Op-ed: Time to Return Pipeline to Service

| Observer Reporter

The Revolution project is a billion-dollar natural gas gathering, processing and fractionation project of Energy Transfer built to carry natural gas through Allegheny, Beaver, Butler and Washington counties.

Shortly after Revolution was placed into service in September 2018, record-breaking rainfall caused a landslide, separating the pipeline and igniting a fire. Since then, Energy Transfer has worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to resolve all issues and paid an historic civil penalty.

As of November 2020, the reroute and tie-in were mechanically complete, and the pipeline was ready to resume service. However, on November 11, 2020, DEP issued an order requiring additional stabilization work to take place at certain sites along the pipeline before it can resume service.

The project has undergone a high amount of geotechnical engineering and inspection. The contractors performing the work say the analyses performed yielded an acceptable “factor of safety.”

No one is arguing that safety for the community, for the tradespeople building the pipeline and for the general environment are the most important factors. But, continued regulatory delay thwarts additional investment, development, and job creation in Western Pennsylvania, while hurting energy producers, leaseholders, and all of us as consumers.

Regulation and inspection are necessary, but business needs fair, rational, and predictable rules under which to operate. Otherwise, we will never realize the full potential of the diverse economic development and opportunity we can create in our region and state.

It is time for the Revolution Pipeline to return to service and for Pennsylvania to become more attractive to business and private investment.

Jeff Nobers, Executive Director, Pittsburgh Works Together.

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