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Springfield requests Adelphia Gateway pipeline study


Springfield Township is taking steps to avert a potential Adelphia Gateway pipeline accident.

In a response to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s recent review of the project, which claimed there would be no significant environmental impact, supervisors express concerns about the age of the pipeline, now over 40 years old, and call on the agency to mandate an integrity study to prevent possible contamination of protected bodies of water such as the Cooks Creek.

The filing says any pipeline work should receive the “same amount of planning, monitoring and safety management” as the southern section of the pipeline near Philadelphia.

The township also requests that Adelphia to provide annual emergency training to its police, fire departments, as well as regional EMS so that an adequate response plan can be formulated.

Supervisors also request that Adelphia monitor the pipeline where it crosses karst and limestone formations because of the risk of sinkholes in these areas and published results of its findings.

Both the township and the Cooks Creek Watershed Association characterize the recent environmental assessment as inadequate and are calling for a more comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement.

The CCWA labels the pipeline “a potential threat to the water supply of the citizens of Springtown” because residents’ primary well is a half-mile away from it.

At a Jan. 22 meeting, when the township formulated its response, Supervisor Robert Zisko questioned the need to comment on FERC’s review. “I don’t think anything is going to come of it.”

“We have to show due diligence to residents to look out for their safety and security,” replied Supervisor Karen Bedics, who has repeatedly called for closer monitoring of the project.

FERC recently extended the comment period on the environmental assessment to March 1.