ShareThis Page
Murrysville

Work begins on Murrysville pump station that will aid in pipeline reversal

Patrick Varine
| Thursday, May 31, 2018, 5:09 p.m.
Crew begin site-prep work for a pump station that will aid in the proposed reversal of the Laurel Pipeline, which runs across Pennsylvania.
Patrick Varine | Tribune-REview
Crew begin site-prep work for a pump station that will aid in the proposed reversal of the Laurel Pipeline, which runs across Pennsylvania.

Crews have started site preparation for a petroleum pumping station in Murrysville that will aid in the Laurel Pipeline Co.'s plan to reverse the flow of the gasoline, jet and diesel fuel to go west to east.

Murrysville council in late 2017 approved a site plan and conditional-use application for the company, a subsidiary of Houston-based Buckeye Partners. Changing the flow eastward to a terminal near Altoona could bring as much as 40,000 barrels of fuel from Midwest producers into Western Pennsylvania, Buckeye officials have said.

The state Public Utility Commission has not ruled on whether Buckeye will be allowed to reverse the flow of the Altoona-to-Pittsburgh section. The new pumping station along Route 22 would allow bidirectional service — meaning fuels would be able to travel east to west or west to east.

“Buckeye fully respects and remains committed to the ongoing PUC process,” Robert Malecky, Buckeye's president of domestic pipelines and terminals, said in a statement in April announcing plans for bidrectional service. “We see the addition of eastbound service to the current westbound capability as providing an operational solution for all our customers.”

Administrative law Judge Erando Vero in March recommended the PUC deny Laurel Pipeline's application.

“It must be noted that despite bearing the burden of proof, no Laurel witness provided a study supporting their claims that Midwest supply is the lowest cost supply source,” Vero wrote in the March 29 opinion.

Opposition group Deny Buckeye issued a statement supporting Vero's ruling. The group includes executives from Sheetz and GetGo, who have been critical of the proposal to reverse flow.

Malecky said bidirectional service “provides shippers and suppliers with the choice to supply from the west or east while still increasing Pennsylvania consumers' access to more affordable, lower cost North American manufactured fuels.”

The pump station will be on a 1-acre pad on the 3-acre property, which formerly was home to Toscano Garden Center. The station will not be staffed, though a crew will periodically provide maintenance, Buckeye attorney Kenneth Foltz said.

PUC officials have not set a date to vote on the partial reversal application.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, pvarine@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me