DEP extends public comment period for Shell pipeline
By Jared Stonesifer Posted Feb 16, 2018 at 11:41 AM Updated Feb 16, 2018 at 12:20 PM
The state Department of Environmental Protection has extended the public comment period for Shell Pipeline’s Falcon ethane pipeline after receiving a “significant number of requests” from residents. In addition, the agency announced it will hold public hearings in the three Pennsylvania counties where the pipeline will travel: Beaver, Allegheny and Washington. The comment period, which was originally slated to last through Feb. 20, has been extended until April 17. “After receiving a significant number of requests for a comment period extension, we believe it to be in the best interest of community participation to provide additional time for the public to provide thoughtful and constructive input on the proposed project,” DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell said in a news release Friday. It was announced last month that the DEP was reviewing Shell Pipeline’s permit application for construction of the 97-mile pipeline, which is projected to carry up to 107,000 barrels of ethane per day to Shell Chemicals’ $6 billion cracker plant in Potter Township. At the time, significant opposition to the pipeline’s route, as well as the original 60-day public comment period, was voiced by the public. In particular, the Ambridge Water Authority released saying it was extremely concerned about the route of the pipeline, which would come within two to three miles of the Ambridge Reservoir, which supplies drinking water to more than 30,000 customers. Reached Friday, Ambridge Water Authority General Manager Michael Dominick said he was “very happy” to hear about DEP extending the public comment period and that DEP will hold a public hearing in Beaver County to discuss the pipeline.