The Ohio EPA hosted a public hearing on the Falcon Pipeline on May 23 at Harrison High School, in Cadiz, Ohio. Despite challenging circumstances, including a high level of law enforcement being present at the hearing, many residents of the area attended and spoke up. One whom we know well is Dr. Randi Pokladnik. Excerpts from her poignant testimony of opposition from the viewpoint of a resident, an environmental scientist, a mother, and a grandmother can be read here:
Like many people, our family moved to the Tappan Lake region to enjoy the beautiful rural landscape and the leisurely lifestyle. We did not move into the region expecting it to become a hotbed of industrial activity created by the expansion of an unregulated oil and gas industry.
The proposed Falcon pipeline will be transporting ethane and other wet gases from fracking activities to a for profit company near Monaca Pa, to produce the precursors for plastic manufacturing. It’s construction will lead to more expansion of unconventional high pressure hydraulic fracturing (fracking) This industry has transformed many of our rural communities into industrial sites…
…This pipeline project alone will impact our communities as it traverses forests and farms, with 107,000 barrels a day of highly flammable materials. It will affect many species as it intersects streams and wetlands. It will be another scar on the landscape and a reminder of how our region has become collateral damage for the oil and gas industry.
I am extremely disturbed that our politicians cannot see the obvious travesty of touting the transformation of our valley into the next petrochemical hub of the USA. They can never see or chose not to see any future for this region other than one that will destroy our environment and leave our communities with health issues and the cleanup costs. Our region’s political ecology and politicians continue to be controlled by the powerful fossil fuel industry.
Our politicians are supporting the creation of what will become the next “Cancer Valley”. Our valley will suffer the same consequences as the residents who reside in Louisiana’s “cancer alley”. Our Ohio River Valley will become the next industrial petrochemical corridor. Sadly, most residents within that corridor of Louisiana suffer from health issues and higher cancer rates, but few have seen substantial economic benefit in the form of jobs or tax revenues
Our politicians continue to use the same rhetoric of jobs to justify inviting dirty industries into our valley.Why can’t they create clean, green jobs? Why can’t we invite innovative green industries into our region and foster environmentally sound economic development?
Our politicians are encouraging the creation of more environmentally harmful plastic production through the construction of cracker plants up and down the Ohio River. At a time when countries all over the world are awakening to the consequences of plastic pollution, we will be adding to the already enormous 335 metric tons of plastics made each year. By the year 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans…
…The Ohio River valley is prone to air inversions. Anyone who has lived in the region can tell you how an air inversion will create havoc on air quality. Pumping more organic materials into the air will cause our valley’s air quality to be more polluted and toxic.
Additionally, the Ohio River, the drinking water source for over five million people, is the most polluted river in the USA. Can we stand another assault from the chemicals discharged by petrochemical plants?
I am disturbed that our local, state and federal politicians are willing to open a Pandora’s box of externalities on our region by supporting this expansion and leaving future generations with a toxic legacy. Would Senators Balderson, Beagle, Hoagland, Terhar and Schiavoni want their families living along this pipeline or close to a petrochemical plant?
As a mother, grandmother, and environmental scientist, I am profoundly against the Falcon pipeline.
Dr. Randi Pokladnik
NOW, Please submit comments in writing, using the information below. If you don’t have time for that, then please at least use submit comments using this easy e-action form.
If completed, the 97-mile pipeline would transport more than 107,000 barrels of highly flammable ethane per day across 22 townships in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
It would transport ethane separated out at fracked-gas processing plants in Pennsylvania and Ohio to an ethane processing facility in Beaver County, PA in order to produce plastic pellets for plastic products. This pipeline is for a private company’s purposes. Not for heating people’s homes, not for powering gas stoves, etc.
Because of its role in transporting gas liquid products to the Beaver, PA Shell Cracker Plant, the Falcon Pipeline is a critical first component of the Appalachian Storage Hub. Therefore, we encourage all the oppositional public comments possible!
Here are OVEC’s comments:
Because time is short, here are some resources you can use to make your own comments, shared from our friends in the Ohio Sierra Club:
Please submit your written comments by May 30 to:
Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
Attention: Permits Processing Unit
P.O. Box 1049
Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049
or by email:
Subject Line: RE: Falcon Ethane Pipeline Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification