Ordinance Summary

Township Ordinance in General Terms


Why
With the proposal of the pipeline, we were told that there would be nothing we could do to stop the pipeline if it is approved by FERC. Our supervisors were also told, that as representatives of Conestoga, there was nothing they could do. We knew that what was happening was wrong, and in violation of our rights. A large corporation is proposing to take our land by eminent domain and endanger the township to export natural gas overseas. This pipeline will not benefit Lancaster County in any way, it will only cause us harm and increase our gas prices. This goes against the purpose of eminent domain to serve the good of the people.
What
We are currently working with a non-profit legal firm (Community Environmental Defense Fund) that specializes in protecting townships like ours by creating a township Rights Based Ordinance. The Conestoga ordinance would become a law that states we want to remain a rural township, and do not want energy corporations to run their systems through our township at the expense of the people.

 

How
The township supervisors will need to sign and adopt the ordinance to make it official. By making this ordinance a law in Conestoga, we tell Williams, and any future company, they can not build their non-renewable energy systems through our township. We can not ban all energy systems, so we will just be banning non-renewable energy systems, such as this one. By creating our ordinance, there will be a snag in the proposed pipeline project. To keep their insurance, Williams (or any other pipeline company), will have to prove that our ordinance is unconstitutional. Our lawyers (CELDF) will defend the ordinance free of charge.

CELDF has helped 150 townships like ours create an ordinance like this one. To date EVERY ONE OF THEM HAS STOPPED THE OFFENDING PROJECT.

 

When
Now is the time to say no to the pipeline. We are asking every Conestoga citizen to read the ordinance and let the supervisors know you support the ordinance and their adoption of this ordinance. With your signature on the Rights Based Ordinance petition, you are showing your support for the supervisors to take on this challenge.

 

Risks
Are there risks? Absolutely. If the pipeline goes in, there will be tremendous risks involved. Risks that will never diminish. If the ordinance is signed, there is also risk.

 

Pipeline
If the pipeline goes through, the following are a strong possibility:

  • Property values will decrease
  • Well Aquifers will be rerouted by construction
  • Well Aquifers will be drained by hydro testing of the line. (billions of gallons)
  • Construction damage to roads and surrounding areas
  • Property owners along and near the route lose their insurance
  • Property owners along and near the route lose their mortgages
  • Property owners along and near the route cannot sell their uninsured
  • 2 more 42” Transmission Lines will be installed along the same route, creating a Hazard Zone for ALL properties within a mile of the pipeline.
  • Pressure stations and “support structures” will be built along, or nearby, the route.
  • Unprecedented destruction caused by a leak or explosion of this large size/high pressure line. Lines of this size and pressure have never been built.

 

Ordinance
If an ordinance is created, the pipeline will be stopped. The following could also happen:

  • Conestoga gets sued. While changing course would be the simplest and least expensive option for Williams, they may try to sue Conestoga for lost profit. Though no corporation has ever succeeded in this, it is not impossible. The worst-case scenario would be that Williams wins a lost profit lawsuit against Conestoga for millions of dollars, and the Township declares bankruptcy. Just like Harrisburg did in 2011.
  • If we go bankrupt, our Bond Rating will go down, making it harder for Conestoga to borrow money. We keep our vehicles the pool stays open and public workers get paid.

 

Either way there are risks involved. When weighing these risks, you must consider the following…

Allowing the pipeline guarantees a permanent risk that will increase in the future, with each additional pipeline. We can never return to our rural lives once this pipeline is installed.

Approving an ordinance, brings a potential risk of being sued and bankrupting Conestoga. However, we will not have a pipeline.

To View the Conestoga Township Ordinance Click Here