A total of 24 Pennsylvania organizations will benefit this fall from $102,100 in funding from Williams through the company’s semiannual Atlantic Sunrise Community Grant program. Williams awarded up to $10,000 each to eligible organizations in communities where the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project was constructed.
Williams today reported that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved the Company’s request to place its Atlantic Sunrise project into full service. The Company plans to place the project into full service on Oct. 6, 2018.
Backed by long-term shipper commitments, the historic project increases the design capacity of the Transco pipeline, the largest-volume natural gas pipeline system in the United States, by 1.7 billion cubic feet per day (approximately 12 percent) to 15.8 billion cubic feet per day. In the process, the project further strengthens and extends the bi-directional flow of the Transco system, directly connecting Marcellus gas supplies with markets as far south as Alabama.
“This project makes the largest-volume pipeline system in the country even larger, further executing on our strategy to connect premier natural gas supply areas with the best markets in the country,” said Alan Armstrong, Williams president and chief executive officer. “The project is significant for Pennsylvania and natural gas-consuming markets all along the East Coast, alleviating infrastructure bottlenecks and providing millions of consumers direct access to one of the most abundant, cost-effective natural gas supply sources in the country.”
Williams Chief Operating Officer Micheal Dunn added, “I’m proud of our project team for their focus and carefully executing this complex project in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. Their efforts have truly distinguished this project, positively collaborating with regulators, key stakeholders and communities to overcome challenges and install this critical infrastructure thoughtfully without experiencing any significant injuries or environmental issues. Even in the final months of construction, as some segments of the project area sustained more than 20 inches of rainfall, our teams acted quickly to restore the right-of-way and ensure environmental compliance requirements were met.”
On Aug. 18 Williams filed additional minor route changes with the FERC for its Atlantic Sunrise project. This most recent supplemental filing reflects the company’s continued efforts to further reduce potential environmental impacts by addressing and incorporating feedback from project stakeholders. As a direct result of stakeholder input, Williams has made more than 400 route adjustments to more than 50% of the greenfield pipeline route since it was originally introduced. Click here to view the filing.
Sections of steel pipe milled for the construction of the proposed Atlantic Sunrise project are currently being manufactured and transported to various temporary storage yards maintained by Williams’ pipe transportation contractor in Pennsylvania. The pipe must be manufactured and transported many months in advance of construction due to the long lead time associated with milling the nearly 200 miles of pipe associated with the project.
Pipeline operators often work with state or federal permitting agencies to offset construction impacts by partnering with local environmental organizations. Through these coordinated efforts, local environmental organizations often receive financial support to fund projects and programs. These partnerships provide a unique opportunity for conservation organizations to secure the resources that are needed to complete important environmental initiatives.
For example, in 2015 Williams coordinated with the Donegal Chapter of Trout Unlimited (DTU) on a compensatory mitigation project in Conowingo Creek Watershed in Lancaster County, PA to restore and create wetlands and streams, and create a forested riparian buffer. The project, known as the Lloyd Farm Conversation Project, provided Williams with a mitigation opportunity to offset impacts of the Rock Springs Expansion, which was constructed late last year in Lancaster County and Cecil County, MD.
The Lloyd Farm Conservation Project is a $345,685 environmental improvement effort made possible through Williams’ mitigation funding combined with the DTU’s 319 Grant funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
According to DTU President James Wellendorf, the restoration work at Lloyd Farm was the first DTU had utilized mitigation funding to tackle a significant water conservation project.
“This project has broken new ground for our chapter. Throughout the entire process all parties – Williams, Pennsylvania Trout Unlimited, Trout Unlimited and Donegal Trout Unlimited – have worked together in the spirit of cooperation and doing what is right for the environment.” – James Wallendorf, DTU President
Development of the wetlands, riparian buffers, and stream restoration of Lloyd Farm Conservation Project is scheduled for completion in summer of 2016 and will be monitored by DTU and Williams during the next several years.
The Atlantic Sunrise proposal reached a major milestone earlier this month when it received notice that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) had issued the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The EIS concluded that environmental impacts would be reduced to “less than significant levels” with the implementation of proposed mitigation measures by the company and by FERC.
The draft EIS assesses the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of the project in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. The FERC is the primary approval agency and serves in a coordinating role with other relevant federal and state agencies.
“This is a significant milestone for the project. We are committed to working to ensure that this project is constructed in a responsible, environmentally-sensitive manner so that we can connect consumers along the East Coast with abundant, cost-effective Pennsylvania natural gas supplies.” – Atlantic Sunrise Project Director Chris Springer.
Williams has mailed its latest Project Update stakeholder newsletter.
All meetings will begin at 7:00 p.m. and are scheduled as follows:
June 13, 2016
Manheim Township High School
115 Blue Streak Boulevard
Lancaster, PA 17601
June 14, 2016
Lebanon Valley College
101 N. College Avenue
Annville, PA 17003
June 15, 2016
Haas Center for the Arts – Mitrani Hall
400 E. Second Street
Bloomsburg, PA 17815
June 16, 2016
Lake Lehmon High School
1128 Old Route 115
Dallas, PA 18612
William’ Atlantic Sunrise proposal has received notice that that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
Fire departments, schools, hospitals and townships are a few of the 57 Pennsylvania organizations that will receive more than $381,000 in funding this spring from Williams through its bi-annual community grant program. To view the complete list, click here.