OMB Declines to Approve PHMSA Proposal to Modify the National Pipeline Mapping System

On March 23, 2017, OMB concluded its review of PHMSA’s proposed expansion of the data collected under the National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS).  OMB elected to reapprove the current information collection supporting NPMS and not the revisions propo(…)

Pipelines are safe. They already are the safest way to transport energy – and getting safer.

In a recent op-ed published in the Post-Gazette, “Gas Pipelines Represent Prosperity” (Sept. 5 Perspectives), David Spigelmyer and James Kunz of the Marcellus Shale Coalition described the many benefits that Pennsylvanians could see from the expansion(…)

Many Drone Operators Seeking a Waiver are Missing Required Information

On October 25, the FAA released a statement notifying potential applicants seeking a waiver from the small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) rules of common errors in the application process.  In the two months since FAA started issuing waivers from the(…)

PHMSA Releases Emergency Order Interim Final Rule

On October 14, the Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published its Interim Final Rule (IFR) entitled “Pipeline Safety: Enhanced Emergency Order Procedures” in the Federal Register.  The agency had previously issued a pre(…)

PHMSA Releases a Final Rule Expanding the Required Use of Excess Flow Valves

On October 14, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published its Final Rule entitled “Expanding the Use of Excess Flow Valves in Gas Distribution Systems to Applications Other Than Single-Family Residences” (EFV Final Ru(…)

Pipeline Safety Alert: FAA Issues Performance-Based Standards for Applicants Seeking a Waiver of the Small Unmanned Aircraft Rules

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently issued Performance-Based Standards highlighting information that an applicant must include in order to seek a waiver of Part 107, the rules that apply to the operation of a small unmanned aircraft sys(…)

Pipeline Safety Alert: FAA Releases Application and Instructions for Small Drone Waivers

On August 29, 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released the form and instructions on how to apply for a waiver from certain requirements included in the “Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems” Final Rule.  This(…)

PHMSA Issues New Advisory Bulletin Covering “Purged but Active” Pipelines

Today, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published an Advisory Bulletin entitled  “Clarification of Terms Relating to Pipeline Operational Status.”  Section 23 of the PIPES Act required PHMSA to issue an ADB within 90(…)

Pipeline Safety Alert: Congress and the FAA Ease the Way for Use of Drones by the Energy Industry

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently issued regulations permitting the use, with certain limitations, of small unmanned aircraft systems (small drones) for non-hobby and non-recreational purposes. On July 13, 2016, Congress passed severa(…)

Pipeline Safety Alert: Reauthorization Bill Provides PHMSA with Significant New Authority

On June 22, 2016, the President signed into law the PIPES Act, reauthorizing the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) federal pipeline safety program through fiscal year 2019.  Among several amendments to the Pipeline Safet(…)

Issuance of PHMSA Corrosion Control Advisory Bulletin (ADB-2016-04) (PHMSA-2016-0071)

On June 15, 2016, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued an advisory bulletin to pipeline operators related to the effectiveness of coating and corrosion control measures on buried, insulated pipelines. PHMSA’s advis(…)

PIPES Act Sent To President For Signature

On June 13, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016 (PIPES Act) legislation that reauthorizes the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) federal pip(…)

TransCanada to Buy Columbia Pipeline Group

According to a report by the Charleston Gazette-Mail, TransCanada will be purchasing Columbia Pipeline Group for $13 billion. TransCanada had previously proposed the Keystone XL pipeline, and owns more than 42,000 miles of pipeline in North America. (…)

PADEP Releases Final Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force Report

On February 18, 2016, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) Secretary John Quigley held a press conference to announce the release of the final Governor’s Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force (PITF) Report.  Secretary Quigley state(…)

New PA Legislation Would Allow Gas Pipelines to Run Along Turnpike

As reported by The Scranton Times-Tribune, Pennsylvania State Representative Scott Petri (R-178th Leg. Dist., Bucks County) recently introduced legislation that would allow the Turnpike Commission to grant pipeline operators the right to use its exist(…)

Energy Transfer Partners to Invest $1.5 Billion for Marcellus Shale Midstream Project in Pennsylvania

Energy Transfer Partners LP announced that it will invest $1.5 billion for a new pipeline system and processing facilities to serve the Marcellus Shale in and around Butler County, Pennsylvania.  The new facilities are expected to be operational by mi(…)

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 bypr(…)

First Installment of Quadrennial Energy Review Recommends Investment in Energy Infrastructure

The White House recently released a report from the first Quadrennial Energy Review (QER), focusing on U.S. energy transmission, storage and distribution infrastructure.  In January 2014, President Obama directed the administration to conduct the QER(…)

Constitution Pipeline Can Be Built Across Holdout Properties

FuelFix.com reports that the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania recently ruled that the Constitution Pipeline can be built across seven northeastern Pennsylvania properties despite the fact that the respective landowners had n(…)

Ohio Landowners Opposing OPEN Pipeline Eminent Domain

Ohio landowners are opposing the use of eminent domain in the construction of a 76 mile pipeline between Columbiana County and Monroe County. The OPEN pipeline would connect to the Texas Eastern Pipeline and was recently approved by the Federal Energy(…)

FERC Approves Additional Pipeline Expansion to Transport Marcellus Gas

StateImpact reported that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently approved an addition to the interstate Transco pipeline that will transport Marcellus shale gas to New Jersey, where there is a high demand.  The approval comes after several(…)

Mountain Valley Pipeline to Host Series of Open Houses

The Roanoke Times reports that Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC will be hosting 14 “community open houses” in several counties throughout the region where they have proposed a 300-mile interstate natural gas pipeline. If approved by the Federal Energy Reg(…)

FERC Approves Interstate Pipeline from Pennsylvania to New York and New England

StateImpact, a reporting collaboration supported by NPR, that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved a proposed interstate pipeline that would transport Marcellus Shale natural gas from Pennsylvania to New York and New England markets. (…)

Southwestern And DTE Energy Sign Deal To Expand Bluestone Gathering System

Southwestern Energy Company and Detroit-based DTE Energy Company have made a deal to expand DTE’s natural gas gathering system in Susquehanna County, PA by 50%. The Bluestone Gathering System delivers gas from the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania throu(…)

Pennsylvania Court Grants Condemnation Of A Temporary Construction Easement To Operator

The Court of Common Pleas of Lycoming County, Pennsylvania recently granted the condemnation of a temporary construction easement to UGI Penn Natural Gas, Inc. (UGI).  UGI is a public utility, regulated by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. (…)

UGI Utilities Connects a Utica Well to its Distribution System

According to a report published by Pennsylvania Business Daily, Reading-based UGI Utilities, Inc. recently became Pennsylvania’s first natural gas utility to connect one of its pipelines to a Utica Shale well, thereby increasing the supply of natural(…)

Sunoco Moves Forward With Marcellus/Utica Pipeline

Fox Business reported that Sunoco Logistics Partners will invest $2.5 billion in the Mariner East 2 pipeline, which will carry natural gas liquids from the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays to an East Coast port. Mariner East 2 will connect processing p(…)

Mountaineer Keystone LLC finalizes acquisition of PDC Mountaineer LLC

As reported by the Pittsburgh Business Times on October 15, 2014, Wexford-based Marcellus driller Mountaineer Keystone LLC has finalized its acquisition of joint-venture partner PDC Mountaineer LLC for a reported sale price of $500 million. PDC Mounta(…)

Spectra Energy Corporation and Northeast Utilities Propose $3 Billion “Access Northeast” Pipeline Expansion Project

As reported on Bloomberg.com, Spectra Energy Corporation, a Houston-based pipeline operator, and Northeast Utilities, a Connecticut-based utility provider, have partnered in proposing a $3 billion pipeline expansion that will increase natural gas supp(…)

Energy Transfer Partners Approves Construction of New Marcellus/Utica Pipeline

Energy Transfer Partners, L.P.’s board of directors has approved the construction of a new pipeline to transport gas to markets in the United States and Canada. The pipeline’s capacity is proposed to transport 2.2 billion cubic feet per day and may be(…)

Federal District Court Denies Request To Use Eminent Domain Authority To Relocate Interstate Gas Pipeline

On October 24, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania denied Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC’s (Columbia) request to use the eminent domain authority provided in the Natural Gas Act to acquire new pipeline easements from(…)

PUC Approves Merger and Transfer of Certain Pipeline Assets

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (“PUC”) unanimously approved a settlement that merges Equitable Gas Co. with Peoples Natural Gas Co. and transfers certain pipeline assets from Peoples to EQT Corp., the parent company of Equitable.  The PUC(…)

Transco Asks FERC to Authorize Leidy Southeast Project

Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC (“Transco”) recently filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) for authorization to construct and operate the Leidy Southeast Project.  According to the application, the Lei(…)

Group Contemplates City Of Philadelphia Pipeline Construction Project

Steered by an executive of Philadelphia Energy Solutions, a group of business and political leaders is discussing the extent to which a natural gas pipeline can be constructed that would connect the natural gas fields of the Marcellus Shale to the Cit(…)

Federal Pipeline Safety Regulator Amends Administrative Enforcement Procedures

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a final rule in today’s edition of the Federal Register that amends its administrative procedures for federal enforcement actions effectiv(…)

Federal Pipeline Safety Regulator Revises Draft Integrity Verification Process and Extends Public Comment Period

As announced in today’s Federal Register, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has released a new draft of its proposed Integrity Verification Process (IVP) for gas transmission lines a(…)

Essroc Cement Files Lawsuit To Halt NiSource/Hilcorp Pipeline In Lawrence County

Essroc Cement Corporation, with locations scattered across the Midwest and Northeast, has filed a federal lawsuit in Pittsburgh, seeking to stop a planned pipeline from crossing property in Lawrence County. The pipeline is a joint venture operation be(…)

PHMSA Considers Expanding Integrity Management and Eliminating Class Location Requirements for Gas Pipelines

On August 1, 2013, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a notice in the Federal Register seeking public comment on whether to apply its integrity management (IM) program requi(…)

House Energy Committee Votes To Expedite Pipeline Permits

On July 9, 2013, the House Energy and Committee voted in favor of legislation that would expedite the process of obtaining federal approval of natural gas pipeline projects. The bill, H.R. 1900,  would establish deadlines for the issuance of any feder(…)

Federal Pipeline Safety Regulator to Hold Technical Advisory Committee Meeting

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced in today’s Federal Register that a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting will be held on August 8 to 9, 2013, in Arlington, Virginia.(…)

Big Pine Gathering System Initiates Service

As indicated in a recent press release, NiSource Midstream Services has initiated service on the Big Pine Gathering System in Southwestern Pennsylvania.  The system, which spans 57 miles in total length, will transport natural gas from Marcellus Shale(…)

Federal Judge Allows Northeast Upgrade to Proceed

A federal district judge recently rejected a request by the New Jersey Sand Hill Band of Lenape and Cherokee Indians for an injunction to stop Kinder Morgan Inc.’s construction of a portion of the Northeast Upgrade Project, a $400 million natural gas(…)

Constitution Pipeline Seeks FERC Approval for PA to NY Transmission Line

On June 13, 2013, Constitution Pipeline Company, LLC filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to construct a 122-mile interstate transmission line from Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, to Schoharie County, New York.  The lin(…)

Columbia Gas Files Lawsuit against State College Borough Council in Pipeline Dispute

Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania recently filed a lawsuit against the Borough of State College and Borough Manager Tom Fountaine after the borough refused to issue a right-of-way permit that would have extended a natural gas pipeline. Plans to convert Pen(…)

MarkWest Energy Sells WV Natural Gas Gathering Facilities and Assets

MarkWest Energy is slated to sell some of its natural gas facilities in Doddridge County, West Virginia to Summit Midstream Partners in the coming days.  According to Platts McGraw Hill Financial, the $210 million transaction is anticipated to close t(…)

Inspector General to Investigate U.S. EPA Efforts to Reduce Methane Leaks from Distribution Lines

According to recent reports, the Inspector General (IG) has informed officials at the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) that an investigation will be conducted in connection with the agency’s efforts to reduce methane emissions(…)

Pittsburgh Presbytery Ends Ban on Shale Gas Leases and Approves Pipeline Negotiations

The Pittsburgh Presbytery recently ended a yearlong moratorium on shale gas leasing and development on church property, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.  Despite the recommendation of a special Presbytery shale gas task force, which favored extend(…)

Millennium Proposes New Upstate Pipeline for New York

According to recent press reports, Millennium Pipeline Company, L.L.C., plans to submit an application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to build a new 60-mile natural gas pipeline in New York to transport gas from the Marcellus Shale.  The(…)

Plans for Marcus Hook Refinery

Sunoco Logistics has acquired a closed refinery from Sunoco, its former parent, for $60 million.  Sunoco Logistics intends to redevelop the refinery, located in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania, as a major hub for exporting natural gas liquids from the Marce(…)

Columbia Gas Seeks FERC Approval for Two Appalachian Basin Pipeline Projects

On Friday, May 10, 2013, Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC (Columbia Gas) submitted applications to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the issuance of certificates of public convenience and necessity for a pair of natural gas pipeline pr(…)

Utica Shale Production Brings Newly Proposed Natural Gas Pipeline to Eastern Ohio

DTE Energy, Spectra Energy Corp. and Enbridge Inc. are jointly developing the proposed Nexus Gas Transmission Project, a proposed 250-mile natural gas pipeline which would connect production in eastern Ohio to the existing pipeline grid in southeaster(…)

NiSource Provides Update for Ohio Operations

NiSource Midstream Services expects that the first oil and gas well servicing its Hickory Bend gas gathering and processing facility will be in production in the next few weeks. NiSource is also accellerating the construction of their gathering system(…)

PHMSA Proposes to Collect Additional Data for Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Accidents

On April 23, 2013, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a notice in the Federal Register requesting comments on its proposal to collect additional data on hazardous liquid pip(…)

Community Rights Legislation May Be Tested in State College, Pennsylvania

A fight is brewing in State College, PA over the proposed installation of a two-mile, 12-inch natural gas distribution pipeline through the borough’s Highlands neighborhood to Penn State’s West Campus steam plant.  The proposal riled community activis(…)

Army Corps Issues Permit for Northeast Upgrade Project

According to StateImpact and the Pike County Courier, on March 22, 2013, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a permit to Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company (TGPC) for wetland, stream, and river crossings associated with its Northeast Upgrade Project. (…)

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Reports on Race to Ship NGLs to Gulf Coast

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette provides coverage today on the race to ship natural gas liquids (NGLs) from Pennsylvania to the Gulf Coast.  As indicated in the story, several companies have announced plans to build or convert pipelines to transport NGLs(…)

Pennsylvania Pipeline Protest Halted by Injunction

According to recent press reports, President Judge Joseph F. Kameen of the Pike County (Pennsylvania) Court of Common Pleas has granted an injunction to prevent protestors from interfering with the construction of a gas pipeline in northeastern Pennsy(…)

Pennsylvania Representative Introduces Legislation to Require Pipeline Impact Disclosure in Easements

On March 11, 2013, Pennsylvania State Representative Mike Reese introduced legislation that would require a new disclosure statement in easements for certain natural gas pipelines.  The legislation, House Bill No. 904, specifically provides that “[a]n(…)

PA Municipality Adopts Pipeline Ordinance

In what appears to be a first in Pennsylvania, on March 11, 2013, Forward Township in Allegheny County enacted an ordinance specifically targeting and extensively regulating both transmission and gathering pipelines. While the ordinance is technically(…)

FERC Approves Two Dominion Pipeline Projects

On March 8, 2013, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order authorizing Dominion Transmission, Inc.’s requests to build two new pipeline projects in New York and Pennsylvania.  The two projects are the Tioga Area Expansion Projec(…)

Pennsylvania PUC Provides Update on Act 127 Pipeline Operator Registration Requirements

The Secretary of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) published a letter in the March 9, 2013 issue of the Pennsylvania Bulletin containing information on the annual registration requirements for pipeline operators under the Gas and Hazard(…)