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GAS GATHERING PIPELINES
 
PAGE INDEX
  PENNSYLVANIA - The proliferation of thousands of new gas gathering pipelines from Marcellus Shale wells in Pennsylvania demanded the Pennsylvania legislature address the safety issues in 2011, just as 31 states had done before them. Representative Baker was the prime sponsor of House Bill 344. Up until then, there was little to no regulation of these gas gathering lines, and they didn't even appear on the 811 System - 'Call Before You Dig.'

pig launcher

The Pennsylvania governor signed the legislation on December 22, 2011, with Act 127 of 2011 taking effect 60 days later, in late February 2012. Under the new law, the Pennsylvania Utilities Commission (PUC) will be authorized to conduct safety inspections and investigations in coordination with the US Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).
 

UPDATES

West Virginia blast highlights safety risks

By Don Hopey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
December 13, 2012 - The Pennsylvania Utility Commission (PUC) regulates about 870 miles of the almost 2,200 gathering lines which transport natural gas from well sites to compressor stations. The PUC does not have "safety jurisdiction" over the 1,300 miles of gathering lines, known as "Class 1" lines but under provisions of a 2011 state law the pipeline companies must register those lines with the PUC. The gathering lines are classified Class 1 because they are located in areas where there are less than 10 homes within a one mile radius of the line.

 
PIPELINE RESOURCES & INFORMATION
 
 
Pennsylvania Pipeline Mileage Overview
Source: PHMSA

Approximate mileage in 2009
(Data may be incomplete)
Hazardous liquid line mileage - 2,638 miles
Gas transmission line mileage - 10,011 miles
Gas Gathering line mileage - 590 miles
Gas distribution mileage - 47,143 miles
Total pipeline mileage - 60,382 miles
 
 
Pennsylvania Significant Incidents Listing
Significant incidents reported in Pennsylvania from 2001-2011
 
 
National Pipeline Mapping System
Washington County pipeline map
Check pipeline maps for your county here
 
 
Pipeline Regulatory Agencies

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC)
Commonwealth Keystone Building
P.O. Box 3265
Harrisburg, PA  17105-3265
Office: 717-787-1063   Fax: 717-787-3114

Office of Pipeline Safety - Eastern Region Office
820 Bear Tavern Road, Suite 103
W. Trenton, NJ  08628
Telephone: 609-989-2171
Direct: 202-550-0481   609-989-2252

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE
East Building, Second Floor (PH)
Washington D.C.  20590-0001
Phone: 202-366-4595

 
 

The General Assembly of Pennsylvania
House Bill 344

Short Title: An Act providing for gas and hazardous liquids pipelines and for powers and duties of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission; and imposing civil penalties.

Prime Sponsor: Representative Baker

Last Action: Act No. 127

In the Pa Senate:
Third consideration and final passage, Dec. 13, 2011 (50-0)

In the Pa House:
House concurred in Senate amendments, Dec. 15, 2011 (191-0)

Signed in House, Dec. 15, 2011

Signed in Senate, Dec. 22, 2011

Approved by the Governor, Dec. 22, 2011

Act No. 127

Highlights of the Bill:

SECTION 101. SHORT TITLE.
THIS ACT SHALL BE KNOWN AND MAY BE CITED AS THE GAS AND HAZARDOUS LIQUIDS PIPELINES ACT.

DISCLOSURE. - THE COMMISSION SHALL REQUIRE EACH PIPELINE OPERATOR, REGARDLESS OF CLASS LOCATION, TO DISCLOSE IN ITS INITIAL REGISTRATION AND IN EACH ANNUAL RENEWAL THE COUNTRY OF MANUFACTURE FOR ALL TUBULAR STEEL PRODUCTS USED IN THE EXPLORATION, GATHERING OR TRANSPORTATION OF NATURAL GAS OR HAZARDOUS LIQUIDS. THE COMMISSION MAY DEVELOP A DISCLOSURE FORM AND REQUIRE ITS USE.

GENERAL RULE. - THE SAFETY STANDARDS AND REGULATIONS FOR PIPELINE OPERATORS SHALL BE THOSE ISSUED UNDER THE FEDERAL PIPELINE SAFETY LAWS AS IMPLEMENTED IN 49 CFR SUBTITLE B CH. I SUBCH. D (RELATING TO PIPELINE SAFETY).

COMMISSION AUTHORITY. - THE COMMISSION SHALL HAVE GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY TO SUPERVISE AND REGULATE PIPELINE OPERATORS WITHIN THIS COMMONWEALTH CONSISTENT WITH FEDERAL PIPELINE SAFETY LAWS. THE COMMISSION MAY ADOPT REGULATIONS, CONSISTENT WITH THE FEDERAL PIPELINE SAFETY LAWS, AS MAY BE NECESSARY OR PROPER IN THE EXERCISE OF ITS POWERS AND PERFORM ITS DUTIES UNDER THIS ACT. THE REGULATIONS SHALL NOT BE INCONSISTENT WITH OR GREATER OR MORE STRINGENT THAN THE MINIMUM STANDARDS AND REGULATIONS ADOPTED UNDER THE FEDERAL PIPELINE SAFETY LAW.

SURFACE AREA.—A LEASE ENTERED INTO TO PERMIT THE REPLACEMENT OR CONSTRUCTION OF A PIPELINE CARRYING NATURAL GAS MAY INCLUDE PROVISIONS RELATING TO THE RESTORATION OF THE SURFACE AREA, INCLUDING SOIL OR VEGETATION. A LEASE WITH A PUBLIC ENTITY MAY PROVIDE FOR THE PLANTING OF TREES IN OTHER AREAS OF A COUNTY OR MUNICIPALITY IF TREES WERE REMOVED TO REPLACE OR CONSTRUCT THE PIPELINE.

Full Version:
House Bill 344 (PDF)     House Bill 344 (Browser)

 
 
PHOTOS OF GAS GATHERING LINES
 
HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP, PA - The December 2011 excavation of a gas gathering pipeline from the William Black Unit cross-country to the Lowry Compressor Station provides an excellent opportunity to see gas gathering line construction firsthand, from the air and on the ground. These photos will give you an idea of what to expect when a gas gathering line is installed from a Marcellus Shale gas well to a compressor station.
 
Gas gathering line excavation work
Gas gathering line construction near the Wm. Black well pad
 
 
Natural gas gathering pipeline
Green coated gas pipe laid out along the right of way
 
 
Installing a gas line
Excavators working near the south side of Route 844
 
 
Gas line right of way
Trenching work on the north side of Rt 844
 
 
Backfilling a gas gathering line
Backfilling the gas gathering pipeline trench
 
 
Marcellus shale gas gathering pipeline
Close-up of the gas gathering line trench prior to backfilling
 
 
Putting a gas line under a highway
Aerial view of the Route 844 pipeline crossing
 
 
Aerial photograph of gas gathering line excavation
Zig-zag pattern of the gas line right of way
 
 
Gas pipeline routing through rural Pennsylvania
Trenching and excavation work toward
the Lowry Compressor Station
 
 
Marcellus pipeline from the Black Unit
Ninety-degree turn around this farm
 
 
Trenching around a Marcellus well site for a new gas gathering line
Detour around the Lois Miller Unit
 
 
Following the gas pipeline back to the well site
William Black Unit at top left of photo
 
 
Gas gathering line ends at a compressor station
Pipeline ends at the Lowry Compressor Station
 
 
Cross Creek Lake
Cross Creek Lake and county park at top of photo
 
 
LINKS
Proposed Pipelines in Pennsylvania Resource Page New!
Gas pipelines
Pipeline maps
Marcellus shale pipeline
How safe are America’s 2.5 million miles of pipelines?
 
 
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