Natural Gas Development at Pittsburgh International Airport


CNX Gas Company, LLC


Allegheny County, PA

CEC Services

  • Civil Design
  • Permitting
  • RTE Surveys
  • Wetland and Stream Delineation
  • Stream Impacts Mitigation Design
  • Environmental Assessment Development
  • Construction Quality Assurance
  • Air Quality Monitoring

Owner Objective

In 2013, CNX Gas Company, LLC (CNX) purchased rights, through a competitive bid process from the Allegheny County Airport Authority (ACAA), to develop natural gas resources on the roughly 9,000 acres of property that is home to the Pittsburgh International Airport. In doing so, CNX embarked on a multi-year effort to plan, design, permit, and construct the infrastructure that would be necessary to extract and deliver the resources.

The plan ultimately involved six well pads, three impoundments, and roughly 20 miles of pipeline right-of-way to develop the wells and deliver the gas to market. CNX has targeted both the Marcellus and Utica shale formations in their drilling program for this location. The project faced an aggressive schedule for design, permitting, and construction tied to the drilling schedule and gas delivery commitments. CNX’s ultimate goal was to develop the resources in a safe and responsible manner while generating a return for its investors and ACAA, as the royalty holder.

CEC Approach

CNX turned to CEC to conduct the engineering design and regulatory permitting for the infrastructure that would be necessary to extract and deliver the resources. This included civil/site design and regulatory permitting for the six well pads and access roads, two wastewater impoundments, one freshwater impoundment, and nearly 20 miles of pipeline right-of-way. The wastewater impoundment designs were particularly complex and included groundwater level evaluation, groundwater monitoring well installation, liner system and leak detection designs, detailed construction specifications, and an air quality monitoring program. This high-profile project fell under intense regulatory scrutiny from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP). CEC’s excellent reputation and long-standing relationships with PADEP were extensively employed during the regulatory permitting phase of the project.

CEC worked alongside numerous other consultants and service providers during design, permitting and construction on this project:

  • Rhea Engineers & Consultants was engaged directly by CNX to develop the Environmental Assessment for the project. CEC worked closely with Rhea to contribute to numerous components of that report during its development and numerous revisions
  • NGE Consulting was subcontracted by CEC to conduct geotechnical drilling and analysis for the well pads and impoundments
  • CEC worked alongside Hatch Mott MacDonald to coordinate HDD designs for pipeline crossings of streams and highways
  • PVE Sheffler was engaged by CNX to prepare property, topographic and right-of-way surveys that CEC utilized as base mapping
  • CEC worked closely with HRL Compliance Solutions on their designs for bird netting at the impoundment facilities

Development of the project continues with ongoing construction of pad sites, well drilling and completion, and pipeline construction.