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Overview & local effects

Oil prices continue to tumble, The media and oil experts1 are confident the Saudis are after new US oil capacity.

Long Term:

As oil prices tumble, the likelihood of oil wells, fracking and pipeline issues diminish. Plan on oil prices rising in the future, and with it, a return of interest in Marcellus Shale oil and related issues. Complications: shareholders in the energy sector will suffer, internationally Russia's heavily-energy market dependent economy will become more desperate2 with the spectre of hyperinflation in the near future. Adding the possibility of Ukraine entering NATO3 , and there's a real possibility of a eastern european conflict ensuring major NATO involvement if not the U.S. War, and fears of war historically tend to drive oil prices up.

Short term:

Gas prices will likely continue to fall, the bottom is at least 20 dollars per barrel according to the latest report4. Following the 2¢ per dollar change (and assuming it's linear), gas prices should look something like this:

Crude, per
55 Gal barrel

Gasoline,
per Gal.
(approx)

$60.00
$2.60
$55.00
$2.50
$50.00
$2.40
$45.00
$2.30
$40.00
$2.20
$35.00
$2.10
$30.00
$2.00
$25.00
$1.90
$20.00
$1.80
$15.00
$1.70
$10.00
$1.60

As fuel prices fall, we should see other goods and service costs slowly come down. The increased spending, if prolonged, may help create more jobs. Gasoline prices are free falling, diesel5, propane and heating oil6 are also declining but at a slower pace. These reductions should also result in additional household savings. Here's an Excel spreadsheet showing the prices for diesel, heating oil and propane for 2014.

Tumbling energy prices makes any travel related activity more attractive. Visiting distant relatives, having bulkier items shipped and possibly third-order effects such as renovation & construction projects.

If the pipeline issue becomes irrelevant, it's possible the Traditions Development issue may return. For details, please refer to the 2013 Archive section titled "Traditions plan moves forward".

Investment & Retirement Portfolios:

Expect stocks & bonds in the energy sector to lose value going forward in 2015 and possibly longer.

No doubt our readers are tired of Eastbootroad droning on about sagging oil prices, so (barring any major developments or stories) this will be the last update for 2014.

Below are today's news articles, and Eastbootroad expresses Compliments of the Season to you and yours.


1 - http://finance.yahoo.com/news/gas-prices-break-record--opec-won-t-cut-production-173701314.html
2 - http://news.yahoo.com/russias-pm-warning-over-deep-recession-123711175--finance.html
3 - http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30587924
4 - http://news.yahoo.com/opec-wont-cut-output-even-20-barrel-saudi-103354846.html
5 - https://ycharts.com/indicators/us_diesel_price
6 - http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/PET_PRI_WFR_DCUS_SPA_W.htm

OPEC will not cut output even at $20 a barrel: Saudi

Riyadh (AFP) - OPEC will not cut oil production even if the price drops to $20 a barrel and it is unfair to expect the cartel to reduce output if non-members do not, Saudi Arabia said.

"Whether it goes down to $20 a barrel, $40, $50, $60, it is irrelevant," the kingdom's Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said in an interview with the Middle East Economic Survey (MEES), an industry weekly.

In unusually detailed comments, Naimi defended a decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, whose lead producer is Saudi Arabia, last month to maintain a production ceiling of 30 million barrels per day.

The decision sent global crude prices tumbling, worsening a price drop that has seen them fall by around 50 percent since June.

Slower demand growth and a stronger dollar have also contributed to the slump.

Saudi Arabia has traditionally acted to balance demand and supply in the global oil market because it is the only country with substantial spare production capacity, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The kingdom pumps about 9.6 million barrels per day but Naimi said it is "crooked logic" to expect his country to cut and then lose business to other major producers outside OPEC.

The increasingly competitive global oil market has seen daily United States output rise by more than 40 percent since 2006, but at a production cost which can be three or four times that of extracting Middle Eastern oil.

"Is it reasonable for a highly efficient producer to reduce output, while the producer of poor efficiency continues to produce?" Naimi asked during the interview conducted with MEES on Sunday.

"If I reduce, what happens to my market share? The price will go up and the Russians, the Brazilians, US shale oil producers will take my share."

Naimi added it is "unfair" for the cartel to reduce output because it is not pumping most of the world's oil.

"We produce less than 40 percent of global output. We are the most efficient producer. It is unbelievable after the analysis we carried out for us to cut," he said.

- Gulf can 'hold out' -

OPEC tried to seek market stability through a common front between members and non-members "but there was no way," he said.

In Asian trade on Tuesday prices nudged higher on hopes of improved economic figures from the United States.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery gained 64 cents to $55.90 while Brent crude for February was up 33 cents to $60.44 in afternoon trade.

Prices were above $100 a barrel earlier this year, a level which Naimi said "we may not" see again.

Repeating comments he has made elsewhere, Naimi told MEES that oil prices will, however, improve.

"The timing is difficult to know," he said, but international oil companies have reduced their future capital expenditures, "which means there is no exploration".

That, in turn, signals they will not have additional production, he added.

The minister said OPEC was not surprised by the extent of the price drop.

"No, we knew the price would go down because there are investors and speculators whose job it is to push it up or down to make money," he told MEES.

Naimi said that with their comparatively low production costs of $4-$5 a barrel, Gulf nations and particularly Saudi Arabia "have the ability to hold out".

Other nations would be "harmed greatly before we feel any pain," he added.

Russia, whose estimated production topped 10 million barrels a day this year, has seen its ruble currency collapse since last month's OPEC meeting, partly from the slumping global prices which hit Russian exports.

Moscow is also under sanctions for its seizure of Ukraine's Crimea region.


Saudi Arabia says won't cut oil output

Saudi Arabia said on Sunday it would not cut output to prop up oil markets even if non-OPEC nations did so, in one of the toughest signals yet that the world's top petroleum exporter plans to ride out the market's biggest slump in years.

Referring to countries outside of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi told reporters: "If they want to cut production they are welcome: We are not going to cut, certainly Saudi Arabia is not going to cut."

Unseen safety hazards — inadequate infrastructure

Oil harvested by fracking in N Dakota destroys a Canadian town

Video source - Youtube's The Weather Channel


Root Cause Analysis

With increased supply, demand falls…and with it, prices. In the case of operations that require financial assistance (“levering”), it compounds the challenge. Levered companies likely won’t have the option of withholding inventory and waiting for prices to return. With the Saudis, their drilling costs are far lower, and logistically simpler. Oil in Saudi Arabia is closer to the surface (sometimes leaking to the surface), and the oil pockets tend to be larger. This means domestic wells dry up sooner, so they need to be relocated more often.

Crude prices for this week (Dec 15-19, 2014)

Newly-found US oil supply created a dilemma: if OPEC continued to throttle their production to inflate prices, OPEC would lose market share. To preserve market share, OPEC would be required to drop prices to the point where US oil production wasn’t profitable. Other considerations include Russia’s political involvement with Syria and at least three former oil-producing nations resuming production (Libya, Iraq & Algeria).

The Root Cause of Our Present Situation

We have cheap oil because of Saudi concern about oil production North Dakota and Texas, not because West Goshen (or Pennsylvania, for that matter) sent Sunoco packing. All reliable indications are OPEC, the Saudis in particular, have targeted shale oil for economic extinction.

Outlook:

Theories vary where the break-even point lies. It’s somewhere between $40-$65 per barrel in the US, less than half that in most Middle Eastern countries. And it might take all of 2015 or longer before we see major changes in the shale oil industry. Know this -- US Oil producers will be lobbying hard in Washington for a more favorable position. Upshot: as oil prices tumble, it pulls a few teeth out of Iran’s ability to lever their market share as a deterrent to their ongoing nuclear weapon program.

Libya and Iraq are likely to continue to continue to produce, for similar reasons: both are recovering from major conflict and need revenue. It could also make Russia even more desperate as the ruble tumbles, along with the price of their oil exports.

Locally we might see some relief:

"We heard several reports indicating that although there is some financial belt-tightening by exploration and production companies, drilling programs should continue in most regions even though medium-term projections for oil and gas prices are at low levels. One industry executive reported that some investment will shift away from Pennsylvania to Ohio and West Virginia because the latter two states are rich in wet gas, which commands a price premium. On balance, energy-related equipment and materials prices were unchanged since the last report. "

What you need to know:

Dropping profits mean less revenue for rent, royalties (especially), easement payments and land purchases. This makes eminent domain status critical for the oil industry.

Don't become complacent: the present situation is buying critical time to marshal our legal resources.




Junk Bonds: The New Black Swan?

Remember this?

"...Morse says if the price of oil goes to $60 per barrel (and we’re getting close to that, WTI closed at $69/barrel yesterday), a “significant” amount of shale production in the U.S. will be “challenged.” That is, energy companies will stop drilling."

We're there. The term "Junk Bonds" is now being bandied about in the energy sector.

"The benchmark U.S. oil price settled 2 cents higher at $55.93 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices traded as low as $53.90 a barrel and as high as $57.15 a barrel in the session.

Brent crude, a global price gauge, settled down 2% at $59.86 a barrel, its lowest settlement since May 19, 2009.

Outlook:

Most Pennsylvania attorneys are not worried that the current low energy prices will have any immediate effect on the state’s shale oil and gas-based legal industry.

“We do not anticipate a slowdown in 2015, but if oil continues to plummet, we may see something in 2016 and going forward,” said Kristian E. White, a Steptoe & Johnson PLLC lawyer. “It could have ripple effects, but we’re not presently concerned.”

So while we understand if Saudi Arabia is employing a dumping strategy to punish the Kremlin as per the "deal" with Obama's White House, very soon there will be a very vocal, very insolvent and very domestic shale community demanding answers from the Obama administration, as once again the "costs" meant to punish Russia end up crippling the only truly viable industry under the current presidency.

As a reminder, the last time Obama threatened Russia with "costs", he sent Europe into a triple-dip recession.

It would truly be the crowning achievement of Obama's career if, amazingly, he manages to bankrupt the US shale "miracle" next.

The below-investment-grade bonds these risky companies issued with enormous hoopla and hype to fund the shale revolution and offshore drilling projects, lovingly dubbed “junk bonds,” had been sold to investors on the premise that oil would sell for ever increasing prices in the future, with the understanding that this might allow the company to make interest payments on time and raise new debt to pay off the old debt when it matures.

...Now the price of oil has plunged by nearly half. None of the equations work any longer. Sure, oil companies have hedged some of their production at much higher prices, and few are fully exposed, at least not yet, to the wrath of the oil-price collapse. But some of their production is already exposed, and in the future more and more of their production will be exposed.

Then what? The answer hovering in the room for junk bond investors, which includes conservative-sounding bond funds that people have in their retirement portfolios: default. A very unappetizing thought.


Oil Prices Continue to Tumble

— This Can't Be Good News For Sunoco —
Sad face.


Saudi slashes January oil prices for Asia, U.S

December 4, 2014
LONDON (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia slashed its oil prices for Asian and U.S. buyers on Thursday, in a move some analysts said shows it is stepping up its battle for market share a week after refusing to support OPEC output cuts.

Official Selling Prices (OSPs) for oil from the largest producer and exporter in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries have been seen as possible indications of the kingdom's oil policies.

Some analysts have said sharp drops in OSPs in recent months show the kingdom is fighting for market share with other producers, but others have said the OSPs only reflect the market and are a backward-looking rather than a forward-looking indicator.

The discounts on Saudi crude oil for Asian customers in January were the biggest since at least 2002, according to Reuters data, while prices were cut to the United States for the fifth month in a row.

"(The) Saudis are making it clear they don't want to lose market share," Richard Mallinson, an analyst at consultancy Energy Aspects, told the Reuters Global Oil Forum.

Saudi Arabia and other rich Gulf producers last week blocked proposals from poorer OPEC members, such as Venezuela and Algeria, to cut output to support oil prices, which have plummeted by over a third since June.

OPEC sources have said Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi told the OPEC ministerial meeting behind closed doors that OPEC should defend its market share, because production cuts would only boost rival producers, including U.S. shale oil companies.

According to the sources, Naimi did not give any indication how far prices would need to fall for Saudi Arabia to consider cutting production.

Oil prices have been volatile since the OPEC meeting and are down around 40 percent since June. On Thursday, Brent crude fell, trading below $70 per barrel. [O/R]

Aramco cut the January price for its Arab Light grade for Asian customers by $1.90 a barrel from December to a discount of $2 a barrel to the Oman/Dubai average.

The Arab Light OSP to the United States was set at a premium of $0.90 a barrel to the Argus Sour Crude Index (ASCI) for January, down 70 cents from the previous month.

Arab Light OSPs to Northwest Europe were raised by 20 cents for January from the previous month to a discount of $3.15 a barrel to the Brent Weighted Average (BWAVE).

The tables below show the full FOB prices for January in U.S. dollars.

Saudi term crude supplies to the United States are priced as a differential to the Argus Sour Crude Index (ASCI).


Source - Yahoo Finance

Will Low Oil Prices Slow Northeast (Indeed All) Shale Drilling?

"When the price of oil dips below a certain point, it makes it unprofitable to drill and harder to get money for all operations. ...Presumably at, or even near, that price, companies will stop drilling for oil (and in many cases stop drilling for natural gas as well). "

..."Morse says if the price of oil goes to $60 per barrel (and we’re getting close to that, WTI closed at $69/barrel yesterday), a “significant” amount of shale production in the U.S. will be “challenged.” That is, energy companies will stop drilling."

Source - Marcellus


OPEC Cuts off its Nose to Spite the Face of U.S. Shale Boom

Who are the winners?

The consumer and consumer discretionary names are the obvious beneficiaries of cheaper oil. Lower prices at the pump means more dollars left over after fixed expenses. Stretched consumers may not need to think as hard about taking that road trip, buying that one extra gift, shopping at Whole Foods (WFM) instead of the traditional supermarket, or treating themselves to a nice dinner.

Stocks that potentially benefit are in all the places where that extra money gets spent — think J.C. Penney (JCP), Macy’s (M), Whole Foods and Darden Restaurants (DRI). In addition, the airlines instantly become more profitable — look at Delta Air Lines (DAL), Southwest Airlines (LUV), and United Continental Holdings (UAL).

If you believe this trend is likely to continue, you could also choose from one or some of the following ETFs: iShares Global Consumer Discretionary (RXI), iShares US Consumer Goods (IYK), SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT), Vanguard Consumer Discretionary (VCR) and/or the iShares Transportation Average (IYT).

And the losers?

Lower oil prices mean lower profit expectations for drillers and refiners, not to mention anybody selling services to drillers and refiners. As a result, we’ve seen some pretty severe destruction in names such as Chevron (CVX), ConocoPhillips (COP), ExxonMobil (XOM) and the index in which these are three of the largest holdings — the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE). This index fund is down 20% from its recent high of $100 in early July. "

Conversely, the majority of U.S. shale projects will still break even all the way down to $70 per barrel.

December 1, 2014

Source - argylecapitalpartners.com


The Strong Dollar Weighs Heavily on the Commodities Market

"...U.S. consumers are cheering cheaper oil. If prices stabilize at current levels, the average household will get the equivalent of a $600 annual tax cut, Citigroup’s Morse estimates. Regular unleaded gasoline now averages $3.18 a gallon, the lowest it’s been since February 2011, according to AAA. Producers, however, face investors’ wrath, because falling prices erode cash flow, making it harder to repay oil companies’ debts and potentially rendering new drilling unprofitable. The Energy Select Sector stock index has dropped 18 percent since Aug. 29, compared with a 7 percent decline in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index. "

October 16, 2014

Source - Businessweek


Note: Holiday driving tip: gasoline prices should drop 2 cents per gallon as the price of oil per barrel drops one dollar. Enjoy having cheap fuel and extra money for a change.


Help from an unlikely source

— With crude prices falling, the rug is about to be pulled out from under the U.S. petrochemical industry —

As oil prices plunge, wide-ranging effects for consumers and the global economy

"...In the United States, there are losers, too — mostly in the oil patch. The oil services giant Halliburton has lost 44 percent of its value since July 23. Heavily indebted Continental Resources, a huge shale oil producer in North Dakota’s Bakken region, has lost half its value since Aug. 29. Even BP, a big, integrated firm, has lost a quarter of its value in just the past few months.

“It happened so fast, it’s been a shock to the system,” said Scott D. Sheffield, chief executive of Pioneer Natural Resources. Sheffield said that if oil prices had stayed between $90 and $100 a barrel, Pioneer would have added 10 new rigs to its fleet of 40, nearly all drilling shale oil wells. Now he is going to wait and see before announcing capital spending plans in February. "

What the US should do to fight this 'oil war'

Saudi Arabia, and its fellow members of OPEC, may have just launched an oil war.

At the conclusion of its December conference, held in Vienna on Thanksgiving Day, OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, decided not to cut oil production to halt the better than 30-percent drop in the price of crude oil this year.

For American consumers of energy products, that may very well be the best news of 2014. But the Saudis don't appear to be letting oil prices drop out of the goodness of their hearts. Increasingly, energy experts are saying that the Saudis are using a menacing little maneuver to manipulate the price of crude back up by punishing companies — and countries — mainly the U.S. and its energy industry, by driving prices so low that the recent increases in domestic oil production will be scaled back dramatically as fracking becomes a money-losing endeavor for both marginal and major oil producers in the U.S.

U.S. shale producers' 'knives are already out': Yergin

While oil prices are down after OPEC refused to curtail production, it won't have a big impact on output from U.S. shale producers, at least for the near term, IHS' Dan Yergin told CNBC on Monday.

"There's a lot of momentum in the system so I think you don't really see the big impact of it in terms of output until the second half of the year," Yergin, the global information and analytics firm's vice chairman, said in an interview with "Street Signs."

That said, every company is now looking at what it can slow down, cut or postpone, he said. "The knives are already out."

Forecast:

"OPEC may hope oil prices below $65 a barrel will kill the profitability of North American shale fracking and bankrupt the industry. Low prices may cause some reductions in future drilling and bankrupt a number of highly leveraged companies. But horizontal shale oil production is extraordinarily flexible compared to traditional vertical flow wells.

Temporarily closing down production at a vertical oil well usually results in substantial "stoppage of the pores of the oil-bearing rock." This reduces “bottomhole pressure” that force oil up through the well tube to the surface and limits the future production capability of the well. But since U.S. horizontal drilling injects water and solvents to free oil from shale and creates its own pressure to push oil up through a cement-lined casing to the surface, shale oil wells can be closed and reopened with virtually no future production capability lost.

OPEC members Venezuela, Algeria, Libya, Nigeria, and Ecuador cannot wait out the recent price drop. The stability of their regimes is directly tied to the in-flow of dollars from oil exports. Facing potential revolutionary pressures as cash shrinks, smaller OPEC members will be forced to over-produce quotas and drive oil prices even lower."


The more things change, the more they stay the same

Or, haven't we been here before?

T

here once was a group of people that had rightful claim to land...until corporations wanted it. When the corporations tried kicking the residents off, the residents took the case to the Supreme Court and won. The corporations, ignoring the court decision, took the land anyway1with effuse blessings from the White House2 and support from the military.

This isn't present day, it's the area located in what's now Arkansas through Northern Georgia in the early 1800s. When gold was discovered in North Georgia, the Native Americans (legally residing there, and "civilized"), were told to leave. The Native Americans took their case to court, it eventally escalated to the Supreme Court where the Natives prevailed. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court decision was ignored and the Natives were forced out. The ensuing migration cost thousands of lives, and is known today as the Trail of Tears. While acknowledged as a black mark on U.S. history, some traces of that tactic remain.

It seems our system of checks and balances breaks down in the face of profit. All that matters are the numbers — if big enough, law will take a back seat. We apparently have a legacy of that-was-then, this-is-now when it comes to money. And, anything of substantial interest to big business may be subject to seizure.

While history doesn't repeat itself, it sure does rhyme.

1 - See Trail of tears, various sources (example)
2 - "John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!" - President Andrew Jackson (link)

Thanksgiving

We live in the most advanced, affluent society on the planet. We can certainly justify taking time to be thankful and enjoy the fruits of our labors. It's easy to become socially isolated, even in plain view of our neighbors.


Thanksgiving is a unique holiday from the perspective that it doesn't focus on any particular person or single event. It was originally an act of reflection and gratitude for the harvest in paleo-America.

The Rockwellian picture of the family feast is a recent development, around 1827 a certain Sarah Josepha Hale penned:

"”The table, covered with a damask cloth, vieing in whiteness, and nearly equaling in texture, the finest imported, though spun, woven and bleached by Mrs. Romilly's own hand, was now intended for the whole household, every child having a seat on this occasion; and the more the better, it being considered an honor for a man to sit down to his Thanksgiving dinner surrounded by a large family. The provision is always sufficient for a multitude, every farmer in the country being, at this season of the year, plentifully supplied, and every one proud of displaying his abundance and prosperity. The roasted turkey took precedence on this occasion, being placed at the head of the table; and well did it become its lordly station, sending forth the rich odor of its savory stuffing, and finely covered with the froth of the basting. ..."

As the holiday season approaches, try to take extra time to enjoy the season, the scenery and the smaller details. It's possible that for some of us, our thanksgivings in West Goshen are numbered.

For your consideration:

  • Take time to introduce yourself to the neighbor across the way, the one you've always seen but never introduced.
  • Consider stopping in to check on elders. Maybe rake their leaves.
  • Thank a veteran.
  • Donate to a homeless shelter, or your unused items to Goodwill (or a similar institution).
  • Find a new friend at the SPCA, animal shelter or pound. Their lives (literally) depend on our generosity.
  • Help someone jobless, or in serious financial trouble.
  • It would also make a good opportunity to bury the hatchet.



From Our Email Inbox, Cause for Hope

A great article was pointed out by a reader:

(Note: the same article appears in the Daily Local - link)

Dinniman suggests using the state constitution against Sunoco Logistics pipeline project


By Jim Callahan, jcallahan@dailylocal.com, @JimCallahan2 on Twitter

Posted: 11/16/14

WEST CHESTER >> State Sen. Andrew E. Dinniman Friday suggested local communities use the state constitution as a tool to force their voices be heard to regulate the Sunoco Logistics pipeline project through Chester County.

The Chester County Sierra Club stopped by his office to present him an award for his environmental efforts. Dinniman took the occasion to increase the effort to force the pipeline company to respect local views on the development.

The senator noted Sunoco’s Mariner pipeline projects across Pennsylvania have been redefined as intrastate, rather than interstate, projects. This allows the company to duck federal regulation of the pipeline projects.

Instead, the company comes under Pennsylvania regulation of pipelines. Those regulations are virtually non-existent, Dinniman noted.

Sunoco has sought protection from the state Public Utility Commission to remove local municipal oversight of the pipeline project.

However, “his understanding” of the state constitution might allow local municipalities a road to challenge that control. He urged them to unite to do that, said Dinniman.

He noted that section 27 of the state constitution states: “the people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment.” Since the constitution says natural resources are the “common property of all the people,” he reasoned local municipalities can join with the state to maintain them – since the state “is missing in action” regarding pipeline regulation.

The original Sunoco petroleum pipeline through Chester County was considered an interstate line. It ran from the Delaware River port and refinery at Marcus Hook and Claymont, Del. To send oil products to interior Pennsylvania.

Sunoco is redeveloping that pipeline to take natural gas products from Marcellus Shale from interior Pennsylvania to the port.

According to Dinniman, however, Sunoco is able to skirt federal regulation by legally defining the end of the pipeline at Marcus Hook in Pennsylvania.

Additionally, Sunoco has received approval that their pipeline is considered a “public utility”. This shifts regulatory review of the project to the state Public Utility Commission and removes oversight from municipalities along the route.

The first pipeline has operated with little notice for decades. However, the different liquid being pumped requires a pumping station in West Goshen. This raised a regulatory concern in the township – and the move by the company to remove municipal overview.

In addition, Sunoco has now proposed a second pipeline along the same right-of-way to increase the amount of product pumped. That line placement will again be regulated by the state Department of Public Utilities.

Dinniman told the environmental group that efforts to stop fracking subscribed by many groups will fail. “It’s here,” he said.

However, their remains a role to make sure that the resource is developed without sacrificing the health and environment of the Commonwealth.

“The question is how do we economically prosper without killing ourselves,” he said.

The Sierra Club of Chester County presented Dinniman, a Democrat from West Whiteland, with a commentation in recognition of his support for environmental issues.

“His voting record earned him a 100% on the 2013-2014 Environmental Scorecard as compiled by the Sierra Club, Clean Water Action and the Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania,” said the statement. “While recognizing that our communities require energy and development, Senator Dinniman is a watchdog to ensure that development conforms to local, state, and federal regulations for environmental protection.”


From our email inbox, a right-of-way question

A recent email from a reader:

Subject: Mariner East 2 - Question
To: eastbootroad@yahoo.com
Date: Tuesday, November 11, 2014, 12:59 PM

Hello East Boot Road,

What is the Mariner East 2 required distance from other pipelines in the ground?

Does Sunoco supply a written answer?

Thanks


On Tue, Nov 11, 2014 at 4:31 PM, eastbootroad wrote:

Hello Reader!

Thanks for an opportunity to discuss this aspect. We're looking into the easement aspect. After a quick Google search, we found something. Since there are two known pipelines in the works and possibly two additional pipelines...it could mean easement times four. 50 feet seems common (see below), so that would be at least 100 feet, and possibly up to 200 feet.

In the meantime, you might want to look at:

http://www.sunocologistics.com/Public-Awareness/Right-Of-Way/What-is-a-Right-of-Way/121/

Excerpt:

"What is a Right of Way?

A pipeline right-of-way is a piece of land with limited and specific uses that is conveyed by a right-of-way grant or easement by a current or past property owner to a pipeline company. The right-of-way in most cases is used to construct, maintain, operate, protect, inspect, maintain and/or replace one or more pipelines. The right-of-way grant (sometimes called an easement) is usually filed where deeds are filed in the county in which the pipeline is located. The right-of-way agreement (and/or easement) creates a permanent limited interest in the land. Rights-of-way vary in width; however, a right-of-way width of 50 feet is fairly common for Sunoco Pipeline L.P., though it can be greater depending on whether there is one pipeline or multiple pipelines within the right-of-way.

The pipeline rights-of-way are often recognizable as corridors that are cleared of trees, buildings or other structures except for pipeline markers. Another thing you might see is fenced and secured areas with some above ground piping; these secured areas provide access to valves along the pipeline system.

Rights-of-way must be kept free of buildings, trees, storage materials and other obstructions."

Thanks for your inquiry, and for reading.

Eastbootroad.com


Which brings up a good point. What does this right of way actually look like? Fifty feet might not sound bad, but let's take a look at an existing example first. And, read that last sentence from Sunoco again:

Rights-of-way must be kept free of buildings, trees, storage materials and other obstructions.

Here's a right-of-way near us:

Fifty foot right of way between Malvern and Exton.

Sunoco isn't kidding — it's clear. According to Google map, it's exactly fifty feet wide.

Fifty foot right of way, satellite view. Click to enlarge.

This is what it looks like from above, it's visible from space. Link to map.

This is the smallest right of way Sunoco cites. If you'd like to take a look for yourself, it's located on the northbound side of route 30 at the intersection of routes 202 and 30.



Sunoco investing $2.5 billion in new gas pipeline

November 6, 2014

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Sunoco Logistics says it plans to invest $2.5 billion in a planned natural gas pipeline across southern Pennsylvania.

The company said Thursday the Mariner East 2 pipeline would provide four times the capacity to move gas from Marcellus Shale drilling sites in western Pennsylvania to its Marcus Hook storage and distribution facility near Philadelphia.

Sunoco says the project involves building 350 miles of new pipeline near its existing Mariner East 1 pipeline.

It’ll carry propane, butane, ethane and other gases.

The company says Mariner East 2 will have a daily capacity of 275,000 barrels compared with Mariner East 1’s 70,000 barrels. That pipeline will start moving propane at year’s end.

Sunoco says Mariner East 2 could be operational by the end of 2016, pending regulatory and permit approvals.

Residents in Chester County, particularly West Goshen, are opposing Mariner 1, Sunoco’s bid to use an existing pipeline and pump stations to move gases from Marcellus Shale through their municipalities without getting local permission.

The new proposal could affect even more townships in the county, according to reports.

The plans are being applauded in Delaware County, where business and political leaders tout the jobs the projects can create at Marcus Hook.







Marcellus Coalition on KYW radio, "Moving forward to win"

Marcellus is peddling their good cheer on KYW, listen here or check out the audio archive.

Spotted: Some signs in front of the Aston facility in Chester Township (on Rt 452 & Somerset Lane).

Moving forward indeed. 4601 days since an "incident"? What do they call an incident?

Helicopter Museum's fumble

Kudos to 3C Coalition for confronting Corbett at the helicopter museum (link). Seems like the Helicopter Museum got their first taste of the unpopular side of politics.

Members of the 3cCoalition showed up to let Gov. Corbett know we are not going away. We arrived before the event was to begin and tried to set up close to the museum. The event organizers began to harass us and tell us to leave. They even threatened to have us arrested for trespassing and called the police. We were exercising our 1st Amendment rights and West Goshen's finest reminded these out-of-towners that we were well within our rights. Thanks to Officer Sean Graham #49 for his quick response and for doing his job. The people running the event were not pleased we were there.

We would also like to thank State Rep. Dan Truitt for attempting to talk to the organizers to allow us to set up. They declined his request. Someone from the Helicopter Museum claimed to work for the owner of the property and wanted us out. I surely hope that the museum has a good answer for this treatment of the people that have supported them over the years.

While insensitive to local residents, it's also unwise to appear politically partial. The helicopter museum depends on donations for revenue and volunteers for their workforce. Next year's Rotorfest (helicopter equivalent to airshow) might be sparse.

Corbett out, Wolf in

In case you just crawled out from under a rock or were stranded on an island, Corbett got the (long overdue) boot.

Corbett

Don't feel bad Mr. Corbett, second place is first place loser. Maybe you'll listen to your constituents if you get another chance. And hopefully that won't be in Pennsylvania.


Pot calling the kettle black

If you read the recent article in Marcellus Drilling News, no doubt you were amused by their sophomoric cheerleading. First, their headline:

"West Goshen’s Legal Shenanigans Try to Block Mariner East Pipeline"

Shenanigans? Really? Here's the definition of Shenanigans

Definition of SHENANIGAN
1: a devious trick used especially for an underhand purpose
2a : tricky or questionable practices or conduct —usually used in plural
b : high-spirited or mischievous activity —usually used in plural

This is what they regard fair, ethical and legal resistance. It's also easy to conclude there's a bad case of cognitive dissonance over at Marcellus Drilling News, or they're a sock puppet for Sunoco. Take a look through the audio archives, August 8, 2014 in particular. Listen to the "shenanigans" Sunoco's laying out in the shareholder conference calls.

Next item:

"West Goshen is holding the gun of the courts to the head of Sunoco and will intentionally try to play this out as long as they can (death by a thousand cuts)"

As opposed to what? Rolling over and letting the industry plow through West Goshen as they see fit? If so, thier plans sound more like a military invasion. Click here to see the original online article. Again, complaining about fair, ethical and legal resistance.

As always, be sure thank WCHE for all they're doing, and patronize WCHE along with the rest of our supporters.


West Goshen again amends zoning for public utility facilities

10/11/14

West Goshen >> Supervisors unanimously voted last week to amend their zoning ordinances to regulate all public utilities, including the Sunoco Logistics pipeline project.

The changes remove provisions from existing ordinances that allow utilities permission to conduct their activities “by right” instead of by township permission.

Sunoco is working to have their pipeline project reviewed by the Public Utility Commission, instead of the township. Such an action would eliminate township approvals.

The township action is seen as a way of eliminating loopholes in township regulations barring PUC action.

Township Manager Casey LaLonde on Friday said that the existing ordinance was “tightened up” last month by restricting the permitted utilities to only household utilities. This includes water, sewer, natural gas and so on. The supervisors also added definitions to the existing ordinance.

But residents had concerns that the language wasn’t strong enough.

The revision last week tightens things further.

David Brooman, special counsel hired by the township, explained the Oct. 2 4-1 vote by the Public Utility Commission means there will be a future hearing for Sunoco and its opposing parties to go in front of the PUC commission to talk about Sunoco’s status.

If Sunoco is granted the public utility status, it will be exempt from local regulations and zoning ordinances.

In that case, the township could seek to repeal relief with the commonwealth courts. That decision, township officials said, is months away.

West Goshen residents have voiced their opposition to the Sunoco process, including its Sunoco Pipeline’s Mariner East Project and pump station which is now proposed on Boot Road in one of the township’s residential districts.

The pipeline has run through the township for more than 80 years. It originally took petroleum products from Sunoco’s refinery along the Delaware River to interior Pennsylvania.

Under the new plan, the pipeline will be used to deliver Marcellus Shale natural gas liquids, mainly ethane and propane, from interior Pennsylvania to the Marcus Hook refinery for export and some local use.

The change in transport use of the pipeline requires Sunoco to add the pump station and related structures.

The supervisors have made it publicly known that they will do what is within their power to protect the township with its ordinances. However, they acknowledged that it is possible for public utilities to override township ordinances by obtaining permission from the PUC commission.

“We’re still moving forward,” LaLonde said. “We’re still protecting our residents, doing everything we can.”



From our email inbox, a radiation warning

A recent email from a reader:

"FYI, was your group made aware about the recent safety issues that Sunoco has been trying to keep quiet about the levels of radiation they are currently finding in their shale gas supplies from western Pa? I'm guessing not. Sunoco recently has informed workers at the Hook plant as well as Union officials that they were getting "higher than expected" radiation readings from samples of shale gas. They had workers wearing Geiger counters and PPE. This started about 2 months ago and workers were told to keep quiet because they are scared the public would find out. They also told them their jobs could be jeopardized if this got out and the public stopped the pipelines from getting approved.

Radiation levels in shale gas have been a big concern in the industry because they're not 100% sure where it's coming from or how to control it. Theory is they are disrupting pockets of radon. Citizens should know this information. There are public officials that are aware of this as well and are keeping quiet. I for one am not at all affected by the proposed pipelines but feel people should know."

"My Rep was present at the meeting when Sunoco warned the employees of the radiation issue. I and others have been quiet about it hoping that someone else would take up the issue. Unfortunately, even the Union Rep's are afraid of this getting out."


Shale truck sets off alarm in South Huntingdon

A truck loaded with Marcellus shale drill cuttings that triggered a radiation alarm at a hazardous waste landfill in South Huntingdon was ordered back to a Greene County drilling site last weekend.

Township Supervisor Mel Cornell said the MAX Environmental Technologies truck was quarantined Friday after it set off a radiation alarm at MAX's landfill near Yukon, a 159-acre site that accepts residual waste and hazardous waste.

DEP spokesman John Poister confirmed the drill cutting materials from Rice Energy's Thunder II pad in Greene County had a radiation level of 96 microrem.

The landfill must reject any waste with a radiation level that reaches 10 microrem or higher.

“It's low-level radiation, but we don't want any radiation in South Huntingdon,” Cornell said.

Poister said DEP instructed MAX to return the materials to the well pad where it was extracted for subsequent disposal at an approved facility.

“The material in question was radium 226, which is what we expect from shale drill cuttings. Every landfill in the state has radiation monitors and this showed the system did work,” Poister said.

He said Rice Energy will determine whether it will retest the load for radiation levels, and reapply for unloading at an approved landfill or take it to an out-of-state facility that accepts such materials.

“It's not too frequent that this occurs, but it's not totally infrequent either,” Poister said. “There are all kinds of sources for that type of material, including medical materials, and this is a huge safeguard we have in place.” Poister said the system worked in South Huntingdon.

“Everything was by the book in this case, I can assure you. The monitor went off, the truck was immediately moved to the quarantine zone, MAX notified us, and the next day we ordered it returned to the well pad,” Poister said.

Last year, MAX sought a change in its permit near Yukon to accept waste with levels up to 140 microrem.

A microrem is a unit used to measure the biological risk to human tissue from radiation. The average annual radiation exposure for a person in the United States is 620,000 microem, most of which comes from natural sources, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The average chest X-ray emits 4,000 microrem, according to EPA. A body scan at an airport emits about 10 microrem, which equals about 15 minutes of exposure to natural background radiation such as the sun's rays.

Telephone messages left Monday with MAX and Rice Energy headquarters in Canonsburg were not returned.

MAX officials said at a July 2012 hearing on its permit application that other state landfills are permitted to accept waste with higher radiation levels, and MAX has lost business as a result.

Because of concern over radiation levels in byproducts associated with the oil and natural gas development industry, the DEP was directed earlier this year by Gov. Tom Corbett to undertake a comprehensive study of the issue.

Poister said the study is ongoing.


Report Says Drilling is Creating Radiation Problems in Ohio

By Bob Downing Published: June 14, 2013

From the Freshwater Accountability Project Ohio on Thursday:

The FreshWater Accountability Project Ohio (www.FWAPOH.com) today released a report on the presence and dangers of radiation present throughout the horizontal hydraulic fracturing (fracking) industry that is extracting minerals in Ohio.

The report, authored by Dr. Marvin Resnikoff, a longtime expert on radioactive waste management and since 1992, on radiation hazards from oil and gas drilling, details the serious problem associated with bringing up long-buried radium and other naturally-occurring hazards from thousands of feet underground.

The radiation is associated directly with the "hottest" areas of gas and oil productivity in deep shale layers and is an inevitable and burgeoning waste problem.

Resnikoff points out that much of the highly-radioactive solids such as rocks and soils pulled up during drilling, and contaminated muds and sands are cheaply disposed of in municipal landfills in Ohio, irrespective of actual radioactivity content, for 1/100th of the cost of disposal of comparable low-level radioactive waste from nuclear weapons and nuclear power generation in the nation's three facilities for that purpose.

In Ohio, he stated, "It is evident that environmental concerns are trumped by the economics beneficial to the unconventional shale drilling industry." Similarly, Dr. Resnikoff identified evidence that the Patriot water treatment facility in Warren, Ohio, which delivers pretreated water to the Warren public water treatment plant, is likely sending radium-laden water into the Mahoning River watershed. "On a daily basis, Patriot does not test for gamma emitting radionuclides and for radium-226," he observed.

"Someday, there will be a look back to this point, and people will wonder how fracking could be allowed at such a scale without adequate regulation or public protections in place, ... The unfortunate outcome of all of this is once the damage is done, it’s too late.”

The expert also performed calculations showing that transport of radioactive liquid waste by tank truck greatly exceed federal thresholds which require specific tank design, minimum insurance under federal regulations of $5 million per shipment, and signage to be prominently located which identify the load as radioactive material.

The report notes that all three sets of federal regulations are being routinely violated which means State of Ohio regulations are clearly inadequate for this hazardous material, and possibly illegal.

"Dr. Resnikoff's work illustrates that Ohioans, from common citizens to truck drivers to landfill workers, are daily being exposed to radiation exposure or poisoning because the Governor, General Assembly and even a large conservancy district, the MWCD, are sacrificing public protections to prop up frackers' profitability," asserted Terry Lodge, attorney for SEOSOW.

"Under the guise of 'austerity,' the state government is destroying protective regulations for everyone, while creating a business environment where those who threaten public health and the environment pay little to nothing. And even huge corporate welfare breaks aren't saving this dirty, low-productivity con game."

Lea Harper, spokesperson for SOASOW and founder of FWAPOH, which commissioned the report, insisted that science will prevail over politics, and that the facts will ultimately halt the current Ohio fracking frenzy. “With these serious issues facing Ohio, all waste disposal should be stopped for the legislature to hold hearings on a bill dealing exlusively with this issue and not allow it to remain buried in a 4000 page budget bill.

"Someday, there will be a look back to this point, and people will wonder how fracking could be allowed at such a scale without adequate regulation or public protections in place,” stated Lea Harper. “When that happens, there will probably be criminal charges. The unfortunate outcome of all of this is once the damage is done, it’s too late. We want the truth and the true costs to be faced today - before any further fracking, waste transportation or disposal takes place.”

The report, Hydraulic Fracturing Radiological Concerns for Ohio is available online at http://rwma.com/OHIO_FACT_SHEET_6-13-13.pdf


Radium 226 - Where radon originates

" All isotopes of radium are highly radioactive, with the most stable isotope being radium-226, which has a half-life of 1600 years and decays into radon gas. .... Radium is not necessary for living organisms, and adverse health effects are likely when it is incorporated into biochemical processes because of its radioactivity and chemical reactivity. Currently, other than its use in nuclear medicine, radium has no commercial applications; ... Today, the latter usage is no longer in vogue because radium's toxicity has since become known, and less dangerous isotopes are used instead in radioluminescent devices. "




PUC declares it has jurisdiction over pipeline

10/02/14

West Goshen >> Bucking recommendations two administrative judges made in July, the Public Utility Commission ruled Thursday it has jurisdiction over Sunoco Logistics’ petition to run a natural gas pipeline through the township.

In a 4-1 vote, the commission denied the judges’ recommendation that Sunoco’s petition was outside the scope of the PUC.

The PUC determined the two judges can move on to the next step in the process and decide whether the structures Sunoco Logistics plans to build around the proposed valve and pump stations in the township are considered “buildings.”

If the judges decide they are to be considered “buildings”— and the PUC approves their decision— they can then decide if they are exempt from local zoning ordinances because the “buildings are reasonably necessary for the convenience or welfare of the public,” according to the PUC’s press release.

After the two judges make their decisions, the recommendations will once again come back to the commission for them to either approve or deny.

The Chester County Community Coalition and Concerned Citizens of West Goshen expressed disappointment in the PUC’s ruling.

“We are unhappy that they didn’t uphold the judges’ decisions,” said Tom Casey, a leader of the group that goes by the name 3C Coalition

“It’s scary that we have to prove that the industry does not have the right to do what they want to do,” Casey added.

Though the commission has yet to rule on the specific issues of Sunoco Logistics’ petition filed on May 8, the PUC said it still considers Sunoco Logistics’ East Mariner Project a public utility, giving them the right to transport ethane and propane.

“At this point our group is conferring with our attorney to decide our next course of action and what today’s decision means for the project,” Casey said.

Sunoco Logistics said it is confident the PUC made the right decision in deciding it has jurisdiction over the matter, as well as deciding that its status as a public utility will “remain unchanged.”

“We are pleased that the Public Utility Commission has confirmed that we are a public utility corporation in Pennsylvania as we have maintained, and recognized that Mariner East will provide a critical service — bringing Pennsylvania energy to Pennsylvanians — with significant public benefits,” said Michael J. Hennigan, president and CEO of Sunoco Logistics in a press release. “We will continue to work cooperatively with all municipalities as we try to do for all of our projects.”

In a hearing on Sept. 2, West Goshen amended its zoning ordinances to bar the pipeline from entering the residential districts in the township.

Sunoco Logistics’ pipeline would be located in a residential area on Boot Road.

“(The PUC) also recognizes that the Mariner East project will deliver real benefits to Pennsylvania residents by providing a more reliable energy supply using the state’s own natural resources from the Marcellus Shale,” said Sunoco Logistics’ spokesman Jeff Shields in a press release.

Casey said his group does not think Sunoco is correctly interpreting the ruling.

“The fight is not over,” Casey said. “As far as we’re concerned, it’s not over.”


PUC ruling favorable to Sunoco

Published on Oct 2, 2014

PUC Directs Further Hearings on Zoning Exemption Request by Sunoco Pipeline

October 02, 2014

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today remanded requests by Sunoco Pipeline L.P. for zoning exemptions to the PUC’s Office of Administrative Law Judge (OALJ) for further proceedings. The Commission did not rule on the merits of the company’s underlying zoning exemption requests.

The Commission voted 4-1 to approve a joint motion by PUC Vice Chairman John F. Coleman Jr. and Commissioner Pamela A. Witmer. Commissioner James H. Cawley issued a dissenting statement.

Commissioner Gladys M. Brown also issued a statement: “In reference to the remaining Preliminary Objections filed in this matter, as the ALJs have not yet ruled on their merits, the Commission’s regulations require that these objections should also be remanded back to the ALJs for consideration. 52 Pa. Code § 5.101 (g). Dismissal of the remaining Preliminary Objections by the Commission without consideration by the ALJs is tantamount to a violation of the parties’ due process rights. For this reason, I will partially dissent on the handling of these other Preliminary Objections.”

The motion indicated that the issue to be addressed is whether the structures the company proposes to build around and over valve control and pump stations constitute “buildings” under Section 619 of the Municipalities Planning Code (MPC). If the structures are “buildings” then, the issue becomes whether the “buildings” are reasonably necessary for the convenience or welfare of the public, meaning they are exempt from local zoning ordinances under the MPC.

In addition to returning the zoning exemption proceeding to the OALJ, the Commission determined that Sunoco’s long-standing status as a certificated public utility under the jurisdiction of this Commission remains unchanged and the company’s existing certificate includes both propane and ethane service.

The Commission’s motion also indicated that a review of the arguments in the case indicates that serious misconceptions exist about the specific issues being addressed in the filings.

“In this proceeding, the Commission has been asked to decide a very narrow question: whether enclosures (walls and a roof) that are built around and over a valve control or pump station should be exempt from municipal zoning regulation,” the Commissioners said in the motion. “To answer this question, we must decide whether it is in the convenience or welfare of the public for Sunoco to enclose the planned facilities with walls and roofs, even if those enclosures may conflict with local zoning ordinances. Sunoco is not seeking (1) a certificate of public convenience; (2) authorization to build the Mariner East pipeline or any facilities attendant thereto (such as valve control or pump stations); (3) approval of the siting or route of the pipeline; or (4) a finding that the proposed pipeline complies with relevant public safety or environmental requirements. Those issues are outside the scope of this proceeding.”

On May 8, 2014, the company filed amended petitions before the Commission seeking a finding that structures to shelter valve control stations and other facilities are “reasonably necessary for the convenience and welfare of the public.” Such a finding would make the structures exempt from local zoning in the 31 municipalities in which they are being proposed. The 31 cases have been consolidated into one proceeding, a sample of which can be found on the PUC’s website.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.

For recent news releases and video of select Commission proceedings or more information about the PUC, visit our website at www.puc.pa.gov. Follow the PUC on Twitter – @PA_PUC for all things utility. “Like” PAPowerSwitch on Facebook for easy access to information on electric shopping.

# # #

Docket No. P-2014-2411941, et al

Youtube video link

The more things change, the more they remain the same

— Ripping off the poor for fun & profit —

2 Samuel 12

1 And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor.

2 The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds:

3 But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.

4 And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him.


New photos, Déjà vu

A few new images of the work on Kirkland Hill.

Seems like there may have been more than one point of interest. Photos taken Saturday, September 20.




Click any image for enlargement.


A similar situation fourteen years ago

This issue had a familiar aspect, and then a realization – the Saha debacle (details). About fourteen years ago there was another high profile eminent-domain-for-profit venture in Chester County. The City of Coatesville attempted to condemn the Saha property to build a golf course, with undertones that it was a financial gambit to save the struggling city. Dick and Nancy Saha fought and eventually won a seven year legal battle (details). An interesting detail from the Saha story, a familiar name emerges: Robert Powelson (details), it appears to be one in the same person as the present PUC chairman. Powelson's name on Saha's boycott list strongly suggests how Mr. Powelson might be leaning in our current concern with Sunoco.


More work on Kirkland Hill

Workers spotted tearing up Boot Road on Kirkland Hill, photos appear below.






Click any image for enlargement.

The Daily Local News formally weighs in


In the case of West Goshen and the Sunoco pipeline bid, it seems to have come down to a war of words – as in the words in a zoning ordinance amendment.

On Tuesday evening, the township unanimously passed a zoning ordinance amendment that gives the township more leverage in its battle against Sunoco if the company fails in its bid to be declared a public utility by the PUC.

According to a story by Daily Local News reporter Kelly Lyons, the amendment adds several definitions to the township zoning ordinance that would make the pipeline a conditional use as opposed to a special exception. That effectively takes the case out of the township’s zoning board’s hands and puts it into the hands of the board of supervisors.

In the case of West Goshen and the Sunoco pipeline bid, it seems to have come down to a war of words – as in the words in a zoning ordinance amendment.

On Tuesday evening, the township unanimously passed a zoning ordinance amendment that gives the township more leverage in its battle against Sunoco if the company fails in its bid to be declared a public utility by the PUC.

According to a story by Daily Local News reporter Kelly Lyons, the amendment adds several definitions to the township zoning ordinance that would make the pipeline a conditional use as opposed to a special exception. That effectively takes the case out of the township’s zoning board’s hands and puts it into the hands of the board of supervisors.

It would also not allow the pipeline or the 34-foot combustion tower and pumping station proposed by Sunoco Logistics in residential areas in the township. The proposed tower and pumping station is now planned on Boot Road in one of the township’s residential districts.

“What we’ve done is gone through each residential district and deleted (public utilities) from (the ordinance),” said township solicitor Kristin Camp.

This is where the use of words came into play as township residents fear Sunoco will look for loopholes.

Several residents were concerned that in the definition for “hazardous liquids and/or gas pipelines” as well as the definition for “hazardous liquid and/or gas” made no explicit reference to ethane, which is a material that Sunoco wants to transport via this pipeline.

Camp, who drafted the amendment, said the definition did include ethane in its definition because of its “catch-all phrase” at the end of each definition, which said, “any and all liquids or gases that are defined as hazardous liquids or gases by federal or state environmental statutes.” Currently, ethane is listed as a hazardous gas by federal and Pennsylvania guidelines.

Resident Lilli Middlebrooks said she wanted ethane to be addressed specifically, not just in a catch-all phrase, but also in the amendment before anything was passed.

While we understand the concern for what appears to be a rush job, West Goshen is anxious to get something on the books.

The solicitor, however, disagreed.

“I believe it’s safer to adopt what’s been amended,” Camp said.

Camp said the board could change the amendments, but it would have to go through procedural steps under the Chester County Planning Commission’s guidelines, which would likely delay the passing of the changed amendment to the board’s Oct. 8 meeting.

Many of the 50 or so residents attending Tuesday’s meeting agreed they wanted something enacted so the township could be protected, but also agreed they would like to see the board add ethane to the amendment.

With that in mind, Supervisor Ray Halvorsen moved that the board add more specifics to the amendment and vote on it on Oct. 8.

Lyons’ story pointed out, however, that even with the addition of the amendment that passed, the decision of whether the company can continue with its plans is for now in the hands of the state’s Public Utility Commission.

The supervisors agreed they would appeal the PUC’s decision should that body allow Sunoco to continue with its proposed plan.

So while West Goshen watches and waits for the PUC, it took steps to protect its interests and those of its residents.

Let the battle begin.


West Goshen amends code as part of Sunoco fight

Supervisors unanimously passed a zoning ordinance amendment Tuesday that would give the township more leverage in its battle against Sunoco Logistics if the company fails in its bid to be declared a public utility by the PUC.

The amendment adds several definitions to the township zoning ordinances that would make the pipeline a conditional use as opposed to a special exception, taking the case out of the township’s zoning board’s hands and putting it into the hands of the board of supervisors.

It would also not allow the pipeline or the 34-foot combustion tower and pumping station proposed by Sunoco Logistics in residential areas in the township. But it would allow those uses in some industrial districts within the township. The proposed tower and pumping station is now planned on Boot Road in one of the township’s residential districts.

“What we’ve done is gone through each residential district and deleted (public utilities) from (the ordinance),” said township solicitor Kristin Camp.

Several residents were concerned that in the definition for “hazardous liquids and/or gas pipelines” as well as the definition for “hazardous liquid and/or gas” made no explicit reference to ethane, which is a material that Sunoco wants to transport via this pipeline.

Camp, who drafted the amendment, said the definition did include ethane in its definition because of its “catch-all phrase” at the end of each definition, which said, “any and all liquids or gases that are defined as hazardous liquids or gases by federal or state environmental statutes.” Currently, ethane is listed as a hazardous gas by federal and Pennsylvania guidelines.

Resident Lilli Middlebrooks said she wanted ethane to be addressed specifically, not just in a catch-all phrase, but also in the amendment before anything was passed.

“You’re leaving an open-wide door, and you’re letting them in,” Middlebrooks said. “What’s the rush?”

“Don’t adopt this ordinance,” Middlebrooks said. “Do it right the first time — do it right once.”

Camp said she didn’t agree with Middlebrooks’ comments.

“I believe it’s safer to adopt what’s been amended,” Camp said.

Camp said the board could change the amendments, but it would have to go through procedural steps under the Chester County Planning Commission’s guidelines, which would likely delay the passing of the changed amendment to the board’s Oct. 8 meeting.

Supervisors’ Chairwoman Patricia McIllvaine said she was worried about the time that might take.

“I’m just so nervous about this,” McIllvaine said. “I’d at least like to get this passed.”

Supervisor Ted Murphy pointed out that the board could adopt the amendment Tuesday night, and could amend it further at a later date, so that it included ethane.

Many of the 50 or so residents attending Tuesday’s meeting agreed they wanted something enacted so the township could be protected, but also agreed they would like to see the board add ethane to the amendment.

With that in mind, Supervisor Ray Halvorsen moved that the board add more specifics to the amendment and vote on it on Oct. 8.

The township needs to have the changes to the proposed amendment finalized before Monday, Sept. 8, and have two public announcements published within the month leading up to its October supervisors meeting to adhere to public notice requirements.

However, even with the addition of the amendment that passed 5-0 on Tuesday, the decision of whether the company can continue with its plans is for now in the hands of the state’s Public Utility Commission.

“There is nothing this board can do to trump those state laws,” Camp said.

Sunoco Logistics has to prove to the PUC that their proposed plan meets all the criteria necessary to be considered a public utility. If Sunoco can prove that, it must also prove it meets the criteria for being a “special exception” public utility. If it can prove both of those, it can continue with its plans.

Two state administrative law judges recommended in July that the PUC should not approve Sunoco’s plan.

The supervisors agreed they would appeal the PUC’s decision should that body allow Sunoco to continue with its proposed plan.

Resident Bob Schmucker asked who would pay for the litigation costs, should it come to that point. He said he was concerned it might fall to the taxpayer.

Camp said the board is still discussing that issue.

The board and residents agreed that Middlebrooks would be the liaison between the board and the residents for gathering any information that residents might want in the changes and bringing it before the board.

Tom Casey, Chester County Community Coalition director, said he would be happy to help her.

“If you want to do it tonight all night, we’ll get pizza,” Casey said.


A reminder from Phil Corvo-tomorrow's meeting notice

From: Philip Corvo
Subject: An Email from Philip Corvo, a West Goshen Resident
To:
Date: Monday, September 1, 2014, 12:25 PM

I am writing to you as a West Goshen resident and not as your Township Supervisor.

As you may know, Bob White passed away on August 13th, in an unfortunate accident in front of the Shop-Rite. In the past three years, my relationship with Bob evolved into a very close friendship and becoming like-minded West Goshen Supervisors. I will miss Bob very much .

Bob’s departures has already changed the makeup of West Goshen government, with Ed Meakim having already been voted by the Board of Supervisor to fill Bob’s seat, until January 2016 , and Bill Keenan, our tax collector, was elected to the vacancy board.. From my perspective, this is a return to the past administration of the township and I voted “no”. No other potential candidates were solicited or considered. In addition, Patricia McIllvaine placed herself on the police contract negotiating committee and named Ray Halvorsen to the pension committee.

I am going to return to the role of the “loyal minority” challenging the township to act responsibly for West Goshen residents and taxpayers. In the next several months, the township will be negotiating a new police contract and voting on the 2015 operating budget. I will keep you informed of the status of these two critical matters.

The most pressing issue right now is the Sunoco pipeline. This Tuesday, September 2nd, at 5:00 pm, there will be a hearing at the township building to discuss a new ordinance to define pipelines within the township. It is critical in defining our relationship with Sunoco. However, the proposed ordinance text excludes ethane, which is one of the three gases proposed to be transported in this pipeline. If Sunoco is successful in establishing this pipeline, local property values will drop and the subsequent property taxes will decline. To maintain township services, we will be forced to raise taxes.

In November 2015, three supervisor seats will be voted on. We all have a vested interest in who gets elected and something we will be discussing as we get closer to the 2015 primary and election.

Best regards,

Phil Corvo

Finally, feel free to forward this email to our neighbors and friends


New PUC filing - Reply Exception - CCWGT

Attorney Rubin sends Reply Exceptions to the PUC.

Full text here

West Goshen Township hearing on Tuesday

...A hearing to adopt public utilities amendments to the township’s zoning ordinance will be held at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the township building, supervisors announced at their meeting Wednesday night.

In response to Sunoco’s proposed pipeline, the township will look at making amendments regarding hazardous liquids and gases and public utilities facilities. It would also make public utilities facilities exempt from being considered for special exception from the zoning ordinance regulations.

Full text here


Pumping station photos from Chichester

For your consideration regarding the pumping station at Kirkland Hill.
It doesn't look like much from Route 322...

But a bird's eye view shows a *much* larger complex....

...that continues to expand very deep.

Reader submitted photos

What could be in store for our tri-state area

Click here for photo album & letter

—Sample below—




Supervisor Robert White dies in accident

WEST GOSHEN — Police continue to investigate the tragic crash that killed West Goshen Supervisor Dr. Robert “Doc” White Wednesday.

According to West Goshen Police Capt. Gregory M. Stone, the female driver of the pickup that killed White is in her early 20s.

“She was very upset, very emotional,” Stone said about the driver, adding she is fully cooperating with the police department.

He said White, 77, was standing in front of a large window outside of the store when the driver drove in reverse and struck White before plowing into the building.

“We believe he was standing up in front of the window in that area,” Stone said. “He just left the ShopRite store with some groceries.”

Full article

News reports:
More:

3C Coalition on WCHE

3C was on WCHE, looks like Sunoco's withholding information during shareholder conference calls. If you missed it, you may listen to it in our audio archive (link-Aug 8th entry). Be sure thank WCHE for all they're doing, and patronize WCHE along with the rest of our supporters.

Sunoco responds to admin judge ruling

It read, "This recommendation by the administrative law judges is inconsistent with previous orders by the full Public Utility Commission. The Commission still must rule on this and we believe the Commission has and will continue to recognize that the proposed Mariner East service will result in numerous public benefits."

Full text here

Don't forget to support our friends:






Parties opposing Sunoco as of Aug 10th, 2014

  • East Whiteland Township (pdf)
  • Londonderry Township (pdf)
  • Mrs. Katherine Pollack (pdf)
  • Delaware Riverkeeper Network (pdf)
  • Andy Dinniman, John Rafferty Jr (pdf)
  • Craig Hahnlen (pdf)
  • Clean Air Council and the Environmental Integrity Project (pdf)
  • Jody M Ross MD (pdf)
  • PA State Association of Township Supervisors (pdf)
  • Senate of PA (pdf)
  • Chester County Commissioners (pdf)
  • West Pikeland Township (pdf)
  • Tri County Regional Planning Commission (pdf)
  • Senator Patricia Vance (pdf)
  • Senator Dominic Pileggi (pdf)
  • Lori & Christain Kier (pdf)
  • John & Susan Rapp (pdf)
  • Various Individuals (pdf)
  • Upper Uwchlan Township (pdf)
  • Board of Commissioners Hampden Twp (pdf)
  • West Whiteland Township (pdf)
  • David & Brenda Cleland (pdf)
  • Diane & Scott Dombach (pdf)
Click here if anyone's missing from this list.

What an underground pipeline explosion looks like

In the event you haven't been following international news, there was a pipeline explosion in Kaohsiung, Taiwan on July 31st. The pictures tell the story, for more details click here. Each image links back to the source article.








This pipeline was decreed safe also.
Video

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, off to the appellates we go...

Sunoco got another setback, according to the Daily Local:
HARRISBURG — Sunoco Logistics got a setback Wednesday to its plans to pump propane and ethane in its 300-mile Mariner East pipeline across southern Pennsylvania. Two administrative law judges released a 25-page decision recommending that state utility regulators deny the company’s request to exempt buildings to shelter 18 pump stations and 17 valve control stations from local zoning ordinances in 31 different locations.

And Sunoco already has plans for a second pipeline (details). Here's an interesting article that explains the origins of the eminent domain claims.


Interested in starting a local grassroots organization?

Contact the Chester County Community Coalition (3cCoalition) here or on facebook. They occasionally travel and can provide "community organizing, group dynamics, fund-raising, searching for legal help and vetting potential experts".


Foreign media reports

Our story is spreading outside of the U.S.

Who would have guessed a small website in Chester County would get mentioned by Al Jazeera?

Significance?

Everyone's contribution and effort is important...even if it isn't immediately apparent.

Excerpt:

...Though the dispute over exports may matter for appearances, it remains to be seen if it will sway the members of the PUC, which itself has been the subject of criticism. In late May, Chairman Robert Powelson, a Corbett appointee, left an energy lobbying group after a local National Public Radio affiliate raised questions about the appearance of bias.

Powelson had belonged to the Greater Philadelphia Energy Action Team, which is chaired by the CEO of an oil refinery and aimed at expanding energy and petrochemical manufacturing. Another member of the Energy Action Team, former Department of Environmental Protection chief Michael Krancer, is a partner at Blank Rome and one of the lawyers representing Sunoco before the PUC.

Before Powelson stepped down, the chair of the Energy Action Team wrote to the PUC expressing support for the Mariner East project.

(Blank Rome isn’t the only legal firm with awkward ties to the PUC: Sunoco’s previous attorneys, from McNees Wallace & Nurick, served as outside counsel for the commission for two years, the NPR affiliate also reported.)

“There is both actual conflict of interest and there’s an appearance of potential conflict of interest,” Sen. Dinniman said. Powelson should recuse himself from the Sunoco case, he added. Stepping down after his group had already written in support of the project was like “closing the barn door after the horse got out.”

Too much money to refuse

With the litigation before the PUC unlikely to reach any conclusion before the fall, Sunoco has pressed ahead with Mariner East across the state. Local activists in Chester County who run a website named EastBootRoad.com, after the street where the pump station would be built, routinely document the ongoing work, and last week, the West Goshen Township supervisors voted to oppose Sunoco’s petition before the PUC and “take this matter to the appellate courts as necessary.”

Even Gov. Corbett’s office seems to have toned down its enthusiasm for the project.

“The Governor supports continued efforts to bring the benefits of Marcellus Shale production to all regions of the Commonwealth, including southeastern Pennsylvania,” Deputy Chief of Staff Patrick Henderson says. “Any specific project, however, must advance with proper consideration for the citizens and communities through which it passes.”





Here's a useful tool for viewing pipelines through Pennsylvania. West Goshen is shown below.
The pipelines from approximately Frazer to Cheyney.
The area around the proposed pumping station.


Today's quote (July 27th)

..."Any company that uses and misuses the rights of their neighbors is not the kind of business we want in our neighborhoods and definitely not someone who should be given the right of eminent domain over its neighbors.

PATRICK M. BROWN".



And from our email inbox, an important question:

"How do I get a yard sign(s)? Keep up the great work……please! Thank you."

To get a yardsign, please contact the Chester County Community Coalition. Here's their mailing address also.

Chester County Community Coalition
P.O. Box 2074
West Chester, PA 19380-2074

To Contribute to the cause send checks made payable to:
Chester County Community Coalition or CCC Coalition


And in case you're just joining us...

What Sunoco wants (left), and West Goshen & other communities (Right).

New PUC filings

Summary:
  • CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE TO INTERROGATORIES (Looks like Sunoco's objections) - Link

More work on Rt 352 just below Route 3

Rt 352 at Wickerton Drive, Click for enlargement.

New PUC filings

Summary:
  • Certificate of Service to Interrogatories Set I - West Goshen Township link

Report for June 29-July 9:

PUC filings - Blank Rome weighs in

Summary:
  • Answer to Petition to Intervene of Board of Commissioners of Upper Chichester Township - Sunoco Pipeline LP link
  • Answer to Petition to Intervene of Board of Supervisors of West Goshen Township - Sunoco Pipeline LP link
  • Answer to Petition to Intervene of Environmental Integrity Project - Sunoco Pipeline LP link
Document actually mentions East Goshen, not West Goshen.

Sunoco's double standard

If you haven't done so already, check out the article about Sunoco's recent gripe. Excerpt:

“The trouble for Sunoco Inc., the Philadelphia company with nearly 4,900 retail fuel stations and convenience stores in 23 states, is that it has nothing to do with the cross-state pipeline project that has attracted fierce local opposition and has become embroiled in a contentious matter before the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

The project, called Mariner East, will carry natural gas liquids such as propane across Pennsylvania from the Marcellus Shale region. It's the work of Sunoco's corporate offspring, Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P.

But in the hands of careless journalists and picket-sign painters, the companies all just become "Sunoco."

According to brand consultants and public-image experts, Sunoco the fuel retailer faces a big challenge disassociating itself from the actions of its corporate doppelgänger."

The Sunoco logo is splattered everywhere for brand recognition, but when things go awry we see complaints like this. Who would have guessed Sunoco hired "careless journalists and picket-sign painters" to erect gas station signs and commercials that prominently feature the Sunoco logo? Apparently brand confusion's fine when Sunoco is the benefactor.


West Bradford joins opposition to Sunoco PUC request

Excerpt:

WEST BRADFORD – Township supervisors agreed on Tuesday to write a letter to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in opposition of Sunoco Logistics seeking public utility status for its Mariner East project.

...

West Bradford Township Manager Tommy Ryan said the letter will be similar to what other local township officials submitted last month by asking the PUC to not exempt Sunoco from following the Pennsylvania Municipal Planning Code and local zoning ordinances.

...

The supervisors unanimously agreed to submit a letter “opposing the exemption of local codes, relative to construction” of the pipeline project.

...



New photo

Paving along Rt 352 just south of Rt 3. Photo taken July 1st.
Click for enlargement.


Eminent domain & easement

If you're interested in seeing what Mariner Projects will look like several years from now in West Goshen, click here. These are images showing the estimated effect of the 100 yard claim by SPLP, and what's in store for West Goshen and everywhere else long the Mariner's path.


What you can do:

Report for June 21-28:

More activity at the PUC.

Summary:
  • Blank Rome answers to preliminary objections of the Mountain Watershed Association (Rostraver and Hempfield Townships, Westmoreland County) link
  • SPLP Answers to Preliminary Objection of Concerned Citizens of West Goshen Township link
  • Letter in Support of Petition - West Pikeland Township link
  • Notice of Entry of Appearance of K Myers, D Brooman & S Tucker - West Goshen Township link
  • Withdrawal of Appearance of Margaret A Morris, Esq for W Goshen Twp link
  • Certificate of Service to Entry of Appearance for West Goshen Twp-S Tucker link

The word continues to spread - Main Line Media news article

Documents opposing Sunoco's Chesco pipeline submitted

“I personally do not know whether I oppose Sunoco’s plans for our region,” said [West Whiteland resident Matthew] Morley’s letter. “However, it is readily apparent that Sunoco is not behaving in a manner that is respectful of local government’s zoning authority or due process rights under the Municipalities Planning Code.

“Is there any reason to believe that when Sunoco’s next project runs through West Whiteland Township that they will respect our right to local governance any more than they are currently respecting West Goshen?” he asked.



The Thursday night meeting went well, and appeared in the Daily Local news (link). Thanks to the local media, DLN in particular, for covering this. Also see NBC10's video segment on June 15th.

Apparently Sunoco will relocate if the "numbers" are right.

Excerpt:

"In order to accommodate the above referenced project, it will be necessary for Sunoco Pipeline L.P. (“SPLP”) to relocate, vertically and/or horizontally, its existing 14” high pressure petroleum products pipeline. In general, SPLP is not opposed to relocating its pipeline to accommodate the project, however all costs associated with this relocation will be the responsibility of Montgomery County. ... "




And speaking of numbers...it's likely the shareholders that are driving this. Investors and shareholders watch the stock ticker, and so can you. Here's Sunoco's stock listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). And National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (NASDAQ) as well. Apparently they call themselves "Steel Partners Holdings L.P." in those circles.

Should our legal proceedings make such a fuss that we make the news at the NYSE & NASDAQ sites (NYSE newsNASDAQ news), the share values will drop. Sunoco won't be able to gloss that over to investor mailings.

This is the kind of news that makes the high level Sunoco executives jobless:

"Steel Partners Holdings L.P ( SPLP ), a diversified holding company, Friday reported first-quarter net loss to unitholders of $12.7 million or $0.41 per unit, compared with a loss of $12 million or $0.40 per unit last year.

Results for the quarter included $18.3 million net loss from associated companies, compared with loss of $10.4 million in the prior year, the company said."


Our skin in this fight

You'll often hear citations that West Goshen is on the ten-best-places-to-live list. But if you search for it, you'll get the dreaded 404 error (not found). Apparently CNN Money took the article down, but it was saved. Here's a local copy that shows the list, this is all that remains. We still get honorable mention as far as Best home deals in the Best Places, here's the article. There are a few secondary articles (example, another, another, and one more). In 2011, it was number 25. But for those of us already here with actual living experience, it's #1.


A question for some local residents

While out & about, there's often evidence of Sunoco related activity. Here are the most recent examples this week:

All of these images were taken along Route 352 south of Route 3 this past week. Click any image to enlarge it.

So let's take a look back at these work areas again, and also at the interactive map. Look closely...they all have something in common. Every last one. Can't figure it out? They're all missing this.

Seriously? Even when Sunoco's in your own front yard?

It's understandable that not everyone wants a mud-spattered front seat at this truck-pull. Let someone else get dirty & bruised. This mentality isn't new, the last time we had a serious sqabble in this area, only 3 percent of the population actively participated. And as history attests, that's all it took. Everyone else went along for the ride. So fast-forward to today. We see people that paid anywhere from $300K to somewhere-in-the-millions for their homes, yet can't drop $50 or $100 to help preserve safety, prevent property devaluation, or eminent domain? Will someone please explain?

And, when this is over, it'll be obvious who supported the coalition.

Disclaimer:
Eastbootroad.com doesn't run Chester County Coalition (3C), Eastbootroad doesn't work for 3C. Eastbootroad isn't connected to, but does support 3C. If you haven't done so already, please consider volunteering your skills to 3C and a generous contribution. Click here to go to Chester County Coalition.

Road work continues, new PUC filing

Photos from last Friday, June 20. Looks like they're filling in holes. Click images to enlarge. Interactive map updated with these new images.

Route 352 and Anne Drive, just north of Strasburg Road.

East Boot Road between Wilson & Greenhill.

New PUC filing by Blank/Rome - Notice of Appearance. Looks like they added another lawyer. Excerpt:

"Enclosed for filing with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission is the Notice of Entry of Appearance of attorney Melanie S. Carter on behalf of Sunoco Pipeline L.P. ("SPLP"), in the above-referenced proceedings. Ms. Carter will appear on behalf of SPLP in addition to attorneys Michael L. Krancer, Christoper A. Lewis, and Frank L. Tamulonis, III."



Return of the surveyors!

Spotted Wednesday at the intersection of Phoenixville Pike & Boot Road. Things must not be going as well as hoped. Click on each image to enlarge. Activity map (below, link) also updated. Upper photo-logo on safety vest reads "Trico", apparently this is their employer.



Recent radio broadcasts

The most recent PUC filings as of June 12th

Today's quote (June 9th)

..."Pennsylvania's courts have been clear that even the Commonwealth must follow local ordinances under many circumstances. SPLP should not be exempted from the requirements imposed on instrumentalities of government...

What is good for the Commonwealth should be good for the pipeline industry. There is no sound reason to give SPLP the ability to bypass municipal regulations when the Commonwealth itself is bound to follow these same rules".

The most recent PUC filings as of June 6th

Delaware Riverkeeper Network and the Delaware Riverkeeper warn Sunoco to to file a written response. Interesting.

To: Sunoco Pipeline L.P., through its attorneys:
Christopher A. Lewis
Michael L. Krancer
Frank L. Tamulonis
Blank Rome LLP
One Logan Square Philadelphia PA, 19103
Phone: 215 - 567 - 5793

Pursuant to 52 Pa. Code§ 5.101(b), you are hereby notified that, if you do not file a written response denying or correcting the enclosed Preliminary Objections of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network and the Delaware Riverkeeper (“DRN”) within ten (10) days from service of this Notice, the facts set forth by DRN in its Preliminary Objections maybe deemed to be true, thereby requiring no further proof. All pleadings, such as an Answer to Objections, must be filed with the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, with a copy served on counsel for DRN, and the Administrative Law Judge presiding over the case.

Dated: June 5 , 2014 /s/ Aaron Stemplewicz
Aaron Stemplewicz, Esq.,
PA Attorney #312371
Delaware Riverkeeper Network
925 Canal Street, Suite 3701
Bristol, PA 19007
Tel: 215.369.1188
Fax: 215.369.1181
aaron@delawareriverkeeper.org

And a similar filing by the Clean Air Council.

Looks like Sunoco started work along the existing pipeline. Roll your mouse over the red dots to see a recent photo. Click on image for full size photo. Note: some rollover images take a few seconds to load.


Image reuse encouraged with credit.

Have photos you'd like to add? Submit them to eastbootroad for posting.

We need your eyes

Sunoco's proven they prefer to strike without warning. We need to know what they're up to, and when. In your travels, if you see something, please report it immediately.

What to look for:

Parked construction vehicles, especially vehicles and equipment used for digging & trenching. Plastic construction tape, wood stakes marking off grading or future digging areas. See photo examples below.

We can learn a great deal from a few photos. Here's an example of early warning signs, click on any image to enlarge:

Here's Boot Road, just south of Greenhill Road. Did you miss it? Click the image to take a closer look. Recently painted underground utility code marks. This is very important, someone plans to dig here soon.
Apparent pipeline location under the pavement. Offset marker. This is used to trace the approximate pipeline route.

What to do:

If you see Sunoco or any other pipeline related work, please let someone know at 3cCoalition (contact), or you can email them at 3cCoalition@gmail.com.

Utility Code color chart (Source)

Red electric power lines, cables, conduit, and lighting cables
Orange telecommunication, alarm or signal lines, cables, or conduit
Yellow natural gas, oil, steam, petroleum, or other gaseous or flammable material
Green sewers and drain lines
Blue drinking water
Purple reclaimed water, irrigation, and slurry lines
Pink temporary survey markings, unknown/unidentified facilities
White proposed excavation limits or route

 

 



3cCoalition on WCHE!

Board of Supervisors meeting schedule for 2014:

May 14
June 11
July 9
Aug 13
Sept 10
Oct 8
Nov 12
Dec 10

Our view

According to the comments at the April 3rd township meeting, Sunoco made some lofty promises to shareholders...to the effect they'd see profits by mid 2014. It appears Sunoco hadn't thought out how they'd deliver, nor anticipated local resistance. After a few early negotiations with landowners went unfavorably, Sunoco resorted to legal force by claiming they possess eminent domain power.

Earlier, Sunoco's forward scouts preparing the way for surveying in Chester County told everyone Sunoco already had Public Utility powers, echoing earlier claims in Cumberland County. Following the last legal defeat in court, Sunoco is trying an end-run around the entire legal process by appealing directly to the Public Utility Commission. Apparently Sunoco hopes for a serious case of cognitive dissonance at the PUC since most of the product is destined for export to Norway and elsewhere. Or does the the PUC's bailiwick extend to the Scandanavian peninsula?

April 22, Sunoco hosted a 2 hour hootenanny at East Senior High School auditorium (photos) replete with about a dozen Sunoco experts. Sunoco tried their best to convince West Goshen their pipeline & station is best for everyone despite:

  • Creating no jobs for West Goshen residents
  • No fuel will be delivered to Chester County or available at reduced cost
  • Up to at least 90% will be exported from Marcus Hook for export, as in, outside the U.S.
  • No benefit to West Goshen, not even tax revenue

When asked specifically about the direct benefit to Chester County (West Goshen in particular), Sunoco recited their sacred chants about safety and other engineering details. Like the petulant, spoiled child that doesn't get the answer they desire, it appears Sunoco went pleading to the PUC as an end-run around homeowners. It would be difficult to imagine anything that would anger local residents more. If Sunoco's aim was to anger and motivate local residents to action, they succeeded beyond anyone's expectations. This public relations disaster will likely be a case study in failure, featured in a future public relations textbook.

The power to seize property, whether as small as escheat or larger like eminent domain, should remain a power limited to government. Issuance of this type of power to a for-profit business could present a conflict of interest and become a serious legal precedent we'd soon regret. What's next? Walmart condemning residential properties to build stores? Shopping mall developers seizing & flattening neighborhoods?

Make no mistake, this is an effort to appease & profit Sunoco and their shareholders, while leaving Chester County to deal with the fallout and consequences. Here's what West Goshen and even eastern PA gets: devaluation, risk, property loss. Maybe pollution. Except for the Sunoco shareholders, of course.

Profiles: The Public Utility Commission


View

Chairman

Phone: 717-787-4301 Fax: 717-783-8698

Robert F. Powelson serves as Chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC). Chairman Powelson was first nominated to the PUC on June 19, 2008, by Governor Edward G. Rendell to fill the remainder of an unexpired term. The Pennsylvania Senate unanimously confirmed Chairman Powelson to serve as Commissioner on June 30, 2008. Commissioner Powelson was renominated by Governor Rendell for a full five-year term on February 12, 2009, and again unanimously confirmed by the Pennsylvania Senate on April 22, 2009. (More)


View

Commissioner

Phone: 717-787-1031 Fax: 717-783-0698

Gladys M. Brown was sworn in as a Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner on Oct. 2, 2013, one day after receiving unanimous approval from the Pennsylvania Senate. Commissioner Brown was nominated for the position by Gov. Tom Corbett on June 13, 2013. Her term expires April 1, 2018. During her confirmation hearing, Commissioner Brown pledged to use the same fair and balanced approached in dealing with PUC issues that she used in her more than 22 years as an aide in the Pennsylvania Senate. She highlighted that one of her goals on the Commission is to increase efforts to educate consumers. (More)


View

Vice Chairman

Phone: 717-772-0692 Fax: 717-787-5620

John F. Coleman Jr. serves as Vice Chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC). Vice Chairman Coleman was first nominated to serve as Commissioner by Governor Edward G. Rendell on June 2, 2010, and subsequently confirmed by the Pennsylvania Senate on June 15, 2010. Vice Chairman Coleman was elected by his fellow Commissioners to the position of Vice Chairman on February 24, 2011. On February 17, 2012, Governor Tom Corbett renominated Vice Chairman Coleman, who was unanimously confirmed by the Pennsylvania Senate on April 2, 2012. Vice Chairman Coleman's term will expire April 1, 2017. (More)


View

Commissioner

Phone: 717-783-1763 Fax: 717-783-7986

Pamela A. Witmer took the oath of office as a Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner on June 30, 2011. She was nominated to serve as Commissioner by Gov. Tom Corbett on June 7, 2011, and unanimously confirmed by the Senate on June 27, 2011. Commissioner Witmer’s term will expire April 1, 2016. (More)


View

Commissioner

Phone: 717-783-1197 Fax: 717-783-9845

James H. Cawley is a 1967 graduate of St. Bonaventure University and a 1970 graduate of Notre Dame Law School. He began his legal career in 1970 as one of the seven original law clerks serving the judges (in his case, Judge Glenn E. Mencer) of the newly-created Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. He was later appointed Majority Counsel to the Pennsylvania Senate Consumer Affairs Committee where he drafted several major amendments to Pennsylvania’s public utility laws and assisted with codification of those laws. In 1977, he was appointed Chief Counsel to the Senate Majority Floor Leader. Thereafter, he was twice nominated and confirmed as a member of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, serving from November 1979 until September 1985. He then practiced law with a concentration on administrative law and appellate practice. His clients included a wide array of public utilities and competitive telephone, electric and natural gas providers. (More)


View
Ed Rendell: Former Philadelphia district attorney (1978-1986) and mayor (1992-2000), PA governor (2003-2011). Following the end of his career as governor of Pennsylvania, Rendell returned to his former law firm, the Philadelphia-based Ballard Spahr. In January 2011, he accepted a position as an on-air political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC, and the following month took up a position as Senior Advisor at boutique investment bank Greenhill & Co. In April 2011, Rendell joined Element Partners, a Philadelphia-based cleantech investment firm, as an Operating Partner. (bio - Wiki) (contact)
Images: PUC website.

Sources:
http://www.puc.state.pa.us/about_puc/staff_directory.aspx
http://www.puc.state.pa.us/about_puc/commissioners.aspx

 

ANSWER OF SUNOCO PIPELINE L.P. TO THE PRELIMINARY OBJECTIONS OF CONCERNED CITIZENS OF WEST GOSHEN TOWNSHIP.

04/29/14

"...For the reasons stated herein SPLP respectfully requests that the Commission deny the Preliminary Objections of CCWGT as moot."


Sunoco shifts battle over pipeline to PUC

04/29/14

WEST GOSHEN – Sunoco Logistics has withdrawn its application seeking special exceptions for its pump station on Boot Road and Route 202 that was in front of the zoning hearing board, the township said Tuesday.

Instead, the company indicated it will fight the legal battle over its Mariner East Project above-ground facilities in front of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

The company plans to transport mainly propane and ethane from the Marcellus Shale section of the state in western Pennsylvania to Marcus Hook in Delaware County.

According to Township Manager Casey LaLonde, Sunoco removed its application on Tuesday seeking a special exception for a public utility use in a residentially zoned area. The zoning hearing was set to continue on Thursday evening but is now canceled.

Sunoco had filed with the township zoning hearing board in February for special exceptions concerning the height of its combustion system – which was later redesigned to meet current zoning ordinances – and for a special exception for a public utility use in a residential area.

Company spokesman Jeff Shields said in a statement that Sunoco’s withdrawal of its application comes a day after the company notified the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission that it will be filing an amended petition seeking public utility status for its above-ground facilities within 10 days.

He said that this amended petition will assert that Sunoco is already a public utility corporation and its pipeline buildings should be exempt from local regulations.

“Sunoco Pipeline is withdrawing its application before the West Goshen Zoning Hearing Board,” Shields said in a statement. “The Public Utility Commission’s open hearing process, by law, is the appropriate public venue for approval of buildings related to the pipeline.”

He noted that the company was continuing to review the proposed facilities on Boot Road and take input from residents.

Sunoco filed a petition in March with the PUC asking for an expedited review of its application for its above-ground pipeline facilities to be given public utility corporation status. That status would exempt its facilities for its Mariner East Project from local regulations.

Shields said that the amended petition will point out to the PUC that Sunoco Pipeline “is already a public utility corporation, certificated and regulated by the PUC, for intrastate shipment of petroleum products along the Mariner East Line.”

Residents and officials have argued that Sunoco is not a public utility corporation under current law, and therefore must abide by local regulations concerning its pipeline facilities for the Mariner East Project. However, Sunoco maintains it does have this status, citing previous PUC rulings, and that it has tariffs that are regulated by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

Additionally, Shields said the amended petition will show that Sunoco Pipeline will make their shipments of propane from its Pennsylvania pipeline available to the public. Sunoco said that it is making propane accessible in response to in-state demand.

Residents said that they were happy to hear that Sunoco had withdrawn its zoning application, but said they were still focused on fighting Sunoco for its public utility status in front of the PUC.

“When I first saw the letter, it was kind of like ‘yes!’” said resident Tom Casey. “But this doesn’t mean that we won. We still have a big fight at the PUC level.”

“We need to get more and more people involved,” he added. “We know where our focus is now.”





Sunoco withdraws West Goshen zoning request

04/29/14
WEST GOSHEN – Sunoco Logistics has withdrawn its application for special exceptions for its pump station on Boot Road and Route 202 currently in front of the zoning hearing board, the township said Tuesday.

According to township manager Casey LaLonde, Sunoco has withdrawn its application for special exception for a public utility status that was before the zoning hearing board.

No reason for the application’s withdraw has been given, LaLonde said.

The zoning hearing board was set to review Sunoco’s application on Thursday. The meeting has now been canceled, LaLonde said.

In February, Sunoco filed an application with the West Goshen Zoning Hearing Board for special exception to the township’s zoning ordinance for a pump station at the corner of Boot Road and Route 202. The company originally asked the zoning board to allow for the pump station’s combustion system to be above the 30 feet currently allowed, before it was recently redesigned to meet that standard. It also was seeking special exception to put a public utility facility in a residentially-zoned area.

The 4.2-acre parcel proposed for the pump station is currently zoned only for residential use, but also allows for use by public utilities.

The pump station would be constructed over existing pipelines that Sunoco previously used to ship distilled petroleum through as part of its Mariner East Project. The pipelines would be re-purposed to deliver natural gas liquids, mainly ethane and propane, from Marcellus Shale areas in western Pennsylvania to the Marcus Hook refinery in Delaware County.

Sunoco also currently has a petition with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission asking for an expedited review of its application for its above-ground facilities to be given public utility status. That status would exempt its facilities for its Mariner East Project from local regulations.

The $600 million Mariner East Project has raised concerns across the area. West Goshen recently filed a petition to intervene in Sunoco’s application with the PUC, and East Goshen soon followed. Residents have formed groups and Facebook pages in opposition to the project, and state government officials have written letters protesting Sunoco’s application.

Sunoco representatives did not immediately return requests for comment.


East Bradford pipeline information page (link)

Sunoco's PUC petition to PUC for public utility corporation status (link)

Map of pipe down East Boot Road (full document)

West Goshen residents confront Sunoco at community meeting- link to photo album >here<.




Has construction started already?
Check out the compound entrance.

Click on image thumbnails below for enlargement.

Links

Groups & Organizations:

Websites & other resources:

News and other articles:

East Goshen Township:

Please report any broken or outdated links here.

Sunoco Pipeline Eminent Domain Effort Denied Again

By Michael Faherty on April 16, 2014 in Pipeline Construction
Sunoco Pipeline asserted eminent domain power as the basis to request survey authority in York County. President Judge Stephen P. Linebaugh, previously denied that effort and pointed out that Sunoco Pipeline, LP, was not a public utility corporation. Sunoco Pipeline requested reconsideration. Judge Linebaugh proceeded with an Order reaffirming his previous opinion. He more fully explained that Sunoco Pipeline was regulated as a common carrier under the Interstate Commerce Act and was not regulated as a “public utility corporation.” The opinion may be persuasive to Pennsylvania judges considering the various Sunoco Pipeline efforts to proceed with the pipelines referenced as Mariner East Pipeline and the Pennsylvania Pipeline. The opinion reflects a clear strong decision in the favor of Pennsylvania property owners. The decision is expected to become final on or about April 25, 2014.




West Goshen supervisors react to Sunoco plans

04/09/14

WEST GOSHEN — The board of supervisors voted during Wednesday’s meeting to take action regarding Sunoco Logistics’ petition to the Public Utility Commission and its application currently in front of the township’s zoning hearing board.

Sunoco currently is asking for two special exceptions in front of the zoning hearing board regarding a pump station located at the corner of Boot Road and Route 202. It is also seeking public utility status from the commission, which would exempt it from local regulation.


The supervisors voted unanimously Wednesday to motions to become party to both Sunoco’s zoning hearing and its petition to the state utility commission to receive public utility status.

At the start of the meeting, township solicitor Kristin Camp spoke about the township’s options regarding the zoning hearing. She also introduced Margaret Morris, an attorney for the township who was hired to intervene in Sunoco’s filing with the state’s Public Utility Commission for public utility status. After an explanation of both Sunoco’s zoning application and public utility status petition, the board then moved to intervene on both actions by Sunoco.

“We have our plate pretty full with this issue,” Patricia McIlvaine, chair of the board, said after the vote.

“We’ll work on this together, and hopefully this will come to a very happy resolution,” she added.

Moving forward, both Morris and Camp said the board’s representatives will begin to gather evidence and testimony to present in front of the zoning hearing board and in front of the Public Utility Commission. Morris noted that it would likely be a “very long process” in front of the commission.

Residents also had time to ask questions of the board and the process of intervening. While residents asked the officials to state the township’s formal position regarding the pipeline — whether it is for or against it — Camp and Morris said evidence first needs to be gathered before officially announcing the township’s position.

Although a formal announcement of the township’s position was not made, Camp said that by the board getting involved it showed their interest in both the zoning and public utility status of Sunoco’s pipeline facilities.

“The action to intervene is because they’re concerned about it and they want to spend the money and time on it,” said Camp. “That sends the message they’re looking at it.” The project in the township, part of Sunoco’s Mariner East pipeline, includes the development of a pump enclosure, piping, valves and a vapor combustion system to be 34 feet high, according to the zoning board.

Sunoco is seeking special exception to the township’s code to construct the combustion system above the 30 feet currently allowed. It is also seeking a special exception for a public utility in a residential area.

The pump station would be constructed over existing pipelines that Sunoco previously shipped distilled petroleum through. The pipelines would be repurposed to deliver natural gas liquids from Marcellus Shale areas in western Pennsylvania to the Marcus Hook refinery in Delaware County. The pipeline would then cross into Delaware.

Many of the residents seemed to support the board’s motions to intervene in both the zoning hearing and the commission petition. Some residents said they wished the board would have acted sooner, but most thanked the supervisors for having the meeting and voting to approve to take action.

“I want to thank the board for being unanimous and standing with the citizens, it means a lot to us,” said township resident Tom Casey.

The township also said Wednesday that there will be a community forum from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, April 22 at East High School during which Sunoco representatives will meet with residents and answer questions. The zoning hearing was continued from last Thursday to 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 1 at the township building.





Sunoco Logistics’ New Roadblock in Building Mariner East Pipeline

April 4, 2014

It appears the PA Supreme Court’s ill-fated decision to toss out zoning provisions in the Act 13 drilling law is now affecting more than just drilling. Sunoco Logistics is trying to build a new natural gas liquids (NGL) pipeline that spans the state–running from western PA all the way to the Marcus Hook refinery near Philadelphia (see Sunoco Logistics Planning Second Mariner East Pipeline for NGLs). MDN reported in January that Sunoco Logistics has a lot riding on a court case in Washington County, PA because they are attempting to use eminent domain to force some landowners to allow the pipeline across their property (see PA Judge Hears Mariner East NGL Pipeline Eminent Domain Case).

We now throw in a new wrinkle for Sunoco Logistics and the Mariner East NGL pipeline: Sunoco Logistics has made a request to the state Public Utility Commission (PUC) to exempt the pipeline from local zoning regulations in building some 31 pump and valve control stations across the length of the pipeline. Based on the PA Supreme Court decision in December, two Philadelphia state senators say Sunoco Logistics does not have the right to be exempted from local zoning…




West Goshen crowd boos Sunoco plan

from the Daily Local News 04/04/14

WEST GOSHEN – Sunoco Logistics Partners L.L.C. was granted a continuance Thursday night of its zoning hearing regarding a pump station it wants to put in at the corner of Boot Road and Route 202, much to the objection of hundreds of residents.

According to zoning board solicitor Mark Thompson, Sunoco originally appeared before the zoning hearing board three weeks ago and asked for the hearing to be continued to Thursday night. Between the last zoning hearing and Thursday, Sunoco submitted a request for continuance of the hearing. Thompson said he believed the reason for the request was to allow Sunoco time to find out answers to questions raised during the last hearing.

The project in the township, part of Sunoco’s Mariner East pipeline, includes the development of a pump enclosure, piping, valves and a vapor combustion system to be 34-feet high, according to the zoners.

The pump station would be constructed over existing pipelines that Sunoco previously shipped distilled petroleum through. The pipelines would be repurposed to deliver natural gas liquids from Marcellus Shale areas in western Pennsylvania to the Marcus Hook refinery in Delaware County, Pennsylvania and New Castle County, Delaware.

Sunoco is seeking special exception to the township’s code to construct the combustion system above the 30 feet currently allowed. It is also seeking a special exception for a public utility to operate in a residential area.

More than 150 residents packed the township’s meeting room Thursday to criticize Sunoco’s application.


Residents said their concerns stem from Sunoco’s application, which also asks for special exception for a public utility facility. Sunoco Logistics filed with the Public Utility Commission for public utility status on March 24 and has not been granted approval yet, according to the state.

The first resident to speak during the two-hour-long hearing was Phillip Corvo, vice chairman of the township’s board of supervisors. He said he was there “walking a fine line” as both a concerned resident of the township and a public official.

During his statement, Corvo said the township has been having an internal debate on the township’s role in Sunoco’s application. He said the township met with two outside groups, a utility attorney and an engineering firm Thursday morning to discuss the direction to take.

According to Corvo, the township is looking to hire Margaret Morris from Reger, Rizzo and Darnall LLP and Nathan Cline and Michael Cromer from Pennoni Associates, an engineering firm. According to Morris’ biography, she has routinely represented utilities and regulated transportation companies from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. Pennoni Associates, a consulting engineering firm, will offer advice to the township regarding the pipeline, Corvo said.

“We (the supervisors) will be playing a much more active role,” said Corvo.

“Our job is to protect all of you,” he added.

The board of supervisors will vote on whether to hire the two firms at their meeting April 9 at 7 p.m.

Corvo also said the township was looking to be more active in Sunoco’s zoning hearing. He said that because Sunoco put in its application that it was seeking exception for public utility facilities, the township wants to see Sunoco granted official public utility status before a ruling be made on their special exception application.

“This is not a traditional public utility arrangement,” Corvo said.

Residents also spoke about their safety concerns of the pump station, with many noting the facility and pipeline’s proximity to major roads, such as Route 202, residential areas and schools. Many of those who spoke asked the zoning hearing board to deny Sunoco’s request for a continuance.


After residents spoke, board members decided to grant the continuance, noting the reason behind their approval was to try to limit any future legal action by Sunoco. Thompson said that because the applicant was not at the hearing, it could be a “great risk to deny the continuance.”

Residents booed the decision, but zoning board members said they felt that granting the continuance was in the best interest of the community.

“If we don’t grant it, we put all of us at jeopardy,” said Salvatore Triolo, zoning board member. “We’re trying to make the right decision for the citizens and the township.”

Shannon Royer, zoning board member, said that by denying the application without giving all parties a chance to add to the record, it could mean they would be giving the applicant “a chance to appeal.”

Resident Chris Pielli spoke out after the decision was made, saying the board should have rejected Sunoco’s request for a continuance, forcing Sunoco to start the zoning special exception process all over again.

“Let them reapply,” Pielli said.

The board granted Sunoco’s request for continuance, and the hearing will be continued on May 1 at 7 p.m. at the township building. The board said that Sunoco will be there to provide additional testimony and witnesses for the record, as well as give others who have been made party to the hearing a chance to present their case for the record.




We Need Your Voice

March 30, 2014

Currently the West Goshen Zoning Hearing Board is reviewing a proposal by Sunoco Logistics to build an unmanned pumping station and a 34 foot flare stack next to the water towers at Boot Road and Rt. 202 for the transportation of highly pressurized liquefied gas products. Sunoco has also applied to the Public Utility Commission, PUC, to obtain the right to build this facility without proceeding through our local zoning hearing board and to be exempted from our zoning code.

Many residents of West Goshen, East Goshen, Westtown, West Whiteland are opposed to such a building project.

YOUR ATTENDANCE AT THIS MEETING WILL HELP TO DEMONSTRATE THAT THE COMMUNITY IS INVOLVED. PLEASE ATTEND - IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE FOLLOWING POSSIBLE SIGNIFICANT ISSUES OF SUCH AN INDUSTRIAL FACILITY IN A RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOOD:

Key points:
  • EXPLOSIVE /FIRE HAZARDS TO THE SURROUNDING HOMES
  • SEVERE HEALTH, SAFETY, AND WELFARE ISSUES
  • AIR AND WATER POLLUTION
  • NEGATIVE EFFECTS ON PROPERTY VALUES
  • THIS IS A MAJOR SAFETY ISSUE TO ALL OF US WHO LIVE AND WORK IN THIS AREA!!!!

IT IS CRITICAL THAT SUNOCO, THE WEST GOSHEN ZONING HEARING BOARD, AND THE WEST GOSHEN SUPERVISORS SEE THAT OUR COMMUNITY CARES AND WANTS THESE MAJOR CONCERNS ADDRESSED CAREFULLY AND FULLY.




From our friends at: Just The Facts Please

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I am just writing to inform everyone that the Thursday 3/27 @7pm meeting at the West Goshen Twp. Bldg. is back on. We expect a large turnout, so parking will be tight. Please be courteous to the local residents when parking on side streets. Thanks for your support.

This is a new email set up specifically for correspondence to fight the Sunoco Logistics project. We will be sending out information from this address, along with the Facebook.com page. Any legal advice would be greatly appreciated. This is a community based group that is trying to keep our beloved township safe and family friendly. To anyone not located in West Goshen Township, you are part of the local community as well. To make our little part of Chester County stay vibrant and strong it will take the collective efforts of everyone in order to keep this area beautiful.

Sincerely, Just The Facts Please


I am sending this out so everyone is aware that SPLP has petitioned the PA Utility Comm (link to pdf copy). to be recognized as a public utility. This is after they told local governments that they already were. Much to discuss at tomorrow's meeting. Let's be calm, courteous, and considerate of all who speak at this meeting. As someone close to me stated, "we are all on the same team" (wise words indeed)

wg.jtfp




Details - link -click on item 10 (b) - opens in new window

East Goshen Township Memo (excerpt)

March 13, 2014

On Monday (3/10) I attended a meeting sponsored by the Chester County Economic Development Council to discuss options for improving the traffic congestion on Boot Road between Wilson Drive and Greenhill Road

Casey LaLonde of West Goshen reported that it may be possible to create 2 lanes at the south bound off ramp. This would accommodate more cars.

Randy Waltermyer of CCPC, reported that the bridge was structurally sound and was not scheduled for replacement. It had been suggested that the bridge could be replaced with a wider bridge if it was scheduled for replacement. He also presented a modified restriping planthat maintained some of the shoulders. (attached)

There was discusson about improvements with the focus being on some variation of the restriping project.

West Goshen agreed to split the cost, so I have instructed Orth-Rogers to proceed with quantifying the improvements in the levels of service the various scenarios would provide. This should be completed in early April.



Widening East Boot Road is back in discussion (Link)

Material for 2013 and back - please go to Archives (link)


East Goshen Township Memo (excerpt) From our friends at: Just The Facts Please We Need Your Voice
West Goshen crowd boos Sunoco plan Sunoco Logistics’ New Roadblock in Building Mariner East Pipeline West Goshen supervisors react to Sunoco plans
Sunoco Pipeline Eminent Domain Effort Denied Again Links Has construction started already?
West Goshen residents confront Sunoco at community meeting Map of pipe down East Boot Road Sunoco's PUC petition to PUC for public utility corporation status
East Bradford pipeline information page Sunoco withdraws West Goshen zoning request Sunoco shifts battle over pipeline to PUC
ANSWER OF SUNOCO...TO ...CONCERNED CITIZENS OF WG TOWNSHIP Profiles: The Public Utility Commission Our view
Board of Supervisors meeting schedule for 2014 3cCoalition on WCHE Utility Code color chart
We need your eyes Interactive Map with photos The most recent PUC filings as of June 6th
Today's quote (June 9th) The most recent PUC filings as of June 12th Recent radio broadcasts
Return of the surveyors! Road work continues, new PUC filing A question for some local residents
Our skin in this fight Apparently Sunoco will relocate if the "numbers" are right. The word continues to spread - Main Line Media news article
More activity at the PUC. What you can do: Eminent domain & easement
West Bradford joins opposition to Sunoco PUC request Sunoco's double standard PUC filings - Blank Rome weighs in
New PUC filings More work on Rt 352 just below Route 3 New PUC filings
And in case you're just joining us... And from our email inbox, an important question: Today's quote (July 27th)
Here's a useful tool for viewing pipelines through Pennsylvania Foreign media reports Interested in starting a local grassroots organization?
Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, off to the appellates we go... What an underground pipeline explosion looks like Parties opposing Sunoco as of Aug 10th, 2014
Don't forget to support our friends Sunoco responds to admin judge ruling 3C Coalition on WCHE
Supervisor Robert White dies in accident Reader submitted photos Pumping station photos from Chichester
West Goshen Township hearing on Tuesday New PUC filing - Reply Exception - CCWGT< A reminder from Phil Corvo-tomorrow's meeting notice
West Goshen amends code as part of Sunoco fight The Daily Local News formally weighs in More work on Kirkland Hill
A similar situation fourteen years ago New photos, Déjà vu The more things change, the more they remain the same
PUC ruling favorable to Sunoco PUC declares it has jurisdiction over pipeline Radium 226 - Where radon originates
Report Says Drilling is Creating Radiation Problems in Ohio Shale truck sets off alarm in South Huntingdon From our email inbox, a radiation warning
West Goshen again amends zoning for public utility facilities Pot calling the kettle black Corbett out, Wolf in
Helicopter Museum's fumble Marcellus Coalition on KYW radio, "Moving forward to win" Sunoco investing $2.5 billion in new gas pipeline
From our email inbox, a right-of-way question From Our Email Inbox, Cause for Hope Thanksgiving
The more things change, the more they stay the same Help from an unlikely source Oil Prices Continue to Tumble
Junk Bonds: The New Black Swan? Root Cause Analysis Unseen safety hazards — inadequate infrastructure
Saudi Arabia says won't cut oil output OPEC will not cut output even at $20 a barrel: Saudi Overview & local effects

“It is often easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.” — Grace Hopper

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