Opponents massing at various pipeline locations

Perhaps buoyed by the success, at least temporarily, halting construction on the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline in North Dakota, protestors have begun massing at other pipeline projects around the U.S.

About 200 people gathered in southern Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Sunday and ceremonially burned the final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline, StateImpact Pennsylvania reported.

Federal regulators had concluded in the EIS the project, which would flow 1.7 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas, would not create significant environmental harm.

Occupation awaits

Anti-pipeline activists in Lancaster County are preparing to engage in nonviolent civil disobedience to block the proposed natural gas transmission line, Kallanish Energy learns.

The group Lancaster Against Pipelines is on point for the protest. Activists have built wooden structures near the small town of Conestoga in Lancaster County, which they say they’ll occupy if and when crews begin work on the Atlantic Sunrise line.

Williams, the Oklahoma-based company behind the project, expects to receive final approval from federal regulators within weeks.

Pipeline activist Tim Spiese views the entire environmental impact statement as part of a larger process that’s rigged in favor of natural gas companies, StateImpact Pennsylvania reported.

“It’s so flawed,” he says. “The EPA said there were problems. The Department of Environmental Protection in Pennsylvania said there were problems. All of us who live along the line said there were problems.”

Organizers from at least three other states were in attendance to recruit and train people on nonviolent direct action, StateImpact Pennsylvania found. Some of them had taken part in ongoing protest against the Dakota Access line.

Atlantic Sunrise is designed to carry Marcellus Shale natural gas from northeast Pennsylvania southward to markets along the east coast and to Dominion’ Cove Point liquefied natural gas export terminal on the Chesapeake Bay.

Florida protests

On Saturday, hundreds of people gathered at the Suwannee River State Park in northcentral Florida, to protest the construction of the Sabal Trail Pipeline, a natural gas line being built along a 500-mile stretch from central Alabama, across southwest Georgia, and into central Florida.

“We have one chance to save this, there are no do overs when your aquifer collapses. There are no do overs when your water gets poisoned. There is only the right thing to do and right now the right thing to do is to stop this pipeline,” said protester Laura Dailey, WCTV, Tallahassee, Florida, reported.

Dailey, from South Dakota, told WCTV she’s passionate about the fight over the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. She says she doesn’t want history to repeat itself in Florida.

“The same thing that is happening there is happening here: ground waters will be poisoned, the economy will eventually turn down,” Dailey says.

Sabal Trail Transmission, the company building the pipeline, said: “Current natural gas pipeline infrastructure in Florida is either fully or near fully utilized, and isn’t adequate to meet increased demand for natural gas in central and south Florida.”

Sabal Trail is a joint venture of Spectra Energy, NextEra Energy and Duke Energy. Roughly 515 miles long, the line will flow up to 1 Bcf/d for power generation needs of Florida Power and Light and Duke Energy of Florida by the end of June.

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