The Atlantic Sunrise Over the Marcellus Shale: It’s Here

shale gas outrages - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.



The Atlantic Sunrise has received its Pennsylvania DEP water quality certification. The sun is indeed rising over the Marcellus Shale and its landowners.

Pennsylvania, thankfully, is not New York. That simple fact was proved again earlier today when the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued water quality permits for the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project. It’s going to happen. No games, no demagoguery, no unreasonable delay; just a DEP simple decision to do what the law provides and now this critical infrastructure is ready to go.

Atlantic Sunrise

Lancaster Online Photo of Atlantic Sunrise Pipe

Here’s the word from DEP:

After thorough review, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has approved the Chapter 105 and Chapter 102 permit applications for the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Project. The pipeline will transport natural gas from northeast Pennsylvania to mid-Atlantic and southern states.

“DEP undertook a thorough review of these permit applications, and factored in thousands of comments from Pennsylvania residents,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “DEP’s technical staff reviewed the comments in evaluating the revised plans and final permit conditions that must be met throughout the construction process of this pipeline.”

The project required Chapter 105 Water Obstruction and Encroachment Permit for each of the 10 counties the project crosses (Susquehanna, Luzerne, Schuylkill, Wyoming, Columbia, Northumberland, Lancaster, Lycoming, Clinton and Lebanon), as well as 3 Chapter 102 erosion and sediment control permit authorizations…

The permits were issued with strict special conditions designed to ensure the strongest possible protections for streams and wetlands, as well as additional stipulations for landowners with private drinking water wells.

And, heres’s what Williams had to say:

The company received the Chapter 105 (Water Obstruction and Encroachment) and Chapter 102 (Erosion and Sediment Control) permits from PADEP on Aug. 30 and the Clean Water Act Section 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Aug. 29.

The receipt of these remaining state and federal permits will allow the company to immediately commence the process of requesting a Notice to Proceed with construction from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), targeting commencing greenfield pipeline construction in Pennsylvania this fall. The full project capacity is scheduled to be placed into service in mid-2018.

The company also reported today that, in advance of the greenfield portion of the project coming into service, it has received Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval to place a portion of the project into service early and, accordingly, expects to begin partial service Sept. 1, providing 400,000 dth/day of firm transportation service on Transco’s existing mainline facilities to various delivery points as far south as Choctaw County, Alabama. The partial service milestone is the result of recently completed modifications to existing Transco facilities in Virginia and Maryland designed to further accommodate bi-directional flow on the existing Transco pipeline system.

“We are very pleased to have reached these important milestones for the Atlantic Sunrise project,” said Alan Armstrong, Williams’ president and chief executive officer. “This vital project will leverage existing infrastructure to deliver economic growth and help millions of Americans gain access to affordable Pennsylvania-produced clean-burning natural gas.”

Micheal Dunn, Williams’ executive vice president and chief operating officer, commented: “The Atlantic Sunrise project has been through a rigorous, thorough review process in Pennsylvania and we are committed to installing this important infrastructure in an environmentally responsible manner and in compliance with the state’s high environmental standards.”

FERC authorized the project in February 2017, concluding that environmental impacts associated with the project would be reduced to “less than significant levels” with the implementation of mitigation measures proposed by the company and FERC.

Once complete, the Atlantic Sunrise expansion will help alleviate infrastructure bottlenecks in Pennsylvania, connecting abundant Marcellus gas supplies with markets in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern U.S. The nearly $3 billion expansion of the existing Transco natural gas pipeline is designed to increase deliveries by 1.7 billion cubic feet per day (enough to provide daily service to seven million homes). Williams Partners’ net investment in the Atlantic Sunrise project is expected to be approximately $1.9 billion. Pennsylvania State University researchers forecast the Atlantic Sunrise project to directly and indirectly support approximately 8,000 jobs in the 10 Pennsylvania counties during the project’s construction phase, resulting in an estimated $1.6 billion economic impact in the project area.

Additional information about the Atlantic Sunrise project can be found at

These permits reflect well both on DEP and Williams as well as its partners. The Atlantic Sunrise was a model of how to get it done. The company is to be congratulated. Landowners in the Marcellus Shale will be the big beneficiaries as this pipeline will allow far more marketing of this gas. It marks a huge milestone inboxed the fight against fractivists who realize this and know every new mile off pipeline brings more natural gas into the economy and demonstrates what it can do for the environment to the great detriment of their foolish opposition.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

3 thoughts on “The Atlantic Sunrise Over the Marcellus Shale: It’s Here


    Well I’m sure you will find this “news” (and by the way it is curious that this nrdc blog shows up under the news category) on the NYDEC and another pipeline permit interesting. So let’s see Al gores daughter writes an editorial on the long delayed permit for consitution pipeline and in like the next week on Earth day 2016 the NY DEC denies the permit for that project. What project was rejected earlier this year?

    And of course that’s after the NY DEC came to the conclusion that nowhere in NY State could this “fracking” occur for natrual gas. Interesting stuff.

  2. A great milestone .
    Your continued interest and updates on the gas industry are apprecisted.
    Do you believe that the gas industry will
    be revived in Wayne County.

  3. I expect no reply as to the facts about actual contamination in Dimock – but I’d love to hear Tom’s spin on this one.

    After fracking was allowed in 2012 w/in the 9 mile Cabot drilling/fracking moratorium, Ken Marcom’s water well was ruined. Cabot’s been working to fix the issues – trying to drill a new well – that only found polluted water also. Kim and Ken where told by Cabot that if they where quiet and told no one in the public, Cabot would continue to bring Marcom’s water. I know much about this case as I have interviewed Kim and Ken, but was sworn to secrecy because of their fear Cabot would leave them high and dry…. another victim this website’s PR propaganda gave Cabot cover to do more harm. Again, Tom – since you have no real knowledge of these cases (you’ve never visited the sites or spoken w/ the victims) .. and you’ve been unable thus far to answer basic questions about these cases – I expect you will again ignore the valid questions I’ve repeatedly asked you about them, and look instead for a way to help Cabot hurt these families more – like maybe suing the Marcoms (*also under gag order) .. as they have Ray Kemble.

    In ‘Gasland’ community, new tests revive old drilling debate

    DIMOCK, Pa. (AP) — The well water at Ken Morcom and Kim Grosso’s house is laced with so much explosive methane that a Pennsylvania environmental regulator who went there to collect samples this summer decided it would be safer to coast her SUV down the driveway.

    Morcom and Grosso want to leave but doubt they could sell a house with tainted water. So, a few weeks ago, they asked the gas driller they blame for polluting their well to buy them out.

    “I was hoping they’d fix it. But I’ve given up hope,” said Morcom, 49, who supports drilling but has become disillusioned with Houston-based Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. “Just let us out of the box.”

    “The box” is the couple’s 8-acre spread in rural Dimock Township. But Morcom could have been talking about Dimock itself.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *