Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC (Transco) has agreed to pay nearly $1 million in penalties and environmental donations for violations that occurred during the construction of its Atlantic Sunrise expansion project, Pennsylvania regulators said Tuesday. 

Atlantic Sunrise

The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) said it has collected a civil penalty of $736,294 from Transco for construction violations in Columbia, Lancaster, Lebanon, Luzerne, Lycoming, Northumberland, Schuylkill, Susquehanna and Wyoming counties in the eastern part of the state. The company has also agreed to provide $100,000 to fund two water quality improvement projects in Northumberland County. 

DEP said the violations included failure to properly maintain erosion and sedimentation best practices, inadvertent returns of drilling fluids and sediment discharges into waters of the state. The agency said it would take $680,000 of the civil penalty, while the remainder would go toward the county conservation districts that helped inspect the project during its construction. 

Transco parent Williams said severe weather events during construction caused “erosion-related issues that were quickly addressed once identified.” The company added that it notified regulators promptly, “who were kept informed until the issues were resolved.” 

The Atlantic Sunrise expansion entered full service in 2018 to move 1.7 Bcf/d of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale in Northeast Pennsylvania. The expansion came online in phases beginning in 2017 with Brownfield portions first entering service until the 186-mile stretch of greenfield pipeline was finished. Atlantic Sunrise moves gas into Transco, a 10,000-mile pipeline system that spans a large chunk of the East Coast.