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.”
“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.”
“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”
“This project has been thoroughly vetted by various entities. It has received a 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.”
“Manufacturers depend on natural gas to remain globally competitive.”
“When we build pipelines, we build them safely, with the least amount of environmental impact possible.”
“The good jobs created by this project will support families across the state.”