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Pennsylvania NatGas Pipeline Task Force Appointed

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has appointed 48 people from the oil and gas industry, regulatory agencies and stakeholder groups to serve on the Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force announced in May (see Shale Daily, May 28).

The governor’s administration accepted applications until June 12 and said this week more than 200 applied to participate. The task force, whose first meeting is scheduled for July 22, would develop policies, guidelines and tools to assist in pipeline development, including planning, permitting and construction. A report of recommendations is expected to be submitted to Wolf by February, but the administration has indicated that the group could continue its work if necessary.

Of those selected to form the task force, five work for unconventional oil and natural gas producers, including EQT Corp., Rice Energy Inc. and Southwestern Energy Co. Six are from the midstream industry, including Williams, Sunoco Logistics Partners LP and MarkWest Energy Partners LP. Fourteen members are from state agencies and cabinet level departments, including Wolf appointees such as Secretary of Policy & Planning John Hanger and Secretary of the Department of Health Karen Murphy.

The remaining task force members are from the state legislature, environmental groups, local governments and federal agencies, including an outreach coordinator from the Federal Energy Regulatory commission. Chairman is Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Quigley.

The group would also be informed by an additional 101 people, serving on 12 workgroups focused on pipeline safety, siting and routing and environmental protection, among other things.

In addition to infrastructure that has already been built or expanded to handle the increase in Marcellus Shale natural gas production, the DEP has said it expects that 25,000 miles of gas gathering lines and up to 5,000 miles of transmission lines could be built during the next decade.

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