Notice –Allegheny County Airport Authority - CONSOL Energy – Environmental Assessment for Oil and Gas Development at Pittsburgh International Airport – Finding Of No Significant Impact/Record Of Decision Issued by FAA
Allegheny County Airport Authority (ACAA) and CONSOL Energy have completed an Environmental Assessment for proposed Oil & Gas Development at Pittsburgh International Airport operated by ACAA. The development project entails well site, impoundment and pipeline construction, drilling and hydraulic fracturing operations on multiple well sites on airport property, access roads, and pipeline construction off airport property. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact/Record of Decision (FONSI/ROD).
The FONSI/ROD, along with an errata containing late agency correspondence and associated minor changes to the Environmental Assessment document will be available for public review for 30 days, beginning April 1, 2014 through April 30, 2014. The FONSI/ROD, the Environmental Assessment document, and errata will be available for public review at the following locations, during the locations’ business hours:
|Pittsburgh International Airport
Allegheny County Airport Authority
Landside Terminal, 4th Floor Mezzanine
Pittsburgh, PA 15231-0370
|Moon Township Municipal Building
1000 Beaver Grade Road
Moon Township, PA 15108
|Findlay Township Municipal Building
1271 Route 30
Clinton, PA 15026
|North Fayette Township Municipal Building
400 North Branch Road
Oakdale, PA 15071
|Robinson Township Municipal Building
8400 Noblestown Road
McDonald, PA 15017
Handicapped persons that need special assistance to review the document or if English is your second language, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act, Federal Aviation Administration guidance, and Executive Order 11988, Floodplain Management, May 24, 1977 (42 Federal Register (FR) 26951) notice associated with public review of the FONSI/ROD is required.
Oil & Natural Gas Development at Pittsburgh International Airport
Thank you for your interest in the Oil & Natural Gas Development project that is made possible through a public-private partnership between CONSOL Energy, Allegheny County, and the Allegheny County Airport Authority (ACAA). You can find up-to-date information on key project milestones and progress as we finalize our plans to begin activity and deliver economic value to the Greater Pittsburgh Region.
This strong partnership has the potential to be a $1 billion opportunity that will further distinguish southwestern Pennsylvania and the surrounding Appalachian Basin as the new global Energy Capital. The region’s energy renaissance continues to drive increased energy independence, jobs, economic development and investment in our infrastructure.
CONSOL Energy takes its license to operate very seriously and is approaching the PIT project with an unwavering focus on its core values of safety, compliance and continuous improvement. That focus will allow us to fully and responsibly leverage the once-in-a generation opportunity associated with this project. With ACAA as a trusted partner, we intend to make it a flagship endeavor that everyone can be proud of.
Progress to Date:
CONSOL Energy and ACAA have formed a strong partnership that has enabled us to work diligently and aggressively to refine development plans with the key stakeholders involved in this process so that we can move into the implementation phase and begin to generate benefits for the residents of southwestern Pennsylvania.
Our teams hold bi-weekly meetings to coordinate efforts and map out the drilling plan, operational considerations, safety issues and communications plans. We are currently evaluating the locations of the well sites and water impoundments that CONSOL Energy would like to use to access the natural gas at the airport property. We have identified 6 potential well sites and a small number of impoundment locations.
CONSOL Energy is also working with the ACAA to identify pipeline locations within and around the airport property. These are largely dictated by topographical and environmental features and while they make temporary impacts, it is critical that these locations are chosen so as to not obstruct future airport growth.
The field survey portion of the Environmental Assessment is underway to assess the potential impacts of these sites. Once that field survey is completed, the first draft of the environmental assessment will be compiled and provided to the ACAA for submission to the FAA. We anticipate that will occur in September 2013.
We are currently in discussions with local municipalities to serve as sources of fresh water in support of our drilling operations at Pittsburgh International Airport. This will result in significant additional income for the townships and is consistent with our commitment to partner with and reinvest in the communities where we operate. It will also reduce truck traffic into and out of the airport property.
We estimate that active drilling operations will begin in mid-2014.
The initial payment of $50M, which was paid by CONSOL Energy to Allegheny County Airport Authority upon the signing of the lease in March, will be used by the ACAA to lower bond rates that will enable the airport to reduce gate fees in an effort to attract more flights to Pittsburgh International Airport.
And we are already seeing the positive impact.
On July 1, 2013, as a direct result of CONSOL Energy’s initial payment under the ACAA lease agreement, the average cost per enplaned passenger was reduced by 3.8 percent, landing fees were reduced by 12.2 percent, terminal fees were trimmed by 0.3 percent, and ramp fees were slashed by 5.2 percent.
Effective January 2014, the cost per enplaned passenger at PIT will drop from $14.11 to $13.92, which is in addition to the $.55 reduction made in July 2013. This is the lowest rate for airlines flying into PIT since 2008.
Reducing operating costs for airlines serving Pittsburgh International Airport, will position PIT to become more competitive and marketable to major airlines and can contribute to improving air service in Pittsburgh.
More recently, the ACAA announced that Southwest Airlines launched new daily nonstop service to Nashville International Airport, American Airlines added new daily nonstop Pittsburgh to Los Angeles and Delta Air Lines will be adding Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, Saturday-only nonstop service beginning December 21.
CONSOL Energy is adding to its workforce to support the significant projected growth of its Marcellus drilling program, which includes the airport project. The company anticipates hiring 50-75, with openings primarily for drilling and completions engineers. The multiplier for each of those hires is 4-6 contractor or support jobs for each full time job, so the total number and variety of job openings increases dramatically.
Public Comment: Public Comment Form
As part of the Environmental Assessment process, this comment form is being provided to the public to register questions and comments. Responses will be provided in the Environmental Assessment document. This will enable CONSOL Energy and the ACAA to address any major concerns voiced by the public. Completed forms can be emailed to info@FlyPittsburgh.com or mailed to Oil & Gas Development Environmental Assessment, Allegheny County Airport Authority, Pittsburgh International Airport, P.O. Box 12370, Pittsburgh, PA 15231.
CONSOL Energy and ACAA will also provide an opportunity to submit comments during their next public meeting. Meeting details will be posted at www.FlyPittsburgh.com/energy when confirmed.