Letters to the Editor

Letter to the editor: More to the story on pipeline safety

The pipeline safety article (“Lack of regulation raises concern,” CDT, Dec. 29) did not have all the statistics concerning unmarked underground pipelines in Pennsylvania.

There is no explanation of conventional versus unconventional lines in the article. The number of pipeline miles quoted is the jurisdictional lines reported to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

There are that many more miles of nonjurisdictional lines, most of which are unreported and uninspected. There are 60,000-70,000 miles of conventional gathering lines in Pennsylvania alone.

Shale gas lines or unconventional lines, for the most part, are being designed to industry standards and since 2008 have grown between 50 and 100 miles a month. There are 14,000-plus unconventional wells in Pennsylvania and growing by about 4,000 a year. Conventional wells are growing at a similar rate, and there are reportedly more the 350,000 registered with state Eepartment of Environmental Protection — 150,000 since 1950.

This should be a concern for all residents. I urge all concerned to write their legislators to ask them to include all Class 1 gathering lines in any pending legislation.

Pipeline owners should be required to mark and submit all lines to 811 PA One Call mapping. The safety of excavators and residents should be a top priority in everyone’s mind.

Frank Halderman


The writer is president of Bellefonte Borough Council and a member of the 811 PA One Call board.