Greenspring Pipeline Expansion
The Greenspring Pipeline Expansion project proposed by the Eastern Shore Natural Gas Company includes over 11 miles of pipeline (11 miles of 16-inch diameter and 0.1 mile of 10-inch diameter), two new mainline values and one pressure regulating station. The project would be installed in Kent and New Castle Counties, Delaware. And while the project largely follows an existing railroad right of way, there are still serious concerns with its environmental impacts.
The project includes a 75-foot wide construction corridor and a permanent 30-foot permanent right of way retained after construction. Approximately 131.54 acres of land would be affected by construction activities. Eleven waterways will be crossed with 13 stream crossings, all but two of those crossings using the open cut method of laying pipeline. 3.34 acres of forest land will be impacted, as will 21 wetlands in 33 different locations including 3.54 acres of palustrine forested wetlands, 0.49 acres of palustrine scrub/shrub wetlands and 1.39 acres of palustrine emergent wetlands. Permanent impacts to wetlands would include 1.47 acres of palustrine forested, 0.19 acres of palustrine scrub/shrub and 0.71 acres of palustrine emergent wetlands.
There are 11 waterbodies that would be crossed by this project (with 13 crossings) in the four watersheds of Blackbird Creek, Smyrna river, Leipsic River and the St. Jones River, all tributaries to the Delaware Bay. Of the 11 waterbodies to be crossed by this project, 9 of them will be crossed using the open cut method – digging a trench across the streambed, laying the pipe, and covering it over before the temporary stoppage of stream flow is allowed to resume.
March 21, 2013, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave permission for the project to proceed.