10,000 signatures reached
To: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Ban Proposed Natural Gas Pipelines in Lancaster County, PA
Do not approve the Central Penn Line, a proposed pipeline project that would transport fracked gas from Susquehanna County through Lancaster County. This proposed pipeline threatens the land we live on, the water we drink, the air we breathe, and our most treasured outdoor spaces —- and violates our rights under Pennsylvania law, which affirms the rights of citizens to have clean air and water and pristine natural spaces. Therefore we call on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to deny Williams Partners permission to construct the Central Penn Line.
Why is this important?
This petition is written by and for concerned residents of Pennsylvania who are affected by the proposed construction of the 178-mile-long Central Penn Line natural gas pipeline, which would run from Susquehanna County to Lancaster County.
This proposed pipeline threatens the land we live on, the water we drink, the air we breathe, and our most treasured outdoor spaces — and violate our rights under Pennsylvania law. Therefore we call on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to deny Williams Partners (Tulsa, OK) permission to construct the Central Penn Line, and we call upon residents and friends of southeast Pennsylvania to join together in this cause.
Some important facts about the proposed Central Penn Line:
• This is a non-essential pipeline. The proposed pipeline is, by Williams’ own admission, merely a shortcut between already-existing lines. The proposed pipeline would be 42 inches wide and under 1200-1500 pressure per square inch (meaning an explosion— and Williams has had many— could have devastating consequences). It would also create a 125-ft wide construction zone during the development process, and require a permanent 50-ft clear-cut right of way. This would mean irrevocable changes to our land, forests, and nature preserves.
• None of the pipeline’s gas will benefit Pennsylvania residents. PA will bear the destruction involved in pipeline construction, as well as the permanent risks associated with major natural gas transport through our scenic woods, pristine waterways, and treasured farmlands. Yet 100% of this natural gas will flow out of our state—potentially to US ports for export to foreign countries.
• The pipeline would permanently damage the scenic River Hills of the Susquehanna River, including some of the region’s most treasured natural preserves: Tucquan Glen, Kelly’s Run, Fishing Creek, Rock Springs, and Shenk's Ferry Wildflower Preserve. The preservation of these areas is important for their natural beauty, their role in maintaining the health of local ecosystems, and the outdoor recreation opportunities (hiking, fishing, hunting, etc.) they afford.
• In Lancaster County, much of the proposed pipeline’s path violates land now protected by Lancaster County Conservancy and Lancaster Farmland Trust. Both organizations are fighting hard to keep this pipeline off our lands. Millions of dollars have been donated and spent by generations of landowners for the express purpose of land preservation. The preservation of our farms and woodlands protects the livelihoods of generations to come, protects the food we eat, and protects our Lancastrian cultural inheritance and our living history.
• If FERC grants permission, then even those landowners who oppose the pipeline will lose their land rights through eminent domain. Running pipelines through individual properties decreases property values — and owners will not be compensated for this loss. At the same time, because of decreased property values, local municipalities lose tax money — and are not compensated for this either. This proposal violates the purpose of eminent domain. The 5th Amendment states that eminent domain may only be enacted when it will benefit the public. But this natural gas being pumped through the fertile, pristine soil of Lancaster County is not for the benefit of Lancastrians or Pennsylvanians — instead it will be transported to the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, and may even be exported overseas. Therefore, this project is not valid under the founding principles of eminent domain. Landowners should be entitled to retain their properties unmarred by these pipelines.
• Fracking is contaminating water, poisoning the air, industrializing communities, and putting public health at risk across Pennsylvania. Building more fracked gas infrastructure will only commit Pennsylvania to more dirty drilling, further endangering our communities.
• When it comes to public health, these pipelines endanger the air we breathe and the water we drink. Pipelines such as this one have exploded multiple times in the past, killing and injuring people and destroying homes. Williams Partners has a history of lax safety standards, frequent pipeline leaks, and explosions. Few regulations (and even less monitoring) exist to ensure the safety of these pipelines for humans or the environment. Who bears the cost of these risks? The local communities who live near the pipelines.
Our present and future community has the right to a safe and clean environment— in fact, these rights are guaranteed under Pennsylvania law. Yet this proposed pipeline project threatens those rights. Therefore we call on FERC to deny permission for this project.