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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

smart landowners who see the danger of pipelines

“We’re rural, but I think we matter, too,” he said.

"A group of Lancaster County landowners held a press conference Saturday to publicly reject what they call Williams Partners’ “disrespectful” and “ludicrous” offers to buy easements allowing a massive natural gas pipeline to cross their properties. At the event, held in the driveway of his home on Susquehannock Road in Martic Township, Ed Saxton defiantly tore up the contract Williams sent him. The company had attached a Post-It saying one copy was for him to keep for his records. “Williams, for my record, I do not accept your proposal,” Saxton said, adding: “Stay off my land.” [...]
Williams is proposing to build 35 miles of 42-inch-wide high-pressure gas pipeline through Lancaster County. It is part of the company’s 177-mile Atlantic Sunrise Project to transport Marcellus Shale gas to market. Hundreds of county properties would be affected. In September, landowners reported that Williams had begun sending them offers, typically a few tens of thousands of dollars, for right-of-way for the pipeline. Williams promises to pay several thousand dollars upfront if property owners sign within 60 days. [...]

The clear-cutting for the pipeline will create a de facto pathway “for anyone to run up and down our properties,” said Kevin Shelley, Saxton’s neighbor. He questioned the industry’s assurances about safety. Displaying a photo of an aftermath of a pipeline explosion, he asked: “Are we going to have this in our back yards?" Should a rupture occur, the blast radius would be many hundreds of yards wide, Conestoga Township landowner Kim Kann said."