The Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline company wants to lay a pipeline across the land.
Melinda Clutterbuck of Lancaster Against Pipelines has been working since 2014 to halt the activities of Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline, a company engaged in pumping natural gas. These activities are a part of the pipeline system already set in place by Williams Partner Transco. Clutterbuck, a co-founder of Lancaster Against Pipelines, and her team, were told construction would commence from the third week of November. She then realized all legal options have been exhausted to stop these commercial activities.
The Lancaster Against Pipelines group planned their protests to take place on a field owned by Adorers of the Blood of Christ, a group of nuns linked with environmentalist causes. Williams Partner Transco's proposed pipeline snakes through the land owned by the group. The construction, the nuns allege, directly contravenes their religious outlook. They have filed a legal opposition against Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The latter approved the pipeline project in February. The court denied them a temporary injunction on October 20.
Members of Lancaster Against Pipelines participated in the subsequent protest. Both Clutterbuck and Ashton Clutterbuck, her son, a juvenile of 16 years, were arrested for their participation in the early morning protest. About 150 protesters participated. Law enforcement arrested 23 protesters. The sisters were not present during protests. They, however, did a prayer vigil at the site chapel on October 17. The demonstration was not condoned by the nuns as potential liability issues can be imposed on them.
— Liz 🌹 (@ElizaJBooth) October 22, 2017
Barbara Vanhorn, one of the protesters, and who is also a local resident, told the assembled media that they are frustrated with the government and the courts. All the arrested protesters belonging to Lancaster Against Pipelines were released within a space of 24 hours after arrest. Elam Zook, a 59-year-old protester, was shifted to the hospital. The contractor developed health complications after he was arrested by the West Hempfield police. He hyperventilated when the police ziplocked his hands behind his back. When questioned about the incidents, West Hempfield Police declined to comment.
The oldest arrested protester at the site was 86 years old. The protests were widespread as the protesters hold the belief that the pipeline carrying natural gas is harmful to the environment. The pipe will transport the fracking products of Marcellus Shale formation in Pennsylvania. Even though a majority of those arrested were locals, a few came from other parts of the U.S. as well.