ELYSBURG - Ralpho Township will send a letter to federal authorities this week expressing their concern about the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project.

Supervisors heard Tuesday from landowner Peter Tipka, who has been analyzing the project which is set to bring 178 miles of pipeline to and south of Pennsylvania.

The proposed pipeline would cross Route 2026 in the Sagon area and run over the mountain, past Weiser State Forest and into Ralpho Township, about 1,600 feet from Timber Road. The pipeline will cross Tipka's and his mother's property.

"If they come in, it will really devalue our properties and make them unusable," Tipka said. " I am also concerned about underground mine fires in Coal Township and surrounding areas. If we have a mine subsidence and the pipe cracks, the gas hitting those mine fires could cause a catastrophic explosion."

Agreeing there is no value for Ralpho Township to have the pipeline in the area, supervisors voted 5-0 to have zoning officer Mark Lyash write a letter to the Federal Emergency Regulatory Commission to voice their concerns and opposition.

Another bit of concern for supervisors came in the paving of Hemlock Lane because the bid for the project, currently underway, was incorrect.

"It turns out that they missed about 200 feet in the distance," supervisor Stephen Major, who oversees the street department, said. "That is going to cost us about $12,737 extra for fill about 30 cents a ton extra for asphalt."

"It's not good, but the road is being paved the correct way, so we will bite that bullet," supervisor chairman Blaine Madara said.

In other business

- The board voted to purchase a new mower head for the township's tractor, costing $5,000 with a $900 trade-in for the older head.

- The township will send a letter to the Pennsylvania Compensation Rating Bureau, asking them to separate fire department employees from the township's workmen's compensation policy. Fire department and the paid ambulance service are covered under their own insurance.

- Supervisors asked residents to screen the ashes they give to the township. On two past occasions, metal pieces was found amongst the ashes dumped at the township shed by residents. If the practice continues, supervisors said they will stop accepting ashes.