Delaware River Basin Commission: Exercise your legal authority over gas pipelines
In Summary: Pipelines crossing the Delaware River watershed are devastating old growth forest, wetlands, streams, and communities including on both public and private lands. And they are inducing more fracking and drilling wreaking havoc on those communities too. DRBC has the ability to avoid and address many of these harms.
The Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company is cutting nearly 100 year old trees for hundreds of acres, through old growth forest, private property, public open space, Exceptional Value wetlands and streams. They don’t’ have all of their permits yet and there are outstanding legal challenges. While the courts have decided that the loss of the trees is not irreparable harm but the company’s loss of some money is, and so denied twice our requests for and injunction, there is one agency who still has the ability to act – the Delaware River Basin Commission. But, so far they are choosing not to do so.
The DRBC has been presented with a request to reconsider this flawed position, one that abdicates totally their responsibility to protect the waterways that provide us with our drinking water, jobs, a healthy economy, recreation and healthy lives.
We would like to be able to share with the DRBC this Citizens Petition, urging them to take immediate action on the Tenneessee Gas Pipeline Company’s Northeast Upgrade Project and to take action on any and all pipelines that enter the Delaware River Watershed and in so doing threaten the health of our environment, economy and communities.
Pipeline construction inflicts its own level of devastating harm, but it also spurs, supports, encourages and induces more fracking and drilling, devastating those communities where the drillers are working fast and furious to pump out fracked gas, including for shipment to other countries.
To make a difference we need 10,000 signatures by March 6. Please sign here. And after you are done consider going to www.protectdelriv.org and sign the pledge to protect communities from fracking, drilling, pipelines, compressors and all the harm they bring.
And please, if you can, plan to join us on March 6th in West Trenton, NJ to deliver this Citizens Petition as well as offer testimony to secure the DRBC’s intervention on these important and time sensitive threats. For details go to: http://www.delawareriverkeeper.org/about/event.aspx?Id=333
- Delaware River Basin Commission
A CITIZENS PETITION:
We Petition the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) to exercise its full jurisdiction over all pipelines that propose to cut in or through any portion of the Delaware River Watershed.
In addition, we Petition the DRBC to reopen the docket on the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company’s Northeast Upgrade Project (TGP NEUP) and to impose and utilize DRBC’s full legal authority in reviewing, overseeing and docketing that project. What has been done to date is minimal, not defensible, and fails to protect the communities of the Delaware River Watershed by protecting our water resources.
The Delaware River and all the water resources of its watershed provide drinking water, jobs, recreation, education and unparalleled ecological communities. Pipelines will adversely affect the Delaware River, stream habitats, ecosystems and water quality of Delaware River Basin water and natural resources. It is essential that the DRBC provide a watershed-based level of analysis and oversight.
The ramifications of destructive pipeline construction practices include: increased stormwater runoff that can affect flooding and drought in our region; increased water pollution including from sediment, as well as potentially from methane and leaking hydrocarbons; degradation of our streams and wetlands which provide important pollution prevention benefits to our communities as well as supporting the fish and wildlife so critical to our region; damage to associated ecotourism, jobs, recreation, education, and quality of life by harming ecosystems and the beauty of our region ; potential for negative effects on the health of our residents now and for generations to come by the discharge of pollution to the air and water; and potential for the alteration of groundwater flows and the recharge of aquifers.
The list of harms inflicted by inappropriately sited, constructed, and maintained pipelines is long and enduring.
Because individually and cumulatively, gas pipelines being proposed to cross the Delaware River Basin will have a “substantial effect on the water resources of the basin”, pursuant to the authorities and obligations in the Delaware River Basin Compact, these projects must be subject to the review and approval of the DRBC prior to their construction.
Furthermore, with regards to the TGP NEUP project, the DRBC has realized and acknowledged that it made a mistake when it did not exercise its jurisdiction over the TGP 300 Pipeline and Columbia 1278 Pipeline Projects. As a result, it is going back after-the-fact to try and undo the harm that has already been inflicted – that is doable to a degree but difficult, and in some ways will be impossible.
For the TGP Northeast Upgrade Project, there is still time to prevent much of the harm before it happens. And so we Petition the DRBC to exercise its full jurisdiction and legal obligations now, today.
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