County Approached on Pipeline Extension Project

The Brooke County Commission was approached Tuesday about the potential extension of a pipeline across the county animal shelter site.

The commission agreed to allow crews with Sunoco Pipeline to survey 29 acres occupied by the animal shelter, the Brooke County Solid Waste Authority’s Recycling Center and a storage facility used by the county’s emergency management and sheriff’s department.

In a letter to the commission, Paul Woody, a project manager with Sunoco, said the company is investigating the possibility of building a pipeline to transport liquid petroleum from Harrison County through the Northern Panhandle across Pennsylvania and into Delaware.

Woody said Sunoco plans to conduct a survey and a non-invasive feasibility study of the properties involved.

“Although West Virginia law provides Sunoco with the right to conduct these surveys and inspections without your express permission, we prefer to obtain your consent before entering upon your property,” Woody said.

“Upon completion of the survey, if it is determined the pipeline route will cross your property, a Sunoco agent will contact you to discuss the purchase of an easement or other rights,” he said.

Commission President Tim Ennis said he met with a Sunoco official last week but he didn’t discuss specifics of the pipeline, such as its proposed depth.

County Commissioner Jim Andreozzi said the company should inform affected residents also so they are aware crews will be on their land.

He said the county should require that crews are bonded so they are held responsible for restoring land affected by the work.

The pipeline is expected to run through hundreds of properties in Western Pennsylvania. A South Huntingdon, Pa., family has filed a suit against Sunoco in Westmoreland County Common Pleas Court in an effort to prevent the company from obtaining right of way through their property by eminent domain. Many others have signed agreements with the oil company.