Williams Partners L.P. today filed a Motion for Clarification of an administrative stay issued yesterday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commissions’ authorization of the company’s Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline project. The purpose of the administrative stay is to give the court sufficient opportunity to consider an emergency motion filed by project opponents last week requesting FERC extend a comprehensive four-year permitting process even further.
“Atlantic Sunrise has undergone a nearly four-year, extensive review process and is operating and being constructed in compliance with all state and federal permits,” said Micheal Dunn, Williams Partners’ chief operating officer. “These current actions by opponents of American energy are, this morning, idling thousands of workers in Pennsylvania and could delay the benefits of low-cost energy delivery to millions of American families. It is important to stress that this temporary stay is administrative and not related to the project’s execution or its compliance with applicable federal or state regulations or permit conditions. It is merely intended to give the court sufficient opportunity to consider the motion recently filed by project opponents and is not a ruling on the merits of that motion.”
Atlantic Sunrise pipeline construction broke ground in Pennsylvania on Sept. 15, 2017. While Williams Partners has ceased construction activities until the temporary stay is lifted, the company believes it is prudent and will continue to maintain environmental controls related to construction to remain in compliance with Federal and Pennsylvania permits, while protecting the environment.
During peak construction periods, the project is anticipated to directly employ approximately 2,300 people in 10 Pennsylvania counties. In addition, the project could support an additional 6,000 jobs in related industries and generate up to $1.6 billion in economic activity, according to researchers at Pennsylvania State University.
The nearly $3 billion project, which is designed to increase natural gas deliveries by 1.7 billion cubic feet per day, is expected to be placed into full service in mid-2018.