Jun 16

MAYFLY FESTIVAL – JUNE 25TH – 10AM TO 2PM – JOHN WRIGHT RESTAURANT, WRIGHTSVILLE, PA

Mayfly facebook banner picLive Music * Artisans and Crafters * Food * Kayaking & Canoeing * Family Fun * FREE

Join us for the first-ever MayFly Festival on Saturday, June 25 from 10am-2pm!  234 Front Street, Wrightsville, PA 17368   For more info: SusquehannaMayflyFestival.com

The May Fly Festival is built around the 6th Annual Susquehanna Biathlon (a 4-mile run and 5-mile kayak race on the River  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/6th-annual-susquehanna-biathlon-tickets-21733646923)

adding artists and artisans, environmental and educational organizations, and food and live music, featuring The Vinegar Creek Constituency Trio.

Why Celebrate our Mayflies?

Up and down the Susquehanna River and on our many beloved creeks, so many of us have labored hard and while there is more work to do to improve the Susquehanna, we also must celebrate the significant results of our clean water efforts. Last year’s remarkable four-week mayfly hatch was an important event demonstrating the improving health of the Susquehanna River and its creeks.

Many people have complained and see the mayflies as a bad thing, but the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association has decided to use this as an educational moment and time to celebrate the health of the Susquehanna River and our communities. The return of the mayflies represents our renewed commitment to having fishable, swimmable and drinkable water for all residents and visitors to our incredible river and surrounding lands.

Banner Mayfly test

 

Jun 01

June 5th last day for Free T-Shirt for Susquehanna Biathlon

2016 Susquehanna Biathlon

Saturday, June 25, 2016 – Race Start 10 a.m.

SIGN UP BEFORE Saturday, JUNE 5 and receive a free HIGH TECH WICKING T – SHIRT.

Clink on this link for information and to sign up today:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/6th-annual-susquehanna-biathlon-tickets-21733646923

That’s right! The Susquehanna Biathlon is back better than ever for 2016 with the same unique run-paddle combination and beautiful course! No other event in Central PA combines two of our favorite hobbies – trail running and river paddling – for the best cause of all: supporting clean water. We hope you will run and paddle with us on June 25, 2016 and support Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association’s work keeping our water fishable, swimmable, and drinkable!

What new for 2016? Our first MAYFLY FESTIVAL. 10 AM to 2 PM While the race is on and immediately after there is musical entertainment, food and watersports for kids & families in celebration of the Return of the Mayflies to the Lower Susquehanna. Fun youth paddling demonstrations will be held during the festival with cool prizes (This is a great way to get kids to be introduced to a safe paddling experience). After generations of polluted water, the work of the Lower Susquehanna RIVERKEEPER Association and others groups has started to make a positive measurable improvement. One of the results of this is the return of the Mayflies, which are harmless insects that are an important part of the food system for smallmouth bass and other river fish. They have a 48 hour lifespan. The Mayfly hatch can number in the billions and the recent proliferation of the hatch over the past 2 years means our river is on its way back to good health. Thank you for joining us in this fight for clean water.

THE COURSE:

Like previous years, the Biathlon is roughly a 5.2 km run from the lot adjacent the John Wright Restaurant in Wrightsville, to a paddling launch site just upriver from the Accomac Inn. The second leg is a paddle downriver with an exciting finish back at the start by the John Wright’s public boat launch.

The running course starts with a brief road section, followed by gravel and private road with a short rocky trail section. There are slight uphills and downhills, and of course the paddle always refreshes and stimulates starting with an easy flatwater paddle followed by an exciting class I whitewater finish!

We know some folks just want to support Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper, so we’ve kept the race open for two hours to accommodate both those speedy racers and those who want to enjoy the race in a more leisurely fashion.

PRIZES:

Top Male, Female, and Team Finishers receive prizes!

RULES:

All participants need to provide their own equipment and transportation to the race’s start. After you check-in at the John Wright you can drive to the paddle start, two houses north of the Accomac Inn on River Road, to drop your watercraft at the launch site. Volunteers will watch your equipment until you come running in for the swap.

Commonly accepted rules of sportsmanship apply. Intentional damaging or interference with an opponent will result in disqualification. Local rescue squads and volunteers will provide assistance for maximum safety on both land and water.

 


 

SCHEDULE

Registration: 8:30 AM @ John Wright, field adjacent parking lot. All Participants MUST check-in prior to start!

Pre-Race Mtg: 9:45am @ John Wright

Biathlon Start: 10:00am with a 2 hour time limit

Awards Ceremony: 11:30 am @ John Wright

*FOR RENTAL EQUIPMENT CALL SHANK’S MARE (717) 252-1616 FOR GEAR RESERVATIONS!*

  • Participants may drop off their paddling equipment starting at 8:30AM, June 25, 2016, to the launch site at 6292 River Dr (two riverfront lots upriver from the Accomac parking lot).

Please park at the Accomac’s North lot and walk your gear the 200′ feet to the launch area!

Apr 21

Tickets for the June 25, 2016 Susquehanna Biathlon Are Now Available!

Tickets NOW AVAILABLE : https://www.eventbrite.com/e/6th-annual-susquehanna-biathlon-tickets-21733646923

The 6th Annual Susquehanna Biathlon will be held on June 25, 2016 with the same unique run-paddle combination and beautiful course! No other event in Central PA combines two of our favorite hobbies — trail running and river paddling — for the best cause of all: supporting clean water.

  • The race starts at John Wright Restaurant located at 234 North Front Street in Wrightsville, PA.
  • Registration & boat transport is at 8:30 am.
  • Pre-race meeting at 9:45 am
  • Race starts at 10:00 am.

Run and paddle with us on Saturday, June 25th and support the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper’s work of keeping our water fishable, swimable, and drinkable!

For More Information: Please email: Bill Minarik, SOLS Executive Director: bill@lowsusriverkeeper.org or call: 443.604.5894

Jun 12

Sadness on the Conewago

There is no doubt that the folks along our Central Pennsylvania waterways love their creeks much like they love their kids.

In affectionate terms the Conewago Creek residents are sadly expressing their dismay at the thousands of dead fish. As Executive Director of Stewards of the Lower Susquehanna and along with our Riverkeeper, Michael Helfrich, we somehow wish that we could reverse the events of the fire and resulting chemical spill this week from the Hanover, PA Fertilizer plant.

We cannot.

 

What our Riverkeeper organization can do is to advocate for better regulations of stored chemicals and to hold those who violate the law accountable. This is what we do.

This week I will be in my kayak paddling the Conewago as well as bicycling along the creek roads collecting information and talking to people. We are in contact with the DEP staying abreast of the cleanup and prevention of additional rain runoff pollution from the fire site.

I would love to hear your story about this beautiful creek.

Bill Minarik
SOLS Executive Director

Nov 14

Public Information & the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline

One of the ugliest realities of new proposed pipelines for the Susquehanna Watershed is the threat of eminent domain.

When interstate pipelines receive certain permits from the Federal energy Regulatory Commission, they often have the power to – and history proves have in fact – taken private land for industrial use. The proposed Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Project promises to be no exception.

The Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline, or the Central Penn Lines North and South, would create a shortcut between the existing Transco Leidy Line in Columbia County with the Transcontinental Gas Pipeline in Lancaster County.  It is a greenfield pipeline, meaning it would create a new Right-Of-Way (ROW).  If constructed, Atlantic Sunrise will be 178 miles long, with at least 2 new compressor stations in Susquehanna and Columbia Counties, Pennsylvania.

Unfortunately, federal agencies often won’t disclose lists of private citizens potentially affected by proposed pipeline projects. Disclosing impacted landowner lists is not only vital to informing local citizens about potential eminent domain threats, but to informing the general public about potential federal agency actions that affect community and environmental health, well-being, and safety.

Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper is working to ensure full transparency from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Transco as the application process moves forward. In particular, we use tools like the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to advocate for transparent, scientifically-vetted, and accountable decisionmaking from federal agencies, all towards the goal of protecting community health and water quality in the Susquehanna.

More About FOIA

The Freedom of Information Act establishes a general philosophy of full agency disclosure. Congress enacted FOIA in 1966 to ensure the public’s right of access to information regarding the conduct of government affairs. The basic purpose of FOIA is to ensure an informed citizenry, vital to the functioning of a democratic society, needed to check against corruption and to hold the governors accountable to the governed.As the Supreme Court has declared: “FOIA is often explained as a means for citizens to know what ‘their Government is up to.’” NARA v. Favish, 541 U.S. 157, 171 (2004) (quoting U.S. Dep’t of Justice v. Reporters Comm. for Freedom of the Press, 489 U.S. 749, 773 (1989). The Court elaborated that “[t]his phrase should not be dismissed as a convenient formalism.” Id. at 171-72. Rather, “[i]t defines a structural necessity in a real democracy.” Id. at 172. In enacting FOIA, Congress was “principally interested in opening administrative processes to the scrutiny of the press and public.” Renegotiation Bd. v. Bannercraft Clothing Co., 415 U.S. 1, 17 (1974).

 

 

Sep 16

Appeal of PADEP General Permit Supporting Use of Drill Cuttings in Pavement

Organizations object to research and development by driller Range Resources that would lead to use of gas well drill cuttings in roads and well pads on gas sites

Harrisburg, PA – Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper, and Earthworks filed an appeal on September 15 with the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board (EHB) of a Residual Waste General Permit issued to Range Resources Appalachia and LAFARGE North America authorizing research and development activities to support the beneficial use of drill cuttings for pavement at gas well sites.

The General Permit allows the construction of a test well pad using drill cuttings in place of cement and could result in a beneficial use determination by PA Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) that will allow its use in well pads and access roads at gas well sites in the state. The test pad is located uphill from two exceptional value streams, Larry’s Creek and Dog Run Creek.

We petitioned the EHB based on the PADEP’s failure, among other things, to analyze and address the long-term impacts of the project on the community and the natural resources it depends upon and to review and address the long-term and cumulative risks to groundwater and surface water contamination.  The petitioners asked the EHB to reverse PADEP’s approval.

A copy of the filing is available at: http://bit.ly/1oWAG7Y

Aug 19

Technical Comments on the Proposed Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline

Yesterday we submitted these technical comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission concerning a proposal to build a new series of gathering pipelines and infrastructure through Central Pennsylvania.

Besides the fact that decisionmakers haven’t cumulatively considered this project in relation to other, connected natural gas projects, our concerns are twofold:

First, that communities and watersheds of the Lower Susquehanna will be further threatened and degraded, respectively, for the convenience of corporate shareholders. We have some of the best farmland, unique rural communities, ecologically important creeks and wetlands – not to mention thousands of families – who each will be negatively affected by the construction and use of more pipelines and infrastructure.

Second, Transco’s own application touts the construction of the Atlantic Sunrise Project as benefiting, in part, the export of liquefied natural gas from a proposed LNG export terminal in the Chesapeake Bay. And where does that gas come from? Upstream, from fracking in Pennsylvania’s forests and small northern communities. First of all, we still haven’t seen any science showing that fracking can be done safely, and without environmental consequences and therefore don’t support fracking. Second, if companies are going to frack natural gas, why is it being shipped overseas? Apparently the talking point of “American Energy Independence” from fracking is just that: a talking point.

We will continue our strong advocacy on the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline to ensure that science, common sense and the rule of law is followed to best protect families, communities and watersheds of the Lower Susquehanna.

 

Jul 31

The Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline & the Susquehanna

Hey River Folk!

We thought it was about time you all had some solid facts on the new, big pipeline proposed to run through Southcentral Pennsylvania and the Susquehanna Watershed. Here’s what we’re all facing:

The Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline is really the connection of the Central Penn Lines North and South. It would create a shortcut between the existing Transco Leidy Line in Columbia County to our north with the Transcontinental Gas Pipeline in Lancaster County.

More importantly, it is being proposed as a greenfield pipeline, meaning it would create a new Right-Of-Way (ROW), which really means they aren’t planning to use existing pipeline paths and easements, but instead to cut up farmland, properties, and forests for a new route.

What we’ve read in the Notice of Intent to file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is the following:

  • 178 miles long, with at least 2 new compressor stations in Susquehanna and Columbia Counties, Pennsylvania.
  • It’ll be an interstate line, meaning it requires a federal certificate of public convenience and necessity from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), as well as state permits from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for stream crossings, and air permits for compressor stations.

What Can You Do? Make Your Voice Heard at Public Scoping Meetings and by Commenting!

The project is currently in the scoping period where regulators seek your two cents before they perform an environmental review document known as an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Williams Representatives have stated that they anticipate filing a formal application within the next 6-9 months. When the official application is filed with FERC, as opposed to the pre-filing currently happening, anyone who is interested can file a motion to intervene in the application.

Below is a spreadsheet with dates & times for public scoping meetings.

These are opportunities to tell FERC what to review during its environmental review process! You have the right under law to tell FERC it should review any issue that is ecological, aesthetic, historic, cultural, economic, social or health related, whether such an issue is directly, indirectly, or cumulatively related to the proposed pipeline!

For example, the following are all legal considerations that you can demand FERC take into account:

Loss of interior forests • Increase of fracking along Atlantic Sunrise route • Increase in gas infrastructure • Future construction of pipelines through this right-of-way (ROW) • Greenhouse gas emissions from Cove Point Export Facility • Health impacts from fracking • Historic sites along the route • Native American sites along the route • Full restoration of ROW including replanting trees • Health impacts from compressor stations • Potential emergency scenarios • Domestic gas prices due to exports overseas • Impacts to Amish community and other constituencies along route • Methane releases due to fugitive emissions along entire route and contribution to climate change • Directional drilling below streams to reduce impacts • Reduction of ROW size • Emotional strain of having a highly pressurized gasline nearby.

You can come to one of the public meetings noted above, or submit any comments online before August 18th by clicking this link and entering in the project name and docket number:  https://ferconline.ferc.gov/QuickComment.aspx

Jun 27

August is Codorus Creek month in York City!

Howdy River Folks!

Please mark your calendars for the following river activity dates:

The Creek Cleanup this year is August 1st , 2nd, and 3rd.

The annual Codorus Boat Parade is August 23rd.

Click the two links below for our flyers.

Codorus Cleanup big flyer2014

FINAL Boat Parade 2014 flyer full page

Jun 17

Comments on Proposed Chesapeake Bay LNG Export Facility

On June 16th, 2014 we submitted this technical comment letter detailing why the proposed Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Export Facility in Lusby, MD cannot move forward because of significant flaws in its environmental review.

The comment letter was submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the federal agency with authority over proposals to export and import natural gas. As we’ve discussed in previous posts, FERC is the federal agency that is responsible for assessing the environmental impacts of LNG export proposals pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

The proposal to export LNG from the Chesapeake Bay via the existing, Lusby MD import terminal is bad news for upstream watersheds and communities like the Susquehanna. This is because LNG export from the Chesapeake is specifically tied to development of shale gas reserves like the Marcellus and Utica, shale reserves which underlay much of the Susquehanna River Basin and Pennsylvania.

Development of these shale plays is and continues to occur via the use of hydraulic fracturing, an inherently polluting industrial practice that, in order to extract shale gas, disturbs wide swaths of intact forest, meadow, and farmland, disturbs headwater creeks and vital fisheries habitat, and threatens groundwater supplies with its deep-earth injections. Furthermore, its infrastructure – like new and expanded pipelines, compressor stations, and the like – is already converting valuable cropland and threatening public safety and well-being throughout the downstream Lower Susquehanna. For instance, the proposed, controversial Lancaster Co. natural gas pipelines are part and parcel of helping bring gas from upstream watersheds to the export facility in the Chesapeake.

These and other environmental impacts associated with shale gas development in the Susquehanna and Mid-Atlantic are what FERC’s environmental review should have considered. Unfortunately, FERC has turned a blind-eye to these types of impacts, and refused to consider them as it moves forward in trying to authorize LNG export from the Chesapeake Bay. In fact, FERC not only refused to consider impacts to upstream communities like the Susquehanna, it also refused to even perform a robust study, choosing to perform an abbreviated review – called and Environmental Assessment – instead of a thorough, probing review – called an Environmental Impact Statement.

Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper will continue its strong, science-based advocacy to ensure decisionmakers rightfully consider the full-range of impacts that an LNG export facility in the Chesapeake will mean for upstream communities and watersheds like the Susquehanna.

 

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