Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced the appointment of 48 experts to the Pennsylvania Pipeline Infrastructure Taskforce, a group comprising representatives from all levels of government, private industry and environmental groups that will collaborate on recommending policies, guidelines and best practices for the anticipated build-out of pipeline infrastructure in the state. It will present its recommendations to Wolf by February 2016.
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary John Quigley will chair the task force, while an additional 101 individuals will serve on 12 workgroups, each focusing on a number of issues including pipeline safety, siting and routing, environmental protection, emergency preparedness, natural gas end use, economic development and historical, cultural and tribal issues.
“Pipeline expansion is important to our economy and growing energy sector,” Wolf said in a statement on Thursday. “We will work together to make sure that this important infrastructure can be developed effectively and responsibly with consideration for the environment, residents and local communities.”
Since part of the Marcellus shale play, the largest source of natural gas in the US, is located in Pennsylvania, natural gas drilling has outpaced the development of infrastructure needed to bring the gas to market. The state estimates that up to 30,000 miles of pipelines could be constructed in the next decade.
The task force will hold its first meeting on July 22. It will be open to the public and streamed live on the DEP website.