Pipeline Paths Remain a Risky Mystery Beneath Our Feet

  • Crews weld a pipeline connecting to a natural gas well in the Loyalsock State Forest in central Pennsylvania. Photo: Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

October 16, 2015
by Susan Phillips | StateImpact Pennsylvania

This story began with a simple task: Let’s make a pipeline map!

Everyone wants to know where all the new Marcellus Shale gas pipelines are or will be. The new proposals have been piling up. Many have poetic names like Atlantic Sunrise, Mariner East and Bluestone. There got to be so many they started to get numbers: Mariner East I, Mariner East II.

Here at StateImpact Pennsylvania, try as we might, we couldn’t keep track of them all in our heads. We also wanted to map all the smaller lines—and the lines that may have been there for decades, which everyone tends to forget about.

The Wolf Administration estimates that 30,000 more miles of new pipelines will be built in Pennsylvania within the next two decades. So, where will they be?

Pipeline companies know exactly the routes for all the pipelines they maintain or plan to build. But they aren’t required to share that information with the public.

Instead they release vague maps with colorful lines swooshing across Pennsylvania, showing where a proposed line might go.

Continue reading this story at StateImpact Pennsylvania »