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Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf Creates Task Force on Pipeline Infrastructure Development

On May 27, 2015, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced the formation of a task force to help the Commonwealth, the natural gas industry and communities partner for the development of new pipeline infrastructure to allow natural gas and related byproducts to more effectively reach the market.  The task force will focus on creating a series of best practices for the planning, siting and routing of pipelines.  It is projected that Pennsylvania may see the construction of up to 25,000 miles of gathering lines in the next decade, and possibly another 4,000 to 5,000 miles of midstream and transmission lines.  John Quigley, the acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, will serve as chairman of the task force.  The Governor will seek representatives from state agencies, the legislature, federal and local governments, the pipeline and natural gas industries and environmental groups to join the task force.  Some of the goals of the task force are to plan construction practices that reduce environmental impact, establish a predictable and efficient permitting process, develop long-term operations and maintenance plans and engage in meaningful public participation.