More than 100 people gathered on Sunday, August 17th at Pine Lake’s Vaudevillian Building in Davenport, NY, to celebrate Stop the Pipeline’s efforts and successes. The full house enjoyed live music performed by STP members Bob and Owen Nied, Peter Blue, Carole Mandingo and Kathy Shimberg. Delicious potluck dishes, many made with ingredients from the attendees’ own gardens, filled three long tables. Anne Marie Garti, one of STP’s attorneys and one of the group’s founders, gave updates on both pipelines (Constitution and TGP/NED) and briefly discussed the group’s plans going forward. The spirited event would not have been possible without the generous help of many people, particularly the event committee: Loddie Marsh, Eleanor Moriarty, Bob Nied, Hazen Reed, Allegra Schecter, Dee Singer and Joan Tubridy.
To keep abreast of pipeline-related developments and our group’s actions, attend the next STP meeting on Tuesday, September 23rd. Keep spreading the word to your fellow landowners: Deny or rescind survey permission to the Constitution and Tennessee Gas pipeline companies. Do NOT sign easement agreements. This strategy can work. Together we will stop these pipelines!
CONSTITUTION PIPELINE UPDATE
On August 18th, FERC announced an updated schedule for the Constitution Pipeline (CP), which has experienced extensive delays. The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for CP is now expected to be issued on October 24, 2014. Agencies such as the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE), New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) then have 90 days to grant, condition or deny their permits. NYSDEC will hold hearings once it deems the CP application complete. FERC is expected to grant a certificate of public convenience and necessity a few months after it releases the FEIS, but the project cannot proceed unless the other agencies also grant their certificates and permits. Anne Marie Garti will elaborate on what this schedule means at the September STP meeting. She will also be discussing eminent domain proceedings, and the process for filing petitions for rehearing, at STP’s meetings this fall.
Revisit your prior comments to FERC so you can check to see which of your concerns were not addressed in the FEIS. If you intervened, these could be the basis of a petition to FERC.
Two years ago, board-certified family physician Mehernosh Kahn fled the frack zones of Pennsylvania and resettled in Massachusetts. This year, he learned of Kinder-Morgan’s TGP/NED pipeline, which might run through his new town. Check out this Berkshire Eagle article telling his story. “Fracking is just a bad, bad idea,” says Dr. Kahn. “Transporting its offspring (fracked gas) is only enabling this insanity…. [T]here’s no way to scrub these chemicals out of the gas itself that’s being transported all over the country, no matter what they say.”
Read the article about Dr. Kahn. Then peruse this report on the dangerous concentrations of radioactive radon in fracked gas. Radon travels with fracked gas through distribution pipelines, all the way to kitchen stoves.
SIGNING AN EASEMENT AGREEMENT MEANS SIGNING AWAY YOUR PRIVACY RIGHTS
If a pipeline goes through your property, you never know who will be on (or over) your land. Residents just across the New York border, in Pennsylvania’s Erie region, have experienced rampant trespassing and damage by ATVs and four wheelers on pipeline rights of way (ROWs) that run through their private property. Gates meant to keep unauthorized vehicles off of ROWs have “had locks cut off, been torched and [been] torn down…. Pipeline markers have been knocked down and removed…and elsewhere on [one owner’s] property, riders have cut trees down to clear paths for vehicles.”
Instead of hiring local people to regularly monitor these ROWs, energy companies have started using unmanned commercial drones to fly over pipelines. And since many pipelines go through people’s front or back yards, this means constant aerial video surveillance of these homeowners. Which begs the question: With whom might the pipeline company be sharing the information they gather?
Deny or rescind survey permission to the Constitution and Tennessee Gas Pipeline companies. Do NOT sign easement agreements.
HUNDREDS RALLY IN BOSTON TO STOP TGP
Our compatriots to the east continue to stage terrific high-profile events in protest of the proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline project. A month-long “rolling rally,” during which residents marched across Massachusetts, culminated in a huge rally on Boston Common on July 30th. Responding to questions regarding his stance on the TGP, Governor Deval Patrick said he was “skeptical” of the project. “One wonders why they want to use a new right of way when they already have an existing right of way.”
Think about creative ways to raise awareness about these unnecessary pipelines in our area. Then bring your ideas to the next STP meeting.
DON’T FORGET TO VOTE!
Remember: The people who represent us wield great power. There is a Democratic gubernatorial primary in New York on September 9th.
The general election (both statewide and local) is on November 4th. If you don’t know if you’re registered to vote, call 1-866-OUR-VOTE or check online here.
To learn how to register and where and when to vote, visit this site. Educate yourself about your candidates’ positions on pipelines and fracking infrastructure.
Note: STP is not affiliated with any political party or candidate nor does it endorse any candidates.