Monday 26 February 2018

Pipelines & Compressor Stations (18)

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…
Waterkeepers Chesapeake, representing 19 Riverkeepers, Waterkeepers and Coastkeepers across the Chesapeake Bay region, are concerned about the health of the Potomac River watershed, which provides drinking water for millions – and could be jeopardized by the construction and operation of the Potomac Pipeline. We are joining 17 other groups calling for the Maryland Department of the Environment to respond to our concerns, be transparent in their permitting process, and take adequate protective measures with regard to the Eastern Panhandle Expansion Project. For the past nine months, we've been misled by MDE with inconsistent and conflicting messages on how the Potomac Pipeline would be regulated. We have explained, through every means possible, our concerns and recommended actions, and we have been ignored. While we have conveyed the serious impacts associated with this fracked gas pipeline – MDE has made the decision to have this project fall under the broader General Permit. This is a problem because the General Permit does not look at important indirect impacts to water quality, such as erosion and sediment from tree clearing, impacts to drinking water resources, and impacts to karst geology. Furthermore, this permit, approved in 2016, only applies to projects that have minimal adverse environmental effects. With a pipeline that could lead to contaminated drinking water aquifers, methane leakage, and impaired aquatic habitats – and is mutually dependent on the Mountaineer Gas Pipeline project in West Virginia, a new forty two mile gas pipeline proposal that relies on this project to provide the natural gas…