Public meetings to be held on pipeline

A planned pipeline project that would span at least nine counties in the state will be the subject of a public meeting next week in Bloomsburg.

The meeting will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. on Aug. 6 in the Haas Center for the Arts at Bloomsburg University, 400 E. Second Street, Bloomsburg.

It will be one of four meetings held next week by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to seek public input about the environmental impact of a gas pipeline project proposed by Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Co, LLC, also known as Transco, a subsidiary of Williams Partners L.P.

The Atlantic Sunrise Expansion Project would deliver natural gas from the state to mid-Atlantic and southeastern markets in the country by way of more than 177 miles of new 30 and 42-inch-diameter pipelines to be constructed in Columbia, Lancaster, Lebanon, Luzerne, Northumberland, Schuylkill, Susquehanna and Wyoming counties, according to the commission.

The project also includes the construction of several compressor stations in the above counties. One of those stations could be built near an existing compressor station in the county, though the commission stressed that Transco still is in the planning phases of the project and that a formal application has yet to be filed.

The purpose of the four meetings is to allow the public a chance to weigh in on what environmental concerns the commission should consider when it conducts its environmental impact statement for the project.

The commission already has identified several issues that deserve attention, including, but not limited to, the impact the pipeline will have on forested, residential, and recreational areas, as well as the impact it will have on property values, wildlife, vegetation, and groundwater.

The proposed project also calls for the construction of facilities in Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Before the meeting, staff from Williams Partners will be available for an open house from 6 to 7 p.m.