Pipeline Development Helps Return Lackawanna River to Glory

natural gas nowTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

The Lackawanna River, once no more than a polluted coal region artery, is being restored thanks to a conservation group, a utility and a pipeline builder.

This is a beautiful story about a beautiful river that courses through the Lackawanna Valley, providing a trout stream in the midst of what was once known only as coal country. Indeed, how well I remember crossing over the river as a child in our family car and immediately being detoured around collapsing portions of the street due to underground mine fires that spewed smoke into the air.

The scene was so other-worldly the Saturday Evening Post even did a story on it in 1963, but today things are different and the Lackawanna River is now a trout stream thanks to the efforts of many, including the Lackawanna River Conservation Association. Moreover, the efforts continue and pipeline development is helping big-time with huge contributions from gas company UGI and utility contractor Linde Corporation. It’s not a new river but, rather, one “restored to glory.”

The story, beautifully narrated by Linde Corporation’s Communication Director, Kevin Lynn, is, as the title says, the “Culmination of Cooperation” by the Lackawanna River Conservation Association, UGI and Linde. Linde Corporation was contracted by UGI to build a gas pipeline underneath a rail trail along the river, with attendant conservation measures taken throughout the process. The rail-trail not only opens the glory of the river up to public appreciation, but also buffers it from the sorts of activities that once polluted it.

The video is about 11 minutes long but well worth the hike down the trail. Just click to play:

Lackawanna River

Lackawanna River

Scott Linde of Linde Corporation shepherded video development, having been a proud part of the overall project. He should be proud. This is yet another example of the positive multiplier effects of the natural gas industry; another demonstration of the community sustainability being wrought by companies that, in contrast to the past, are doing it right. It’s a beautiful story. And, it’s not over yet. There are still miles to go.

Lackawanna River

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4 thoughts on “Pipeline Development Helps Return Lackawanna River to Glory

  1. Tom—
    Thanks for a nice review of Linde’s efforts and those of UGI to bring the Lackawanna River back to its long-ago glory.
    Yes, conservation and industry ARE compatible.

  2. As a member of Rail-Trail it was a very special ribbon cutting yesterday July 31st at the trail head in Forest City. Many officials, both state and local plus representatives from agencies such as DCED and DCNR attended. Linde Corporation and UGI placed the natural gas lines under the trail and when the rebuilt was done the trail is safer, the surface smoother and drainage is excellant. A one time event was being allowed to drive on the trail from Forest City to Morris Ave. in Simpson across from the Industrial Park. Commended for the bringing together industry, a non-profit Rail-Trail and officials at state and local level showed that when working together great outcomes can happen for the people of PA. Be sure to take your bike or hike on NE Rails to Trails which is from Simpson to NY state.

  3. The amazing fact brought out at the ribbon cutting was that this massive two year, multi million dollar project involved tens of thousands of hours of work and did not result in a single OSHA reportable event. A declaration of the safety practices of Linde Corporation and UGI., as well as the gas industry.

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