Stop the pipeline under the Potomac
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The Canadian corporation TransCanada (the company behind Keystone XL) is proposing to route a fracked gas pipeline from Bedford County, PA through Maryland, west of Hancock and into Berkeley County, West Virginia. This pipeline will then connect with another proposed network pipes, to be constructed and operated by Mountaineer Gas. The residents of Washington County, MD and Morgan, Berkeley and Jefferson Counties in West Virginia, have neither requested nor accept the need for a new natural gas pipeline.
Mountaineer Gas and TransCanada have already begun seeking to obtain land along the proposed route, though permits are still outstanding. Landowners, who are long time residents - many working farms that have been in their families for generations - are being misled, harassed and bullied into signing contracts. The companies have also been threatening the seizure of property via eminant domain if farmers won't sell.
This pipeline is slated to route through very sensitive topography known as "karst." This limestone bedrock, full of fissures and holes allows for easy transmission of pollutants from the surface to a fast-moving aquifer that directly links with public and private drinking wells. If methane gas were to leak into this system, the safety hazard would be significant. Drilling through this fragile karst geography would also threaten numerous pristine streams in Maryland and West Virginia...not to mention the Potomac River.
There is no such thing as a safe gas pipeline. The history of explosions and blow-outs is pocked with episodes that have resulted in death and injury to innocent people. TransCanada has a particularly shoddy track-record, with numerous instances from faulty pipeline welds to weak inspection follow-ups. TransCanada intends to use hydraulic directional drilling to bore through the fragile rock under the Potomac, the C&O Canal and tributaries. A blow-out during this process would threaten the irreplaceable national landmarks of Harper's Ferry and Great Falls National Park, not to mention contaminating drinking water for millions of residents in the Nation's Capital area.
Please say NO to a pipeline under the Potomac!
Resident and Clean Water Advocate of Washington County,
Brent Walls, Upper Potomac Riverkeeper
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