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The Regional Energy Access Expansion Project is a natural gas expansion project proposed by Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC (Transco), a subsidiary of The Williams Companies, Inc. The proposed project will extend across three Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regions: 3 counties in the Northeast Region (Luzerne, Monroe, Northampton), 3 counties in the Southeast Region (Bucks, Chester, Delaware), and 1 county in the Southcentral Region (York). However, the Project will not require earth disturbance in Delaware and York counties.

Below is information on DEP's review and approval of the permit applications and other useful project information. The material is presented here to enable the public to readily review the application material, any noted technical deficiencies and the company's responses to the technical deficiencies. Additional materials will be added to the site as the Department continues with its review of the permit applications. Persons wishing to review the entire file for this application should contact the Department's Regional Permit Coordination Office File Review Coordinator at 717-772-5987 to schedule a file review.

For those unfamiliar with DEP’s regulatory jurisdiction, DEP has the authority to review and make decisions on permit applications pursuant to environmental regulations such as:

Chapter 102, Erosion and Sediment Control which regulates erosion and sedimentation resulting from earth disturbance activities and the stability of projects. A pipeline project that exceeds five acres of total earth disturbance must obtain an Erosion Control Permit with plans and practices to control stormwater runoff both during and following earthmoving activities.

Chapter 105, Dam Safety and Waterway Management which regulates water obstructions and encroachments focused on activities located in, along, or across wetlands, lakes, streams and floodways.

For some pipeline projects, DEP also processes a State Water Quality Certification. Pursuant to Section 401 of the Federal Clean Water Act, DEP will ensure that activities associated with proposed interstate natural gas transmission pipeline projects regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) comply with state water quality standards. This certification is often authorized conditionally and serves as an index for all DEP water-related permits/approvals that may be required for a pipeline project to demonstrate compliance with state water quality standards.

The reviews of these permit applications are often coordinated with other DEP Programs including, but not limited to, Clean Water (NPDES Permitting for Discharges from Hydrostatic Testing), Air Quality (Air Quality Permitting), Solid Waste Management, Oil and Gas Management, and Bureau of Mining Programs. DEP may also coordinate the review of these permits with other resource agencies, such as County Conservation Districts, the PA Fish and Boat Commission, the PA Game Commission, the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the PA Department of Agriculture, the PA Historic and Museum Commission, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the River Basin Commissions. Please note that this is not an all-inclusive list of agencies and the type of activity associated with the project will dictate the agencies that will be involved.

DEP’s permitting authority does not cover the determination of the overall pipeline route or property rights. Other agencies also have jurisdiction over pipelines, such as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC).

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Regional Energy Access Expansion Project Overview Information Sheet

This information sheet (PDF) provides a summary of the project.

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Public Participation Information

DEP had received requests for a formal public hearing concerning the Chapter 102 (Erosion Control) and Chapter 105 (Dam Safety and Waterway Management) permit applications for the Regional Energy Access Expansion Project. DEP held a virtual formal public hearing on Wednesday, October 5, 2022. During this time, DEP received comments concerning the permit applications. Additional written comments were accepted through October 12, 2022. More information on DEP virtual hearings may be found on DEP's Public Participation page, at www.dep.pa.gov (select ''Public Participation''). Pennsylvania Bulletin.

DEP has received requests for a formal public hearing concerning the Chapter 102 (Erosion Control) and Chapter 105 (Dam Safety and Waterway Management) permit applications for the Regional Energy Access Expansion Project. DEP has scheduled a virtual formal public hearing for Wednesday, October 5, 2022, to begin at 7:00 p.m. The hearing will end at 10:00 p.m. or earlier if no additional commenters are present. During this time, DEP will receive comments concerning the permit applications.

Individuals who wish to observe or present testimony at the formal virtual public hearing must contact Colleen Connolly at 570-826-2035 or coconnolly@pa.gov, a minimum of 24 hours in advance of the hearing to reserve time to present testimony. The WebEx information for the virtual public hearing is available on DEP's Virtual Public Hearings webpage. Comments, whether delivered orally during the virtual hearing or submitted in writing to RA-EPREGIONALPERMIT@pa.gov carry equal weight and consideration with DEP. Written comments will be accepted until close of business on October 12, 2022.

Verbal testimony is limited to 3 minutes for each witness. Video demonstrations and screen sharing by witnesses will not be permitted. DEP asks that each organization designate one speaker per group and reminds those presenting that time may not be shared or relinquished to others. More information on DEP virtual hearings may be found on DEP's website. Pennsylvania Bulletin

State Water Quality Certification

On April 16, 2022 the State Water Quality Certification was published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

On March 30, 2022, after evaluation and consideration of the comments, DEP issued a conditional State Water Quality Certification (SWQC) to Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC (Transco) for the Regional Energy Access Expansion Project. This SWQC is conditioned on Transco obtaining all necessary state permits, approvals and authorizations for the Project, including those required under 25 Pa. Code Chapter 92a (relating to National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permitting, Monitoring and Compliance), 25 Pa. Code Chapter 102 (relating to Erosion and Sediment Control) and 25 Pa. Code Chapter 105 (relating to Dam Safety and Waterway Management), and complying with all conditions set forth in the SWQC. Pennsylvania possesses a water quality standards program that is integrated into the Pennsylvania water permitting programs to ensure protection of waters of the Commonwealth in accordance with Pennsylvania law and the federal Clean Water Act. The water quality certification ensures that Transco will comply with water quality standards through the established permitting processes. Transco must obtain the applicable permits before it can begin construction. Applicable permits include permits issued under 25 Pa. Code Chapters 92a, 102 and 105. All written comments received by DEP during the public comment period, from September 18, 2021 to December 6, 2021, have been reviewed and considered. DEP will continue to evaluate and consider these comments during the review of the Chapter 92a, Chapter 102, and Chapter 105 permit applications. Additionally, DEP will schedule a formal public hearing prior to taking action on the Chapter 102 and Chapter 105 permit applications to provide opportunity for verbal testimony and additional written comment.

On March 2, 2022, DEP received a revised application for State Water Quality Certification.

On January 7, 2022, DEP sent a technical deficiency letter for the State Water Quality Certification.

On October 30, 2021, the extended public comment period for the Water Quality Certification was published as a Special Notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

On October 15, 2021, DEP extended the public comment period for the State Water Quality Certification until December 6, 2021.

On September 18, 2021, the request for a State Water Quality Certification was published as a Special Notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

On August 26, 2021, DEP sent a completeness letter for the State Water Quality Certification.

On March 31, 2021, DEP received an application for a state water quality certification.

Chapter 102 And 105 Permit Applications

On October 27, 2022, DEP requested additional information for the Chapter 105 applications. On October 28, 2022, DEP received additional information for Luzerne and Monroe Counties.

On September 1, 2022 DEP received supplemental data for the applications under review – United States Fish and Wildlife Service Clearance Letter (PDF).

On August 11, 2022, DEP received revised Erosion and Sediment Control General Permit (ESCGP) and Chapter 105 applications.

On August 1, 2022, DEP granted a time extension to Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC, to provide the necessary information to make their applications technically adequate.

On July 27, 2022, DEP received a request for time extension to respond to the technical deficiency letters for the Chapter 102, Erosion and Sediment Control General Permit (ESCGP) and Chapter 105, Water Obstructions and Encroachment Permit applications.

On June 2, 2022, DEP sent technical deficiency letters for the Chapter 102, Erosion and Sediment Control General Permit (ESCGP) and Chapter 105, Water Obstruction and Encroachment permits.

On March 7, 2022, DEP received revised Erosion and Sediment Control General Permit (ESCGP) and Chapter 105 applications.

On January 7, 2022, DEP sent technical deficiency letters for the Chapter 102, Erosion and Sediment Control General Permit (ESCGP), and Chapter 105, Water Obstruction and Encroachment permits.

On October 30, 2021, the extended public comment period for the Chapter 102 and 105 permit applications was published as a Special Notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

On October 15, 2021, DEP extended the public comment period for the Chapter 102 and 105 permit applications until December 6, 2021.

On September 18, 2021, the Erosion and Sediment Control General Permit (ESCGP) and Chapter 105 applications were published as a Special Notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

On August 26, 2021, DEP sent completeness letters for the Chapter 102, Erosion and Sediment Control General Permit (ESCGP), and Chapter 105, Water Obstruction and Encroachment permits.

On July 26, 2021, DEP received a response to the Erosion and Sediment Control General Permit (ESCGP-3) incompleteness letter.

On June 2, 2021, DEP sent an incompleteness letter for the Erosion and Sediment Control General Permit (ESCGP-3).

On April 9, 2021, DEP received the following Chapter 102, Erosion and Sediment Control General Permit (ESCGP) and Chapter 105, Water Obstruction and Encroachment permit applications.