First Posted: 3/16/2013
When plans for a gas pipeline compressor station in West Wyoming soured for UGI Energy Services, project managers sought a new station site to supply propulsion for their Auburn Pipeline.
Taking their plans farther north up the line, company representatives proposed a compressor station in Washington Township.
The township supervisors there granted conditional approval for station construction last month at a site near the Procter & Gamble manufacturing complex.
Dan Huff, the supervisors’ vice chairman, said UGI representatives showed up readier than most at the township meeting.
“Of all the companies we’ve dealt with so far, they were the most prepared,” he said.
The supervisors’ conditions are that the company finalizes outstanding permit applications for the station, provides a more thorough emergency response plan outlining procedures in case of leaks or blowouts, and keeps the noise down once the station is up and running.
“We kind of have a reputation for being sticklers (about enforcing conditions),” Huff said with a chuckle.
The pumping station will be smaller than the one proposed for West Wyoming, but will be sufficient to move gas nearly 30 miles from the Tennessee interstate pipeline in Susquehanna County to the Transco interstate pipeline in Luzerne County, according to Kevin Kelleher, the company’s producer services manager.
In an email statement, Kelleher said with this pipeline construction, the company hopes to relieve natural gas costs for individuals while keeping an eye on the environment.
“We are hoping to lower these costs further by reducing the cost to transport gas to these local markets while constantly taking care to minimize any impacts on our environment,” he wrote.
While preparing their emergency response plan, UGI planners invited the township’s first responders to tour their existing compressor station near Lawton, Pa., Huff said.
The station will be monitored remotely around the clock and, once it is completed, can be remotely shut down in an emergency.
In addition, one or two engineers will man the station five days per week, Huff said.
The Auburn Pipeline’s construction is scheduled to be completed late this summer. But some of its first stages are to be completed soon.
Tree-clearing along the pipeline’s route must be completed by April 1, Kelleher said. The state Department of Environmental Protection requires this because some protected tree-dwelling animals return after that date.
When the township supervisors granted conditional approval, Huff said, they met no opposition from the public.
He said he did not think anyone else had even attended the meeting.
Generally, there is a peaceful co-existence between the gas companies and township residents, he said.
“In this area, we’re used to gas,” said Huff. “We’ve gotten comfortable with it.”