Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

June 11, 2014

Proposed pipeline will affect many things

— It was recently announced that Spectra Energy plans to run a natural gas pipeline (The Carolina Project) from just north of Centerville Pennsylvania to the Carolinas.

It is being built to provide natural gas from the Marcellus Shale gas fields of Pennsylvania for distribution to new natural gas fired power plants in the Carolinas and general local distribution in the same areas.

The route of this pipeline, at least in Bedford County, Pennsylvania, and Allegany County, will pass through many areas unsuitable for such an endeavor.

I have yet to speak with anyone in those counties who desire to have a natural gas pipeline on their property. I live in Beans Cove, Pa., an area which will be greatly impacted.

The location of the pipeline will depend on geological, historical, environmental and other factors. The area Spectra wishes to acquire is a 600-foot swath of land but only use about 100 feet. This pipeline will be the first of many to be laid in the 600-foot wide area.

I have talked with Spectra people and have not gotten any satisfactory answers. They say “We are still in the planning phase.” They know exactly where they want to go with this pipeline and do not plan to deviate from the 600-foot area.

In Bedford County, this pipeline is planned to pass through many sinkhole plains, cave and karst areas, the very last place to put a pipeline.

It will bisect farms and pass very close to residents homes. Wetlands will be involved, as will historical and Native American sites.

Allegany County will be in the same situation. This proposed pipeline was discussed at the last meeting of the Southampton Township Commissioners.

No one in attendance was in favor of this pipeline on or near their properties, for that matter, even in the township.

We know Spectra will get their way since “money talks.” I suggested alternate routes, but that will add mileage and cost to their project. They are looking for the shortest path to their goal.

Some ideas have been to establish setbacks for the pipeline from homes, barns, any buildings housing animals and grazing areas. Core drilling should be done in areas with known caves or the possibility of caves. No pipeline construction over or near faulted areas.

The following is a correspondence I received:  

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Hi, Don: This project is in the very early stages. We are committed to providing you with the most relevant and timely information when it becomes available However, we will not know if this project will move forward until late August 2014.

We will commit to a public meeting before we start surveying but only after we know we have the project. I hope this timeline is helpful.

I look forward to working with you and the county commissioners. Thanks

John Sheridan, director of governmental relations for Spectra Energy

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Only time will tell. If you have already received a letter of interest from Spectra and they want to survey your property, you should let them survey and express all concerns in writing to the agent and retain the original copy for yourself.

There are many ways to keep them from using your property for their pipeline.

The sad thing about the pipeline building is this:. Those who end up having the natural gas pipelines on their properties will never have natural gas piped into their homes. That is an urban and suburban luxury, not a rural one.  

I am the Bedford County Steward for Mid Atlantic Region of the National Speleological Society for Pennsylvania Cave Conservancy and know the geological aspects involved in the possible locations of this pipeline.

Don Carns Jr.

Beans Cove, Pa.

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