LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – There are still months until construction starts on the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline.

However, the controversial project has already seen its share of protests and some feel there is a need to prepare for more.

State Sen. Scott Martin (R-Lancaster) organized a meeting for first responders on Thursday so they could hear from officials in North Dakota on their experience with pipeline protests.

“Do I hope it’s a peaceful protest? Absolutely,” Martin said.

Martin said he is preparing ahead of construction of the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline, which is slated to run through more than three dozen miles of Lancaster County.

Martin told ABC27 News he doesn’t want a repeat of what happened out west when protests turned violent and taxpayers were left with hefty bills.

“I don’t think anyone would have predicted what happened in North Dakota would have been the case,” he said, “but you start paying attention really quickly when your National Guard is deployed and it’s $8-million worth of costs.”

At the same time Martin was hosting his meeting, those opposed to the pipeline held their own meeting outside.

Mark Clatterbuck, who is with Lancaster Against Pipelines, said they are committed to peaceful protests. He also said he wasn’t invited to talk to Martin, which he felt was disrespectful.

“They don’t know what they are responding to without talking to us,” Clatterbuck said.

Martin said his meeting was not about silencing protestors.Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet.