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Category Page: Eastern Panhandle

National Park Service Weighs in on TransCanada Pipeline

The National Park Service has yet to approve an application for TransCanada to survey an area just west of Hancock, Maryland.

transcanada The company plans to lay a natural gas pipeline under the historic C&O Canal and the Potomac River.

The proposal has drawn protests from residents concerned about the impact of the gas pipeline on the river and the canal.

TransCanada applied for a survey permit in September 2016 saying it hoped to begin the survey in October and complete the survey by the end of this year – and that it hoped to apply for a construction permit this month.

But the National Park Service is sitting on the application to survey and won’t say why.

“We have only received requests for survey work,” said National Park Service spokesperson Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles. “We are reviewing these requests and have not issued any permits to the company at this time.”

“The company has not applied for a right-of-way permit at this time,” Anzelmo-Sarles said. “If and when the company submits an application, careful consideration will be given to the request to evaluate any potential impacts at that time. The National Park Service must consider the purposes and resources of the affected national park system, as expressed in statutes, regulations, and policies. The National Park Service values public input and will strive to make sure the public and relevant stakeholders are kept up-to-date on the project. If the company applies for a right-of-way permit at a later date, we will share additional information at that time.”

 

Article written by Russell Mokhiber and sourced from MorganCountyUSA.org

TransCanada Confidential Document Shows Plans to Finish Pipeline Under Potomac River and C&O Canal by Fall 2018

TransCanada’s Columbia Pipeline Group is shooting for the fall of 2018 to complete a four mile natural gas pipeline that will run from the Pennsylvania border east of Hancock, Maryland, then under the C&O Canal and the Potomac River and on into West Virginia to connect to another natural gas pipeline being proposed by Mountaineer Gas Company.

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But that 2018 target date seems like an ambitious goal given the regulatory hurdles the TransCanada pipeline faces, including approvals from the National Parks Service, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Maryland Department of the Environment.

Already, TransCanada is having problems clearing the first hurdle – the National Parks Service.

In a document marked “confidential — do not distribute,” TransCanada says that it plans to apply to the National Parks Service for construction of the pipeline in December 2016.

But that can’t happen until the company completes a survey of the area.

And while TransCanada applied for a survey permit in September 2016, and TransCanada says that it intended to start surveying work in October and end in December, that survey permit has yet to be approved by the National Parks Service. Surveying cannot begin until the permit is issued.

TransCanada says in the document that one purpose of the pipeline is to deliver gas – via the Mountaineer Gas pipeline – to the new Procter & Gamble facility in Berkeley County.

But Procter & Gamble said earlier this year that it had “not signed a letter of intent with any gas company for the Tabler Station plant.”

And Procter & Gamble says that the plant is on schedule to open later next year and will be fully operational by 2019.

Read: P&G is not depending on natural gas from the proposed pipelines.

In the document, TransCanada says it plans to use a technique called horizontal directional drilling to dig under the C&O Canal and the Potomac River.

According to the company, horizontal directional drilling is a “trenchless method for installing a product that serves as a conduit for gas and is achieved by use of hydraulic drilling equipment pushing a drill bit into the earth at a predetermined angle to create a path for the new pipeline.”

TransCanada also claims that “the C&O Canal enabling legislation is flexible enough to authorize a right of way for construction of a trans-park natural gas pipeline.”

“Section 5(b) of the C&O Canal enabling legislation contains language related to park access and states that ‘other uses of park lands, and utility, highway, and railway crossings, may be authorized under permit by the Secretary, if such uses and crossings are not in conflict with the purposes of the park and are in accord with any requirements found necessary to preserve park values.’”

TransCanada doesn’t say how a gas pipeline upholds park values.

 

Article written sourced from MorganCountyUSA.org