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Officials discuss upcoming pipeline at public forum

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Top, Ron Snell, of Plunketts Creek Township, asks a question during the Loyalsock Creek Project informational meeting at the Plunketts Creek Volunteer Fire Co. in Barbours Wednesday.

BARBOURS — Pennsylvania General Energy Co.’s plans for a pipeline project in the Plunkett’s Creek area of Loyalsock Creek drew plenty of questions, but in many cases, not a lot of specific answers at a public meeting Wednesday night.

The company officials, along with those representing state agencies overseeing the project, discussed the plan with concerned residents who showed up at the Plunkett’s Township Volunteer Fire Co.

State Rep. Garth Everett, R-Muncy, made it clear to the gathering that the meeting was merely an informational session as the project remains in the preliminary stages.

Plans call for PGE to

install a water pipeline, pump station and natural gas gathering line to serve gas well pads in Lycoming County.

The water pipeline, PGE officials noted, will preclude hauling water by truck and minimizing vehicle traffic.

And, it is expected to eliminate an estimated 126,000 truckloads of water from area roads.

Nathan Harris, PGE vice president for health, safety and the environment, said all efforts will be made to minimize impacts.

He said the project calls for the construction of six water impoundments.

Todd Eaby, manager of project review, Susquehanna River Basin Commission, noted his agency, as yet, has no specifics on PGE’s plan.

He said the commission will consider the project from different aspects.

“There will be an aquatic resource survey,” he said. “We will develop flow studies at the withdrawal site.”

Eaby said water withdrawals would be required to be recorded.

Everett noted that PGE has purchased property on both sides of Loyalsock Creek just south of the area known as Best Beach.

He said the company did similar work in the Pine Creek Valley several years ago.

Responding to concerns about the location of water and gas lines, PGE officials noted that they would likely be placed five to 10 feet below the creek bed.

The pump station, pumping water up to 24 hours a day, would create little to no noise for area landowners.

Jordan Allison, chief of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s natural gas section, said his agency will consider the plan to ensure the waterway and habitat are not endangered or disturbed.

Brian Bailey, state Department of Environmental Protection program manager, Surface Activities Division, said his agency will consider the plan with respect to water withdrawal, erosion and sedimentation, and obstruction and encroachment.

“We are in the early phase of design with this project,” said Lou Weilacher, PGE senior landman.

Tree removals, he said, will be limited.

“We will replant any trees,” he added.

The project must be approved by DEP, the Susquehanna commission and the Fish and Boat Commission.

Everett said additional meetings to discuss the project will be held.

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