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DEP using Mariner East 2 fine to fund water quality improvement grants along pipeline route
The Department of Environmental Protection will be using the $12.6 million penalty collected from Sunoco Pipeline LLP for violations related to construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline to fund water quality improvement projects along the pipeline corridor.

The penalty, one of the largest collected in a single settlement, was deposited into the Clean Water Fund and the Dams and Encroachments Fund, in accordance with the Clean Streams Law and the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act. Announcing the program last week, DEP said the grants will be directed to municipalities to eliminate pollution and protect the public from unsafe dams, water obstructions and encroachments.

Proposed projects must be physically located within one of the municipalities in the pipeline corridor, although applicants may be from outside of the municipal boundaries. Projects that provide direct and significant benefits to water quality and local communities will be prioritized, the department said.

The 85 municipalities are in 17 counties along the southern half of the state, stretching from Washington County in the west, to Delaware County to the east. The application period runs from May 7 to June 20.
Ergon founder Leslie B. Lampton passes
Ergon officials shared with us sad news of the death of Leslie B. Lampton, businessman, philanthropist and founder of Ergon, the energy-based company he established in 1954. Mr. Lampton passed away Tuesday, April 17, of natural causes at his home in Jackson, Mississippi. He was 92 years old.

These lines resonated with us from his obituary:

He was a friend to many, but he was most comfortable talking with his employees, the persons he acknowledged as the success behind Ergon. He had a knack for hiring good people. He supported his employees in taking risks necessary for businesses to succeed, whether entering new markets or developing new products. He always reminded the employees that it was not all about profits. Mr. Lampton believed that you had to enjoy what you were doing in order to be successful in life.

Mr. Lampton had a gift for remembering the names of his employees and knowing something about their families. He was generous and supported activities for the children of his employees, from establishing academic scholarships to buying Girl Scout cookies. He also supported worthwhile charitable organizations in the communities where Ergon has a presence. Countless medical, educational and religious organizations have been the beneficiaries of his altruism.

Ergon, the obituary points out, is a diversified empire that provides jobs to over 2,600 employees in Mississippi, 29 other states and several other countries.
Southwestern asks Pennsylvania court to reconsider opinion of "national significance"
(NGI's Shale Daily) Southwestern Energy Co. has asked the Pennsylvania Superior Court to reconsider an opinion issued earlier this month that could find unconventional oil and gas producers liable for subsurface trespass, arguing that a two-judge panel misunderstood crucial facts and claiming the case is of "national significance."

The company filed an application this week for reargument en banc before all of the 20 judges. The Marcellus Shale Coalition, Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association, American Petroleum Institute and the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry filed amicus briefs in support.

The partial panel had called into question the rule of capture and how it applies to unconventional development. The rule is considered a fundamental principle in energy law that has been applied to conventional development from shallow reservoirs for more than 100 years, which prevents liability for draining migratory oil and gas from underneath private land.

If the court's opinion were to stand, Pennsylvania's unconventional gas producers could find themselves liable for trespass if rock fissures formed through hydraulic fracturing (fracking) techniques deep underground stretched beneath unleased property near drilling units.

"The panel's decision does not only affect Pennsylvania," Southwestern wrote in its motion. "Because hydrofracturing is the most economic and commonly used method of producing oil and gas across the country, and because Pennsylvania is the second largest natural gas producing state, this court's decision unsettles the legal landscape for the entire industry."

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PIOGA members can go here to download Southwestern's request for reconsideration and other related filings, including PIOGA's amicus brief.



2018 PIOGATech Water & Waste Management Training

Cinco de Mayo Clay Shoot Event

2018 Ted Cranmer Memorial Golf Outing & Steak Fry



Cinco de Mayo Clay Shoot. We've just added this fun new networking event to the schedule. It takes place Thursday, May 3, at Promised Lane Sporting Clays in Freeport. Click here for the details. Sponsorship opportunities are available too.

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