In a February 13, 2017, letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the operator of Pioneer Aggregates (known locally in Luzerne County, Pa., as Popple Quarry) provided its “full support” for the PennEast Project. Pioneer also described their close working relationship with PennEast to ensure safety.
In his letter, Pioneer Vice President Jefrrey Popple wrote:
“Protecting the safety and integrity of the quarry and the surrounding areas is extremely important to me. I understated that there have been submissions, including from the Plains Township fire chief, to the (FERC) Docket expressing safety concerns about routing a pipeline through an active quarry. I am writing to dispel those concerns and offer my full support for the PennEast Pipeline.”
Popple specifically addressed concerns regarding potential impacts to the integrity of the Pipeline. Highlighting PennEast’s recent September 2016 route modifications, Popple reiterated that PennEast’s route “is in area where blasting will not take place.”
Further, Popple explained that blasting studies done in July, August and December of 2015 “assessed potential impacts of current and future operations on the proposed PennEast Pipeline.” He noted that July and August are the company’s busiest time, and that, “in all three of these blasting studies, even the conservatively estimated blasting ranges were still found to be below the threshold of what would strain the pipeline in this area.”
“Given my background in quarry operations, my family and I are confident in the results of these studies and that Popple Quarry’s future blasting will not damage the proposed pipeline…I would also like to point out that PennEast, throughout this process, has been actively engaged to ensure the safety of both the quarry and the surrounding community,” said Popple.