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Heidelberg Township in Lebanon County, PA. Photo by Nicholas, CC 2.0 via Wikimedia

Lebanon County, Pa. public looks to local laws to oppose pipeline

Shane Thielges | Shale Plays Media

Residents of Lebanon County in Pennsylvania are hoping to enact local ordinances to alter the construction of a pipeline planned for the area, reports PennLive.

Williams Partners, LP seeks to build the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline through the county as part of a larger effort to connect Marcellus shale gas producing wells to its existing Transco pipeline for sale to various national markets. About 27 of the network’s 42 proposed miles would pass through Lebanon County, including the South Londonderry, South Annville, North Annville, East Hanover and Union townships.

A local group known as Lebanon Pipeline Awareness called for help from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund to plan their strategy. Chad Nicholson, the group’s representative, said the region’s best bet is to enact local ordinances that control zoning permits and air and water protection rather than trying to oppose drilling companies directly:

State and federal laws supersede local ordinances, he said. Regulatory agencies, like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or the state Department of Environmental Protection, issue permits but can’t stop a project that meets the permit requirements.

That means local communities might be able to delay or reroute the pipeline, but not ban it, he said.

Almost 100 Pennsylvania municipalities have adopted local laws concerning community rights.

PennLive has the story: Pipeline opponents hope to challenge Atlantic Sunrise Project with new type of law

Related: Export expansion precedes proliferation of pipelines

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