DALLAS TOWNSHIP, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A spokesperson for an intervenor in the Atlantic Sunrise Expansion natural gas pipeline says federal regulators certified the project without a reasonable review of the environmental and cultural impacts of these additional 'lateral' pipelines.
When the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission noticed the Atlantic Sunrise Expansion for public comment, it is understandable that the public reasonably believed they were commenting on what was noticed – a single pipeline.
However, FERC ultimately certified not just one pipeline – it also granted the company a blanket authorization that would allow it to utilize the federal power of eminent domain to potentially construct numerous other “lateral” lines and ancillary facilities with limited notice or environmental review.
Carolyn Elefant, an attorney representing intervenor Geraldine Nesbitt, said the Certification Order citing the Atlantic Sunrise Expansion suggests the Williams Companies conglomerate could be planning a “shell game” for an even more ambitious project than previously disclosed on land owned by the Nesbitt family for generations.
“Allowing ‘lateral’ lines, or other ancillary facilities, to be built on the property owned by Ms. Nesbitt could be viewed as the first step toward the development of additional infrastructure well beyond just the Atlantic Sunrise Expansion that Williams has proposed,” Ms. Elefant said.
“This network would, of course, have a substantially greater impact on the environmental and cultural resources on this land than what was already expected than that described in the documentation and far more than what was considered or reviewed by FERC as required by the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and other relevant legal obligations particularly the consideration of cumulative impacts,” she said.
“And yet, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the Atlantic Sunrise Expansion without explaining the repercussions of a blanket certificate and fully and fairly notifying the public of the potential for the addition of 'lateral pipelines,'” she said. “In fact, FERC did not consider the environmental and cultural resource impacts of these ‘lateral’ lines at all.”
“We believe that Williams and FERC must be forthcoming about the purpose, extent and impacts of these future ‘lateral’ lines and additional facilities and conduct the proper review,” Ms. Elefant said.
About Geraldine Nesbitt
Geraldine Nesbitt is the owner of The Nesbitt Parcel in Dallas Township, PA. Ms. Nesbitt seeks to protect and preserve extraordinarily unique cultural resources on her property that are highly significant to several Federally Recognized Indian Tribes, which experts believe also qualify as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ms. Nesbitt is also seeking to protect significant environmental habitats on her property that experts state are comparable to, or exceed, with regard to biodiversity, any state park in Pennsylvania.
About the Nesbitt Parcel
The Nesbitt Parcel has been owned and conserved by the Nesbitt family for more than 120 years. Abram Nesbitt, a prominent businessman and philanthropist who funded the area's first hospital in 1912, bought the first section of the current ownership in the 1890s. Eventually, 40 other parcels were purchased and added together to form the current Nesbitt Parcel. The Williams Companies (NYSE: WMB) and Williams Partners (NYSE: WPZ) are enlarging and expanding the capacity of an interstate pipelines through what is called the Atlantic Sunrise project. Williams Partners seeks eminent domain powers to impact the land owned by Ms. Nesbitt.
Note: The Nesbitt Parcel is private property and trespassers are subject to prosecution.
©Copyright 2017 by Geraldine Nesbitt. All rights reserved.