Natural gas pipelines are the topic of Oct. 17 webinar

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — All things pertaining to natural gas pipelines will be the subject of a web-based seminar offered by Penn State Extension at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 17.

In the webinar, Doug Speerstra, project manager, and Joe McGinn, vice president of public affairs and government relations, both with Energy Transfer, will discuss the process of pipeline construction, covering all aspects of planning and development of the route, the permitting process, construction, reclamation of the site, operations, and the safety and environmental concerns considered on such a project.

Their presentation is especially relevant because the U.S. has become the largest producer of natural gas and moving this product to market in a safe and efficient manner has become vital for the economy. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has 27 natural gas pipeline projects pending. The webinar will focus on how pipeline projects are determined and how they transport gas in an environmentally safe and effective way.

“Building a pipeline requires a lot of planning that sometimes starts years before construction,” McGinn said. “There is a rigorous review and permitting process that includes numerous stakeholders and public input.”

There are cultural, historical, environmental and sensitive habitats that must be preserved when developing a pipeline route, he noted, and during construction frequent inspections are performed by the regulatory agencies as well as internal and third-party environmental inspectors.

“Once the pipeline is operational, Energy Transfer has a comprehensive pipeline integrity program that enables the assets to be monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year,” he said.

The webinar is free, but registration is necessary. To register, visit or call 1-877-345-0691. For more information, contact Carol Loveland at 570-320-4429 or at

Previous webinars, publications and information also are available on the Penn State Extension natural-gas website, covering a variety of topics, such as liquid natural gas; seismic testing; methane emissions; water use and quality; Marcellus and Utica basins; natural gas reserves; gas-leasing considerations for landowners; legal issues surrounding gas development; and the impact of Marcellus gas development on forestland.

Last Updated October 09, 2019