WILLIAMSPORT - After receiving approval from the Lycoming County Planning Commission on Thursday, three projects associated with natural gas activity in the Marcellus Shale can move forward.
The commission approved land development plans for the construction of two compressor stations by Anadarko Midstream LLC on slightly less than six acres in McHenry Township.
Plans for a single compressor station proposed by PVR Marcellus Gathering LLC in Mifflin Township was approved, as were plans by Aqua Infrastructure LLC in Piatt Township to build a water withdrawal pump station that will draw water from the West Branch of the Susquehanna River and transport it via pipeline north through several townships so it can be used for drilling activities.
The Anadarko facility will be northeast of Route 44 off of Browns Run Road, according to Joshua Billings, county subdivision and land development administrator.
The plans call for two compressor stations to be built, with the possibility of a third station being built, Billings said.
The water withdrawal pump station is proposed on a mobile home park owned by Richard and Joanna Leonard east of Jersey Shore.
According to Gary Snyder, an engineer with Hatch Mott MacDonald, about 37 mobile homes are currently located in the 12-acre project area. The mobile homes will have to be removed, Snyder said.
The company has requested permission from the Susquehanna River Basin Commission for the withdrawal of 3 million gallons of water per day, Snyder said. That request is pending and will be considered at the commission's March meeting, he said.
The pump station will transport that water into the mountains north of the township where it will be placed in containment ponds for use in developing gas wells in the area.
Snyder said the project will allow several hundred trucks that otherwise might have to be used to transport the water to be removed from local roads.
An added benefit is the removal of mobile homes from the property, which is located in the flood plain, he said.
The commission unanimously approved the Anadarko and Aqua Infrastructure plans, but the PVR compressor station plans passed with dissenting votes from commission members James Dunn and Cindy Bower.
In addition to land development plans, the company sought a waiver allowing portions of the access road to the station to be steeper than standards set in the county land development ordinance.
Both Dunn and Bower said they shared concerns with the Mifflin Township supervisors and their engineer Dennis Norman that the increased slope of the road could cause potential stormwater runoff issues with the project.
County engineer Wentz and Webster approved the company's stormwater management plan, Billing said.
Bower proposed approval of the plans contingent on the company and township reaching an agreement on the project. Company representatives protested, however, saying that stipulation could effectively stop the project should the supervisors be unwilling to sign an agreement.
Commission member Ann S. Pepperman agreed, and proposed the plans and waiver be accepted.
Billings said he spoke with the company and believes they are willing to work the supervisors to allay their fears regarding the project.