Comments to FERC Relicensing of Conowingo Dam
Please click the link below to read comments from The Stewards of the Lower Susquehanna, The Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper and the Waterkeepers Chesapeake
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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 …View full post
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 …View full post
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 …View full post
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 pageView full post
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 …View full post
Please send your own comments in (address provided in our letter). It is very important that they hear from individuals, as they are only counting any group sign-ons or petitions as a single comment.
Our Riverkeeper addresses the biggest fault in the Agreement. ”It also appears that in this section the jurisdictions’ “commitments” to the Agreement fall short. In fact, this section contradicts the definition of commitment. Merriam-Webster defines “to commit”, in the relevant definition, as to “obligate” or “bind”. … “Discretion to participate” is not a commitment. This lack of commitment causes a conflict with potential funding of jurisdictions. Section 117(e) of the Clean Water Act directs the Environmental Protection Agency to issue grant money to the Agreement signatories to implement programs in the Agreement, but only “if a signatory has approved and committed to implement all or substantially all aspects of the Chesapeake Bay Agreement.” As the draft Agreement stands, upon signing the Agreement, none of the signatories would approve and commit to implement all or substantially all of the Agreement. ”
Since fracking began in the Susquehanna River Basin, Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper has been an unrelenting voice for the key role of science in all decisionmaking. We’ve said time and again that allowing any type of industrial-style development, let alone fracking, without first doing the requisite scientific analysis of potential impacts unnecessarily risks community and waterway health. In particular, we’ve advocated for years that the Susquehanna River Basin Commission – the interstate compact agency with authority over a river basin stretching through three states and which provides half of the Chesapeake Bay’s freshwater – needs to take the initiative and conduct a basin wide, cumulative study of fracking’s impacts.
Today we submitted this letter to the SRBC, the latest in a string of comment letters pointing out technical deficiencies in Pennsylvania’s water quality regulatory programs. As a member jurisdiction of the SRBC Pennsylvania is obligated to do its part in protecting water quality, a role that – as this letter illustrates – it is largely neglecting in regards to shale gas development. We believe the facts presented are sufficient evidence for the SRBC to take the initiative and, in an open, transparent fashion and in partnership with stakeholders, create and conduct a meaningful cumulative impact analysis of shale gas development’s impacts to water resources of the Susquehanna River Basin.
Families, communities and waterways of the Susquehanna and Chesapeake Bay deserve nothing less than the proactive scientific investigation that informs strong rules which protect human and ecological health.
in November 2013, DEP published notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin of its proposal to significantly modify the Chapter 105 General Permit 8 (GP-8). Currently authorizing only temporary road crossings of streams and wetlands, the proposed and expanded permit would authorize the construction and removal of temporary pipelines that could remain in place for up to two years. It would also allow large-capacity (up to 24 inches in diameter) pipelines to carry “pollutional materials,” a term that is not defined but presumably would include fracturing and flowback fluids.
The proposed GP-8 would allow pipelines to be constructed through an unlimited number of wetlands and streams, including Exceptional Value waters, with no restrictions on the length or area of wetland or stream impacts. Like all General Permit registrations, GP-8 activities would not be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, thus greatly reducing the opportunity for public review and input. This all means that the Susquehanna River Basin, which is already experiencing significant degradation of its headwaters streams and wetlands due to intensive shale gas related industrial development, would be further compromised by yet another “sanctioned” method of pollution.
Because the proposed GP-8 seems intended to satisfy industry’s wish for expedited approvals at the expense of water resource protection we submitted this technical comment letter illustrating proposed GW-8′s deficiencies. Waterways, wetlands and communities of the Susquehanna deserve better than the proposed GW-8 permit.
WASHINGTON, DC – The Department of Energy announced today it had granted conditional approval to the Dominion Cove Point LNG facility to export liquefied natural gas to non-free trade agreement countries, pending an environmental review by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
The $3.8 billion project would transform a sleepy natural gas import facility on the Chesapeake Bay into a massive export hub and hasten the already hectic pace of fracking for natural gas in the nearby Marcellus and Utica shale regions.
But as recently as last week, FERC regulators were raising concerns with Dominion about the safety of the project pointing to the potential for a “fireball” connected to on-site chemical storage. And while economic benefits of the project are heavily in dispute, all experts agree that it would raise domestic energy prices.
Dominion still faces major hurdles before the project can proceed. The company needs approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which has yet to complete its environmental review. Dominion also needs approval from Maryland utility regulators as well as more than 60 permits and approvals. There is still pending litigation over whether Dominion has the right to build this facility or if it breaks an earlier legal agreement with Sierra Club.
The following are statements from groups that have aligned in opposition to this project:
“Dominion managed to convince the Department of Energy that exploiting the people of the Marcellus and Utica shale regions for the sake of the oil and gas industry was a good idea. But they’ve still got a long way to go before they can convince the rest of us that we should pay higher fuel prices, sacrifice our safety, and threaten public health. Dominion should be prepared to face stiff resistance at each remaining step in their ongoing approval process,” said Jocelyn D’Ambrosio, associate attorney with the non-profit environmental law group Earthjustice.
“DOE’s decision to authorize DCP’s proposed LNG export plan, even though conditioned on yet-to-be-performed environmental reviews, smacks of poor decisionmaking. Instead of choosing to examine the propriety of LNG export programmatically, across the nation, DOE appears to be allowing each proposed export facility to take a substantial step forward without the type of reasoned analysis the public and affected communities deserve. Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper will continue to demand that DOE reconcile the negative impacts that LNG export entails for upstream communities like the Susquehanna before any final authorizations take place,” said Guy Alsentzer of Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper.
“The U.S Department of Energy does not speak for the Marylanders who would pay the price of exporting fracked gas from Cove Point. Let’s be clear: Dominion still has a steep hill to climb in receiving the necessary federal and state permits. Marylanders will be mobilizing every step of the way to challenge their plans, which threaten to virtually cover our region in new pipelines, processing plants and fracking wells,” said Mike Tidwell, Director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network.
“Today’s DOE approval shows once again that the oil and gas industry does not care about domestic energy independence, which is what they sold the American public. They only care about profits even when it harms local communities, fractures our most pristine forests and risks our local rivers and drinking water supplies,” said Robin Broder of Potomac Riverkeeper.
“With the Department of Energy (DOE) today conditionally authorizing Dominion Resources to export gas from a liquefied natural gas terminal in Cove Point, Maryland, it is deeply disappointing to see that Secretary Moniz persists in leading the nation and the world to into a dirty energy future. It’s a bad deal all around: for public health, the environment, and America’s working people. The Sierra Club has been granted party status in this docket, and will hold DOE to its commitment to fully review environmental issues before deciding whether to issue final authorization. We will also monitor all other permits and approvals that the Cove Point Facility will require, and will take action as necessary. Additionally, Sierra Club continues to seek enforcement of a decades-old agreement between the Sierra Club and Dominion Cove Point LNG which clearly prohibits expansion of this facility to allow for exports. The Sierra Club intends to hold Dominion accountable for complying with the commitments it made to protect the Cove Point environment,” said Deb Nardone, Director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Natural Gas Campaign.
Did you know that the Frey Farm Landfill, which overlooks the Susquehanna River at Lake Clarke, is almost full? It’s true – landfills have an expiration date and, once full, need to be expanded or closed down. Frey Farm Landfill already overlooks our scenic river, but under its current permit, cannot grow any larger. But now the owners of Frey Farm Landfill – Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority (LCSWMA) – want to expand that landfill, VERTICALLY!!
If LCSWMA’s permit request is granted, our beautiful viewshed – specifically the shores of Lancaster County visible from York County – will have a new eyesore: a towering landfill on the horizon. Even worse, the 60-foot vertical expansion would not only degrade the aesthetics of the Lower Susquehanna River, but also poses unknown risks by placing an additional 10 million cubic yards of waste next to the river, something we can all agree isn’t in the best interests of the river or its communities.
There is, however, a good solution that allows Lancaster County to responsibly handle its wastes while simultaneously preserving the aesthetics of the Lower Susquehanna River and Lake Clarke.
The biathlon was a great success, thank you to all who participated in this year’s race, we are pleased to announce the results:
1. #246 Joe McMaster, 54 min
2. #229 Kev Hawn, 56 min
3. #228 Pat Reilly, 56 min
4. #206 Gary Ballina / Karen Ruppert, 59 min
5. #212 Kurt Buck, 61 min
6. #251 Jeffrey Donnelly, 61 min
7. #231 Scott Miller, 62 min
8. #202 Brian Chambers, 63 min
9. #241 Andy Miller, 63 min
10. #244 William Wood team, 64 min
11. #234 Sam Jacoby, 64 min
12. #214 Kevin McCarty team, 65 min
13. #247 Michael Anderson, 67 min
14. #236 Katie Jury, 68 min
15. #209 Nina Cassino team, 68 min
16. #223 Lindsay Gerner team, 69 min
17. #221 Lindsay Gerner team, 69 min
18. #224 Mark Southam, 69 min
19. #207 Nina Cassino team, 70 min
20. #217 Matthew Houseknecht team, 71 min
21. #219 Paul Hoffer, 71 min
22. #218 Caroline Hoffer, 72 min
23. #237 Elizabeth Soukup, 72 min
24. #207 Kim Herbft, 72 min
25. #210 Zachary Paul, 73 min
26. #213 Kevin McCarty team, 73 min
27. #235 Christian Zuna, 73 min
28. #211 Thomas Paul, 73 min
29. #225 Eric Urani, 74 min
30. #232 Rod Kilhefner, 75 min
31. #254 John Musser team, 75 min
32. #253 John Musser team, 75 min
33. #250 Rick Cooper team, 76 min
34. #243 Dawn and Kim Jeter, 77 min
35. #208 Debra Clemons, 77 min
36. #215 Abby Reed, 77 min
37. #230 Faye Hawn, 78 min
38. #240 F. Vance McConkey team, 80 min
39. #249 Christina Bupp team, 81 min
40. #220 Krista Cox, 81 min
41. #203 Erin Blackwell, 81 min
42. #204 Karen Umlauf team, 82 min
43. #205 Karen Umlauf team, 82 min
44. #239 F. Vance McConkey team, 82 min
45. #227 Cherie Sidotie team, 93 min
46. #226 Cherie Sidotie team, 93 min
47. #248 Christina Bupp team, 94 min
48. #238 Albert Storm, 96 min
Again, thank you very much for supporting us in our efforts to preserve the Mighty Susquehanna. We hope to see all of you again next year!
We’ve joined a coalition of environmental groups in filing a lawsuit against the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for its deregulation of industrial dairy farms with 200–299 cows. DEC’s rulemaking has rolled back clean water protection standards to allow medium size dairy CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations) to operate without a permit, in clear violation of both federal and state law, with the likely result that untreated cow manure will run off into and contaminate nearby waters. Read the press release here.
Your Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper, Michael R. Helfrich, had this to say on filing the lawsuit:
“The lower Susquehanna River is thick with algae, mostly from agricultural pollution. We have been working diligently to improve Pennsylvania’s implementation of pollution reductions to heal the Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay. We don’t need New York to reduce their standards on controlling their agricultural pollution.”
Today Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper, our supporting non-profit Stewards of the Lower Susquehanna, and Waterkeepers Chesapeake asked to be officially included in the relicensing proceedings for the Conowingo Dam, located about 50 miles northeast of Baltimore. Because the dam affects water quality up and down the Susquehanna River, and throughout Chesapeake Bay, we plan to push the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to require the dam’s owner to take action so that the dam doesn’t harm waters in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and beyond. Read our Press Release by clicking here. Read our Motion to Intervene by clicking here.
The presence of this dam on the Susquehanna River has caused major negative impacts to the river and Chesapeake Bay,” said Michael Helfrich, Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper. “Our seven years of research on Conowingo leaves us with no doubt that the unnatural amounts of sediment that are scoured from Conowingo Pond into the bay during major storm events are damaging the bay, making the work of cleaning up the bay even more difficult. Solutions to this, and other impacts, must be addressed in this relicensing process.”
Today the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) announced that it has filed a petition in the Maryland Court of Appeals on behalf of Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper and several other Chesapeake Waterkeeper groups, challenging a May 2, 2013 Court of Special Appeals ruling that permanently prevents public access to agricultural pollution control information.
Americans deserve transparent government. A recent Maryland court ruling undermines this goal by permanently preventing public access to information about how agricultural operations manage their waste. Without access to this information, local communities and citizens cannot be assured that these operations are not polluting the water that Marylanders rely on for drinking, swimming, and fishing.