Pennsylvania’s Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force issued its final 184 recommendations Thursday in a 650-page document that includes 1,500 public comments. It is not substantially different from the draft version released in November.
The report is an attempt to implement best practices when it comes to siting, permitting, environmental protection, safety and community engagement. But the process itself often reflected the bitter battles raging between local communities opposing new projects and gas companies trying to get their abundant supply to market.
Seven protesters were arrested at the final public meeting in January. And industry has complained that some of the recommendations are costly and redundant. While homeowners testified to bullying tactics by pipeline companies, union members made the case for good jobs. “Fractivists” labeled the entire process a public relations stunt.
Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Quigley called the report “robust” and says it includes input from all the stakeholders, including landowners and state officials.
“This is all about identifying best practices and how we can move forward and make sure this wave of development happening in the commonwealth is done responsibly,” he said during a webinar on the new report.