprofit organizers who urged Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration to promptly approve the state permits needed so that construction can begin on this critical energy infrastructure investment that’s forecasted to support approximately 8,000 jobs.

 

 

The Atlantic Sunrise pipeline will create a crucial connection between Pennsylvania and consuming markets all along the East Coast. In the process, it will deliver economic growth, jobs and increased access to affordable, clean-burning energy, making the state a keystone in the mid-Atlantic region.

“This producing region of the Marcellus is constrained by the lack of pipeline capacity.” said Toby Mack, president of the Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance, at the rally. “So much more gas could be produced and delivered for power generation, for homes and consumers, for heating, and for manufacturing if this pipeline were built.”

Local elected officials touted the benefits continued economic development throughout the state — a 2015 Pennsylvania State University study forecast the Atlantic Sunrise project to directly and indirectly support approximately 8,000 jobs in the 10 Pennsylvania counties during the project’s construction phase, resulting in an estimated $1.6 billion economic impact in the project area. And the jobs wouldn’t stop after the pipeline is built.

“Once that pipeline is in the ground and that gas can support other industries, it creates more job opportunities,” Joseph Lundy, of Cleveland Brothers Equipment, said.

Williams hopes to further help stimulate economic development with the launch of its WillShop Local app later this month. Project contractors will be able to connect with businesses and service providers along the project footprint through a mobile app, Atchie explained.

“We’re helping small businesses to capitalize on the massive investment we’re making,” Atchie said.

“The economic growth made possible by this project is astonishing,” Susquehanna County Commissioner Alan Hall said at the rally.

Bradford County Commissioner Doug McLinko also acknowledged pipelines as the safest, most efficient method of transporting energy.

“In Bradford County alone we’ve got 1,000 miles of installed pipeline — that means we could go from here to Miami, Florida, virtually,” McLinko said to the crowd. “Do you how many problems we’ve had? None.”

The 183-mile pipeline is nearing the end of its regulatory journey. Last month, more than 115 business, labor and community organizations — representing more than 77,000 members — and over 1,000 individuals voiced their support of the proposed Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project during a round of public hearings hosted by the PA DEP. Commentators submitted support during the public hearings or through signed letters.

During the second PA DEP comment period, public hearings were held in Lancaster, Wyoming, Columbia and Lebanon counties — four of the 10 counties the planned pipeline will cross in the state. During the 30-day public comment period, officials received remarks from 2,546 commentators: 1,916 (75 percent) voiced support for Atlantic Sunrise, while 630 (25 percent) shared opposition to the project.

“It’s time for Pennsylvania to get back to business,” state Rep. Jonathan Fritz said.

WillShop Local app will connect local businesses to Atlantic Sunrise workers

When Williams introduced Atlantic Sunrise — a nearly $3 billion expansion of the existing Transco natural gas pipeline — the company committed to working with contractors to encourage them to buy as many goods and services as possible from local businesses. As the pipeline moves closer to construction, Williams is using the latest technology to fulfill this commitment.

Later this month, the company will launch WillShop Local, a digital application designed to connect local businesses with contractors and construction crews working in the project area. Local businesses and service providers will benefit from construction activities associated with theAtlantic Sunrise project, which will bring thousands of direct and indirect jobs to the state.

“By working together, we can have a significant positive impact on local communities and small businesses in the project area,” Williams public outreach manager Mike Atchie said. “Williams is excited to bring this opportunity for local businesses in the communities along the project areas to showcase their products and services to our workers.”

Connecting Contractors to Communities

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Project contractors will have many needs as construction commences — construction materials, supplies, food, lodging, fuel, cleaning services and more. The WillShop Local app will be an easy and convenient way to connect pipeline workers to local businesses who offer these materials and services, helping drive local economic activity along the project footprint.

“At the Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce, promoting our members and making business-to-business and business-to-consumer connections is what we do,” said chamber President and CEO Karen Groh. “The Williams innovative WillShop smartphone app and program will do exactly that. It allows workers in the field quick and easy access to area businesses and services that they need. Not only does this help the workers find what they need locally, it keeps their spending dollars local, injecting money into the Lebanon Valley economy.”

Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Jason Fink said the WillShop Local program will be an excellent resource for his chamber members to sign up for and participate in.

“Thousands of workers will be up and down the pipeline route before, during and even after construction,” Fink said. “They will need to buy important goods and services. This one-stop shop will direct them to area businesses for all their needs. It’s a win for the area, for businesses and for ease of access for the worker.”

The design and construction of Atlantic Sunrise will support more than 8,000 jobs and an associated $870 million in economic value in project areas. WillShop Local will help to ensure businesses in local communities maximize the opportunities brought during project construction.