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Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr Collaborates with Transco to Secure Key Approvals Leading to Ground Breaking of Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline

Published: 09/22/2017
Industries: Energy | Energy Extraction | Energy Transmission / Pipelines

​Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, LLP, a newly merged law firm with more than 400 attorneys and 200 years of combined firm experience, today congratulates its client Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC on beginning construction of its Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline project. This expansion of an existing interstate pipeline system will assist in carrying gas from the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania to customers in the Mid-Atlantic and southeastern United States.

With a Notice to Proceed from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) secured, Transco, a subsidiary of the Williams Companies, began work this month on the 190-mile project across 10 counties in Pennsylvania with a ground breaking for two natural gas compressors in Columbia and Wyoming counties. Completion of the pipeline is expected in approximately 10 months, following a three-year effort to secure the necessary approvals. Once complete, it will supply enough natural gas to meet the daily needs of more than 7 million American homes.

Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr was lead outside counsel to the company for this more than $2 billion infrastructure investment. The firm’s work included matters involving land acquisition, permitting and appeals.

Leading the Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr team was Elizabeth U. Witmer, chair of the firm’s Energy Practice. Elizabeth worked in close collaboration on these matters with partners Pamela S. Goodwin, John F. Stoviak, Andrew T. Bockis, John P. Englert and George Asimos, counsel Sean T. O'Neill, and a number of others.

This team of attorneys handled key components of the project in collaboration with Transco, including:

  • successfully handling 80 condemnation actions in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and Middle District of Pennsylvania to acquire easements needed to construct the project;
  • obtaining key water quality permits from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the face of significant opposition;
  • continuing to defend seven appeals filed from PADEP’s issuance of a Water Quality Certification for the project; and
  • continuing to defend third-party appeals filed by project opponents from FERC’s issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for the project in a case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.