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Constitution Pipeline PUBLIC MEETING

October 24, 2012 @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Come out to Constitution Pipeline PUBLIC MEETING 6:00 pm October 24!

People demanded more input so FERC set a new Public Meeting and extended the public comment period on the proposed CONSTITUTION PIPELINE to November 9!

What: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Public Scoping Meeting on the Constitution Pipeline Project, a proposed 120.6 mile long natural gas pipeline in Susquehanna County and Wayne Counties, PA and Broome, Chenango, Delaware, and Schoharie Counties, New York. FERC is going to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) — this is when they must listen to what the public wants investigated and assessed.

When: October 24, 7:00-10:00 pm. Starting at 6:00 pm, FERC will present maps showing the various routes being considered.

6:00 pm – Join the Rally outside the meeting to say “No Constitution Pipeline!”

Where: Foothills Performing Arts and Civic Center Atrium, 24 Market St., Oneonta, New York.

This is a huge project crossing many communities and many vulnerable environmental features. The proposed 30” diameter pipeline will require new meter and regulation stations, at least one new compressor station planned for Schoharie County (and likely more), line valve assemblies and other facilties. It is very important to show public sentiment and to get lots of public comments on the record about what they should consider. The EIS that FERC prepares, by law, must assess crucial matters and yet important impacts are not mentioned in FERC’s Notice of Intent and items that are mentioned must be thoroughly assessed, not glossed over as FERC has done time and again on other projects. To review the application the company submitted and various routes input Docket # PF12-9: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp#top

Written Public Comment must be submitted (received by FERC) by the close of business November 9, 2012. Use this link for filing comments: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp

To review Delaware Riverkeeper Network’s comment that details what FERC must do, go to: http://www.delawareriverkeeper.org/resources/Comments/Constitution%20-%20FERC%20Scoping%20Comments.pdf

Please submit a comment to FERC – consider the suggested points below but even just to tell them that this pipeline is not needed, there is no justification for the harmful impacts it will cause and you oppose the delivery of fracked gas.

Some Talking Points to consider for the Public Meeting and for your written comment:

“Build it and they will come” – FERC states that “much of new pipeline capacity in the area is targeted at improving the access to shale gas markets”. This pipeline will not only carry shale gas but it will spur gas development along its route. It is unknown whether there will be any gas development in New York or in the Delaware River Watershed because of ongoing moratoriums and the future forecast for gas wells in Pennsylvania is uncertain due to market factors and other specific conditions.
FERC must look at it all – The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires FERC to consider the full range of environmental impacts – including ecological, aesthetic, historic, and cultural – and to consider the direct, indirect and cumulative impacts. FERC did not consider these impacts at all in the Notice of Intent:
o Climate change and greenhouse gases
o Energy
o Infrastructure, Access, and Circulation of traffic and machinery including vegetation changes
o Environmental Justice (i.e., how will the project impact communities that rely on conservation of the natural environment such as fishing and hunting economies?)
o Land Pricing
FERC can’t do the typical “drive-through” review – This project has particularly substantial impacts in these categories:
o Cumulative Impacts – This project does not occur in a vacuum! The incremental impact of action when added to other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions regardless of what agency is taking the action — i.e. what is the impact of Marcellus and Utica shale gas development, the source gas; how will this pipeline induce gas development; what is the impact on species and ecosystems of the multiple cuts of gathering lines, this and other pipelines, access roads, compressor stations, and other infrastructure through farms, forests and other natural areas, wetlands, streams, and other vulnerable habitats?
o Geology and Soils – Aquifers, shallow groundwater, deep geologic impacts, carbonate rock regions, springs and seeps must all be evaluated for impacts and FERC must explain how harm will be avoided.
o Water Resources – Public water supply is at risk due to waterway interference from various aspects of the pipeline’s construction and operation and these harms must be avoided: chemical contamination, i.e., expanding the right of way means more herbicide use; erosion and sedimentation to wetlands, vernal pools, and streams and rivers; diversion of groundwater, both shallow and water table depth, can change hydrologic conditions, degrade wetlands and prevent aquifer recharge and reduce and/or disrupt healthy stream base flow and ecological flow regimes; stream channel changes such as relocations and other stream crossing impacts can have short term catastrophic and long term permanent negative impacts; critters living in and dependent on streams such as aquatic life, fish, and wildlife suffer when streams are crossed or suspended solids or pollutants enter the stream; baseline monitoring must be done to assess what the life of a stream is now so they can be protected; groundwater recharge areas can be compacted by equipment and the installation of the pipeline trench, reducing aquifer viability; water withdrawals for hydrostatic testing and other construction purposes impact both where the water is withdrawn and where it is discharged; sullied waterways and ponds impact visitors to parks and local communities.
o Wetlands
o Floodplains
o Fisheries
o Vegetation, Wildlife, and Endangered and Threatened Species
o Invasive Species
o Landscape Connectivity and Healthy Forests
o Cultural Resources – How will all aspects effect the community (people living near and in region) and cultural resources (i.e., archeology, viewsheds, special places)
o Air Quality – Diesel emissions and particulate matter during pipeline construction are substantial; fugitive methane emissions from operating pipelines are substantial; emissions from shale gas development are substantial and are having measurable human health impacts in areas where drilling is occurring; VOC’s, NOx emissions and carcinogens such as formaldehyde from compressor stations are substantial; other pipeline infrastructure emits air pollutants.
· Noise – Noise during construction, operation and maintenance of all aspects of the pipeline project, infrastructure and shale gas development is substantial and can have devastating impact on wildlife, visitors to a park, and on the local community. According to the Federal Highway Administration’s Exterior Noise Abatement Criteria “Land where serenity and quiet are of extraordinary importance” should not exceed a noise level greater than 57 dBA. Also, droning low level noise has harmful health impacts on people exposed over periods of time – compressors and at times pipelines emit such noise.

· FERC is not the last word – The Delaware River Basin Commission must review and authorize any option (such as Alternative K) that is located in the Delaware River Watershed. Pennsylvania and New York have laws that must be fully adhered to and the public must be given ample opportunity for meaningful participation in the all these decision making processes. We need to make them listen!

Link to map of the proposed alternative pipeline routes: MAP


October 24, 2012
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm