Sunday 22 April 2018

Pipelines & Compressor Stations (19)

Waterkeepers Chesapeake, Potomac Riverkeeper Network and other partners submitted comments on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Environmental Assessment (EA) of TransCanada’s proposed fracked gas pipeline under the Potomac River. Our comments call out the agency for a variety of failures of analysis, including outdated methodologies, reliance on inaccurate or unsupported facts, and unwarranted conclusions. For over a year, we have joined our No Potomac Pipeline coalition partners in voicing our concerns to State and Federal authorities over the serious threats this pipeline has on the Potomac River, the drinking water for 6 million people. There has been a pattern of reluctance from those authorities to hear our concerns and to fully assess this pipeline project in its entirety. Comments filed are extensive and detailed, but some of the highlights are: FERC failed to properly evaluate the serious risk and potential impacts on public health and safety posed by horizontal directional drilling under the Potomac River and C & O Canal The EA, by using methodologies which are outdated or based on inaccurate facts, fail to adequately consider impacts on climate change The EA does not adequately discuss all reasonable alternatives, including an option that would attach the pipeline to a bridge over the Potomac instead of drilling underneath the river. It is unfortunate that FERC continues to disregard the threats to our environment from pipeline companies like TransCanada, rather than assess the true costs and recognize the impacts to our citizens and neighbors. Our comments show that FERC has failed its…
Needs to Consider Risk of Spill to Drinking Water for Six Million In comments filed, Waterkeepers Chesapeake joined several groups in calling on the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE) to deny a state Nontidal Wetlands Permit for the controversial Potomac pipeline, after learning that MDE purposely exempted environmental review of impacts to the Potomac and Little Tonoloway Creek from this permit process. MDE has misled the public and allowed this project to avoid critical state permit requirements, in spite of potential risks to the Potomac as the source of drinking water for six million people downstream. At a closed-door meeting in 2016, before the Application for the Potomac Pipeline was filed by Columbia Gas (now TransCanada), MDE and TransCanada agreed the underground crossing of the Potomac River using horizontal directional drilling (HDD) did not require a permit or analysis. As a result, the Nontidal Permit application focused only on a single wetland and six small streams and failed to consider the risks or impacts of drilling under the river. For months, members of our coalition have been attending public hearings hosted by the MDE to express our concerns about the impact of the Potomac Pipeline and never once did the representatives of MDE tell us that they weren’t considering the impact of drilling under the Potomac. MDE’s baseless and absurd assumption that there will be no impacts from the use of HDD drilling, ignores the reality of HDD drilling accidents over the past several years have fouled streams, destroyed wetlands…
Maryland has until March to issue a decision about TransCanada’s application to build a fracked gas pipeline under the Potomac River. That’s less than two months away, yet the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) is giving no signs that they are conducting a full review of the proposed pipeline’s impact on our water quality according to the Clean Water Act. So, we are bringing our fight to Annapolis to tell Governor Hogan to DO HIS JOB and protect Marylanders, and our regional neighbors, from the harmful effects this pipeline would have on the Potomac River and the drinking water for millions.  Come to Annapolis the evening of February 15th to join concerned citizens of Maryland, Washington, DC, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Virginia as we raise our voices in a rally on Lawyer’s Mall (in front of the State House), and then march to encircle the Governor’s Mansion!Will you join us in telling Gov. Hogan to keep his “fracking” promise?Here are the details:Who: You and concerned residents of MD, DC, WV, PA and VAWhat: Rally at Lawyer’s Mall and then March to Gov. Hogan’s Mansion, where we will join hands and encircle his home to make sure he hears our voices!Where: Meet at Lawyer’s Mall, State Circle - Annapolis MDWhen: Thursday, February 15th from 6:00 - 7:30pmRSVP to the Rally here!Get On the Bus!! We will have a bus picking up and dropping off people at 3 locations. Price: Free! Limited Seating - Sign up for a Bus here La Vale, MD Hagerstown, MD Martinsburg, WV  TransCanada wants to…