Slickville Trunkline Permit Withdrawal Sheds Light on Environmental and Compliance Concerns

In an unexpected move, CNX Midstream Operating Company LLC (CNXM) has officially withdrawn its application for a Water Obstruction and Encroachment Permit concerning the Slickville Trunkline project. This decision, recorded on February 26, 2024, marks the culmination of a contentious review process that has drawn significant attention from both regulatory bodies and environmental groups.

Detailed Scrutiny and Environmental Advocacy

The permit application, lodged on April 21, 2023, faced intense scrutiny over its environmental implications, particularly from Three Rivers Waterkeeper (3RWK). The advocacy group raised serious concerns regarding potential water contamination risks, inadequate evaluation of the fluids to be transported, and the project’s impact on sensitive ecosystems. Notably, 3RWK‘s critique underscored CNXM’s compliance history, suggesting that past behaviors cast doubt on the company’s ability to manage environmental risks responsibly.

A String of Deficiency Letters

Throughout the application’s lifecycle, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued multiple deficiency letters to CNXM, each pinpointing critical gaps in the application and necessitating further clarification. These communications highlighted the regulatory hurdles CNXM faced, emphasizing the project’s environmental and procedural shortcomings.

Implications for Future Projects

The withdrawal of the Slickville Trunkline permit application serves as a significant milestone for infrastructure development within Pennsylvania, particularly in areas like Bell Township, Westmoreland County.