Ten months into our construction schedule, active construction is nearing completion on the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project. The project is targeted for mechanical completion beginning in August, with full service anticipated to commence in the second half of the month.
Mechanical completion means that the installation of facilities is complete. However, this does not include final commissioning, which is necessary prior to placing facilities into service. The process of certifying project-related facilities as “mechanically complete” began in June and is expected to be completed in August.
Final cleanup and right-of-way restoration work has begun and will continue for the remainder of this year and into 2019. This means cleaning up and restoring the work area as closely as possible to its original condition.
Greenfield construction on the Pennsylvania portion of the Atlantic Sunrise project began in September 2017. The project has featured the installation of approximately 200 miles of pipeline, two greenfield compressor stations and compressor station modifications in five states.
Activities such as backfilling, cleanup and restoration, maintenance of soil erosion and sediment controls continue across the project area, with careful attention to maintaining proper erosion and sediment controls following occasional summer thunderstorms to ensure minimal environmental impact along waterways. As we move closer to completion of construction along the pipeline path in many areas, contractors are performing hydrostatic pressure tests on completed facilities, with the test water trucked to approved disposal facilities. Many meter and regulator station facilities are being prepared to be commissioned.
Asked and Answered:
What is Reclamation?
Once the pipeline is in the ground, we do all that we can to make it appear as if we were never there. Reclamation, the final stage of the construction process, accomplishes this along with our skilled team of environmental experts. Reclamation restores the land as closely to its pre-construction state as possible or, in some cases, even better.
Successful reclamation actions include erosion control, sediment movement, plant community integrity, and watershed, water quality and wildlife habitat protection. Before returning topsoil, we perform compaction relief to ensure greater reclamation success. After reclamation is complete, the Williams Environmental Inspection Team will conduct thorough inspections to ensure the land meets all local, state and federal guidelines.
Fueling America's Pastime
Natural gas does more than heat our homes and provide affordable energy for millions: It also fuels America’s pastime. Without natural gas, baseball wouldn’t be possible. Nearly every part of the game is touched by natural gas and natural gas byproducts, including the fertilizer used to treat the field, the equipment, stands and scoreboards, and generating the electricity that powers the lights.
The relationship between these two American-made favorites wasn’t lost on the crowd during the recent Scranton/Wilkes- Barre RailRiders’ Energy Night at PNC Field in Lackawanna County, sponsored by Williams in collaboration with Cabot Oil & Gas, Lackawanna College, Ivenergy, Southwestern Energy and Borton-Lawson. Friends, family and neighbors of the energy industry joined baseball fans to celebrate the industry with food, games and fellowship prior to the ballgame.
Collaborating With The Nature Conservancy
Williams is one of eight companies that has collaborated with The Nature Conservancy to develop best practices aimed at reducing the environmental impacts of natural gas pipeline construction.
Dominion Energy, Enbridge, EQT Midstream Partners, Kinder Morgan, NiSource, Southern Company Gas, UGI Energy Services and Williams have committed to following the guidelines of the new report titled “Improving Steep-Slope Pipeline Construction to Reduce Impacts to Natural Resources.” The guidelines are intended to reduce the risks of landslides, slips and erosion occurring as a result of tree clearing and earthwork performed to install pipelines, and to minimize the adverse effects on habitat health and water quality.
Susquehanna, Wyoming and Luzerne Counties
Site activities continue to include environmental, health, safety and compliance training for all new workers at the site. The environmental crews continue work on punch-list items, maintaining ECDs and BMPs. The contractor has three restoration crews continuing work in areas where ground conditions have improved. Hydrostatic testing for the final mainline section has been completed.
At Compressor Station 605, installation of the piping inside the fuel gas building and the air compressor building has continued. The hydrostatic pressure test of the 24-inch line has been completed. Fence installation will begin shortly, and ECDs and BMPs continue to be maintained throughout the site.
At the metering station sites, work is continuing toward completion, with several sites beginning the process of demobilization of equipment and materials, site cleanup and restoration.
At Compressor Station 520, work has included ongoing excavation activities, mobilization of materials as needed, finalization of punch-list items, the start of cleanup and restoration, commissioning activities and, as always, continued health and safety training for all new personnel at the site.
Clinton and Lycoming Counties
At Compressor Station 520, continued mobilization of equipment and materials, material fabrications, pipe and electrical work associated with the compressor building and filter separator, trenching for the emergency blowdown line, ongoing maintenance of soil erosion and sediment controls, and commissioning activities are ongoing.
On the Unity Pipeline Loop, site activities included environmental, health, safety and compliance training for project personnel, ongoing trenching, lowering in and backfill operations, the completion of the Beaver Lake Road conventional bore, hydrostatic pressure testing of completed facilities, site stabilization, and the continued maintenance and installation of BMPs.
On the Chapman Pipeline Loop, site activities included the continued mobilization of equipment and materials to the contractor yard, mainline tie-in activities, trenching, lowering in, backfilling and rough grading operations, the maintenance of rock construction entrances (RCEs) and fabrication work at mainline valves. The contractor also continued site stabilization work, roadway maintenance and the installation and maintenance of soil erosion and sediment controls.
Schuylkill, Northumberland and Columbia Counties
Progress continues on construction, and environmental crews continue to maintain ECDs and BMPs. The waterbody crossings at Highway 11/Montour Boulevard and the crossing of Little Fishing Creek have been completed. Farther south, the crossing of Mahantango Creek has been completed and the work has commenced on the crossings of Happy Valley South and Happy Valley Middle.
At Compressor Station 517, equipment and materials continue to be brought in, as needed, training of all new personnel continues, and all ECDs have been maintained. Commissioning of already installed piping has begun. The electric and mechanical crews continue work on a variety of items at the site. Fencing along the West Road extension and stabilization of the swale and embankment have been completed.
At Compressor Station 610, contractors have continued to move in equipment and materials, as needed, to the work site. The contractor addressed two environmental punch-list items, backfilled the conduit and grounding wire along the west side of the pad and power control room, and backfilled the light-support bases.
As always, environmental, safety and compliance training has been administered to all new construction personnel at the location. The station RCE has been maintained daily to keep sediment off the roadway, and all ECDs are functioning as intended.
Lebanon and Lancaster Counties
Summer is in full swing here in Lebanon and Lancaster counties — and that means construction activities are making solid progress. We continue to make steady progress in Lancaster County, and mainline trenching, lowering in and backfilling work is ongoing.
Our contractor, Welded, continues with road-bore activities, and two stream crossings were successfully completed. Installation and maintenance of erosion control devices and best management practices throughout construction activities — such as stabilization of the topsoil and subsoil stockpiles and other areas within the right-of-way where no construction is occurring — are ongoing.
Nearly all open-cut and conventional bore crossings are complete. The Conestoga River horizontal directional drill (HDD) has completed the final ream of this HDD location. Work continues on wetland and stream crossings. Crews are beginning rough cleanup and winterization in anticipation of the fall and winter.
Download the full July 2018 Atlantic Sunrise Construction Newsletter HERE.