Gas line replacement set to begin in July

First Posted: 2/26/2012

Natural gas issues were at the forefront of the board of supervisors meeting on Tuesday, as officials discussed the replacement of the Transco pipeline and revising its zoning ordinance.

The township office received notice Tuesday from the Williams-owned Transco interstate pipeline that two replacements of the line will begin in July and conclude in mid-September.

Transco will replace a 2,044-foot section that runs underneath Hildebrandt Road and a 193-foot section that runs between Yalick Road and Highland Boulevard.

Resident Jane Tolomello asked the board whether the pipeline’s current condition poses a problem to residents.

“I would like to know the reason why, because if it’s a matter of some dangers that they’re waiting until July to do – if it’s a matter of a leak waiting to happen – I think it would be nice for them to notify the municipality as well as the residents living nearby,” she said.

Township Engineer Thomas Doughton said the company may be changing the class of the pipe, which determines the thickness.

Supervisor Bill Grant said he spoke to a Williams official about the project who told him the line was tested with a smart pig, a device that runs through the line to collect detailed information, in 2010 and it was deemed to be in “good condition.”

Grant said the Williams engineer also told him the replacement is part of standard maintenance on the line.

“They assured me…there were no problems,” said Grant.

The Transco gas pipeline runs from Texas to New York.

In Dallas Township, Williams Field Services LLC recently completed its 33-mile Springville Gathering Line from Susquehanna County, which taps into the Transco.

Another gas company, Chief Gathering LLC, is in the process of constructing a gathering line to connect to the Transco line located in Dallas Township.

Doughton told residents the Springville project is about 95 percent complete and vegetation will be planted on the right-of-way along Sedlar Road and in other areas in late March or early April.

“They’re very sophisticated planting schedules, and … it’s strictly for storm water controls,” he said.

Solicitor Thomas Brennan said the township must begin restructuring its zoning ordinance due to the passage of House Bill 1950 in the state legislature.

The bill, signed into law last week, updates the Oil and Gas Act of 1984 and one aspect of the law is to remove land-use controls from local governments.

Brennan said the ordinance amendment passed in October, which set detailed regulations on natural gas and oil development in the township, would need to be scrapped. He suggested the supervisors work with planning consultant Jack Varaly in the creation of a new ordinance.

Brennan added that agreements made with natural gas companies do not apply to the new law. Last year the township negotiated two agreements with Chief and Williams to specify terms for their pipeline and metering station projects.

The board also heard from resident Kerrie Anderson, who has been trying to prove that the township owns her street, Skyview Drive, for the last three years.

The street is part of New Goss Manor and Anderson said the township road department does not plow snow or complete maintenance on the roadway, though she believes it is part of the township.

She said it is a dangerous situation for her family. She also said she has documents to prove the street is owned by the township.

The board had tabled a decision about what to decide in Anderson’s circumstances at its last meeting, but Brennan said the board decided Tuesday that the road does not belong to the township and, therefore, is ineligible to receive service.

Anderson said she will continue to fight the decision through legal actions.

In other news, the board …

• Approved a motion to advertise for 25 40-yard waste containers for the 2012 Spring Cleanup program, scheduled for May 7 through May 12.

• Authorized the advertisement for bids for 2012 road materials.

• Scheduled a public hearing for 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 20 for the transfer of a liquor license from Kingston to Dallas Township for Acacia Services LLC of 1340 Country Club Rd., Dallas.

• The board of supervisors will hold a work session at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 6 in the municipal building.

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