The Greater Philadelphia Energy Action Team (GPEAT) recently released a report, "A Pipeline for Growth", detailing the opportunities and challenges for Greater Philadelphia to leverage the Marcellus/Utica natural gas resources to accelerate growth in the region. GPEAT also launched an energy assets mapping tool to display the region’s resources and infrastructure in support of energy and manufacturing development.
Shana Beiger, Advantage Environmental Project Manager, is a GPEAT member and contributor to the report. In Section 7, Environmental Risk Mitigation & Best Practices, the environmental team details the impact of shale development, of transporting the hydrocarbons, and of increasing consumption of natural gas and NGLS in the Greater Philadelphia region.
The report argues that the energy hub development can be done in an environmentally responsible fashion:
Pennsylvania has developed a nationally-recognized oil and gas environmental protection program for both the upstream production and midstream product delivery process to ensure safe and protective delivery of hydrocarbons in the Commonwealth and into other states. Both New Jersey and Delaware have environmental regulators that have also developed environmental protection programs and rules to ensure that infrastructure build out does not have any deleterious impact on their communities.
The report additionally states laws and regulations that will limit environmental impacts:
... the Pennsylvania Air Pollution Control Act (which implements the federal Clean Air Act) ensures that before construction commences on any project that proposes any significant amount of air emissions undergo a thorough and publicly vetted analysis of how best to control such impacts. The Pennsylvania Clean Streams Law, and other regulatory standards, govern how such facilities manage their water emissions, storm water runoff and any impacts to sensitive environmental areas, such as streams and wetlands. Moreover, any wastes produced at such facilities are carefully governed by the Commonwealth’s comprehensive solid waste regulations. Pennsylvania also carefully examines the potential impacts to diverse or poor communities to ensure that they are not being disproportionally impacted by industrial facilities.
As a result, new industries and manufacturing concerns will be required to utilize best available control technologies to minimize air emissions in accordance with strict but fair regulatory standards. Similarly, the transportation of NGLs using pipelines, railroads, trucks and waterborne vessels introduces the potential for accidental spills and releases, but well-established rules, regulations and best practices will be required to be employed to ensure the safe handling of these materials to minimize such risks.
Click here for full Energy Hub report: A Pipeline for Growth
GPEAT is a multi-industry energy consortium of 80+ businesses, public sector, labor and academic leaders formed by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and its affiliates, and the CEO Council for Growth and Select Greater Philadelphia. Learn more about GPEAT.