Planned pipeline replacement delayed, officials say

A pipeline replacement project in Chester County has been delayed for at least a year because the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission -- which is required to approve pipeline projects -- hasn't yet officially approved the project.

Pipeline company Transco already operates a natural gas pipeline in Chester County and was planning to replace more than 2,000 feet of it -- including a portion that crosses the Brandywine Creek. It had requested federal approval of the project by January -- and although FERC had issued an initial indication that the project wouldn't violate federal environmental regulations, the agency hadn't officually approved the replacement.

In a letter to FERC dated June 25, Transco officials said they had missed this year's construction window to complete the replacement and would delay construction by at least a year as a result.

State Sen. Andy Dinniman said in a press release Thursday that he welcomed the delay -- and that it would give area residents more time to explore other options for pipelines crossing the Brandywine.

"Is there a way to coordinate these projects in a way that minimizes their impact on Chester County, its residents and its natural resources, instead of simply reacting every time another new pipeline company wants to cross the Brandywine Creek?" he wrote.