On paper, these old maple trees are the center of a legal battle between an Oklahoma-based pipeline builder and a Pennsylvania family trying to protect their land.

     But to the people fighting to cut them down and keep them standing, they mean much more.

     From the builder's perspective, these trees stand in the way of the first pipeline that will connect Marcellus Shale gas in Susquehanna County to consumer markets in New York and New England states.

     "There are consumers, power plants and utility companies there that are still getting their natural gas from the Gulf of Mexico or Canada," said Chris Stockton, spokesman for Williams Partners. "There's gas right in their backyard that they can't tap. The Constitution Pipeline was designed to change that."

      But Megan Holleran and her family don't want the 124-mile pipeline cutting through the source of their maple syrup and heart of countless memories. The 23-acre property in New Milford has been in the family since the 1950s, and Williams wants to take about 5 acres of it.     ---MORE---



Case against Sunoco pipeline can proceed, judge rules

 By Alex Rose | February 11, 2016 | Daily Local

     MEDIA COURTHOUSE- A Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge has denied a request from Sunoco to dismiss a legal challenge to its Mariner East 2 pipeline project.

     Judge Linda Carpenter certified the civil complaint filed by an environmental group and two landowners for interlocutory appeal to the state Superior Court and stayed any proceedings in the case.

     “As best we can tell, this is the first time that a Court of Common Pleas opinion has recognized the broad range of legal and constitutional issues posed by these interstate pipeline projects,” said attorney Michael Bomstein, one of the affected landowners, in a release. “By refusing to dismiss our suit and certifying the matter for appeal at this stage, the court now has set the stage for a statewide ruling on whether Sunoco can continue to get away with using eminent domain for private profit at the expense of the environment and the citizens of the commonwealth.”

     The Mariner East 2 would transport natural gas liquids from Ohio, West Virginia, and western Pennsylvania to the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex for processing and transport overseas.   ---MORE---

      The plastic tubing that collects sap from sugar maples at the Holleran family’s maple operation in Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna County is the only pipeline the family wants to see cutting through their 23 acres, but a tree-cutting crew is poised to clear a path for the 125-mile-long Constitution gas pipeline.

     So far the family and friends have kept tree-cutters at bay.

But following a Jan. 29 partial notice by federal regulators to proceed with nonmechanized tree cutting, those crews began cutting last week near the New Milford, Pa., sugarbush, located at Mile 5 of the planned natural-gas line that’s already starting to be built to Wright, N.Y., as part of the 416-mile-long Northeast Energy Direct project.

     Fearing this is a harbinger of what may lie ahead if regulators OK the planned Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co.’s NED through eight Franklin County towns, some western Massachusetts anti-pipeline activists plan to participate in “nonviolent direct action” to keep the chain saws from the Pennsylvania maples where sugaring activities began last week.   ---MORE---