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Updates: Although it is preferable to write up your own comments, thanks to Applacahian Vocies, here’s an easy e-form for submitting comments.
West Virginia Rivers Coalition has prepared a fact sheet which summarizes how the DEIS lacks critical information. Without this information FERC is unable to conclude that the project will have no significant impact. Feel free to use the fact sheet as you comment to FERC.
On September 16, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) project.
Download the MVP DEIS here or here:
Citizen groups along the path (and beyond) of the proposed pipeline are urging everyone to review the DEIS and make comments, either online, by mail or in person.
All comments on the MVP DEIS must be received on or before December 22, 2016. Thanks to Preserve the New River Valley (PNRV) for compiling the meeting and commenting information.
You can file comments by:
• using the eComment feature on the FERC website (for brief comments and no account registration required)
• using the eFiling feature (allow you to attach documents and you must create an account) – make sure to use Comment on a Filing as the filing type
• sending a paper copy to the commission (make sure you reference the docket number CP16-10-0000 in your letter) to:
Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street NE
Washington, DC 20426
• attending a public comment session to provide oral comments. All meetings (loactions and dates below) begin at 5 p.m. and end at 10 p.m. FERC will allow speakers to sign up until 8 p.m.
Important Note: According to the FERC notice, “Individual verbal comments will be taken on a one-on-one basis with a stenographer (with FERC staff or representative present), called up in the order of the numbers received.” That is, the public will not be allowed to hear the comments.PNRV notes, “This is another way for the FERC to try and limit our participation and is, in our opinion, absolutely appalling.” We concur.
The dates and locations for these sessions are:
• Tuesday, November 1st, Chatham High School, 100 Cavalier Circle, Chatham, VA
• Tuesday, November 1st, Lewis County High School, 205 Minuteman Drive, Weston, WV
• Wednesday, November 2nd, Franklin County High School, 700 Taynard Road, Rocky Mount, VA
• Wednesday, November 2nd, Nicholas County High School, 30 Grizzly Road, Summersville, WV
• Thursday, November 3rd, Sheraton Hotel, 2801 Hershberger Road, Roanoke, VA
• Thursday, November 3rd, Peterstown Elementary School, 108 College Drive, Peterstown, WV
• Wednesday, November 9th, California Area High School, 11 Trojan Way, Coal Center, PA
Info to Mull OVER as Your Draft Your Comments
Are the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline Necessary?
– Report by Synapse Energy Economics Press Release on the Synapse Report
Community and conservation groups condemn FERC’s review of proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline
Environmental groups fault FERC statement
FERC’s “Less-Than-Significant” = “Very Significant” to the Rest of Us
Proposed Pipeline Advances, Environmental Groups Push Back
Pipeline dangers are very real, devastating
FERC Releases Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Mountain Valley Pipeline Project
The proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) is not in the public interest. It poses very real threats to public health and safety in West Virginia and Virginia. Not only will it have permanent adverse impacts on the local environment, it will also drive several more decades of global climate pollution.
Studies show that existing gas infrastructure is more than sufficient to meet regional energy needs for residents and industry. Therefore, the primary beneficiaries of the pipeline will be private companies. This is deeply concerning, given that a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity would allow the taking of private property for this project. The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) rightly concludes that constructing the pipeline will have significant adverse impacts to forests. However, the DEIS fails to fully account for the other threats posed by the MVP. Among them:
1. Safety. The DEIS merely states that pipeline developers would comply with minimum construction and operation standards. It gives no reason for people living within the 1,400-foot blast radius to feel safe. The National Transportation Safety Board documents interstate pipeline accidents, and its database includes numerous recent natural gas pipeline ruptures, leaks, and explosions.
2. Water Quality. People living in the region rely on headwater streams and other water resources that stand to be significantly impacted by this project, yet the DEIS dismisses these concerns, saying only that developers would “evaluate any complaints” and “identify suitable settlements” in the event of contamination.
3. Climate Change. The DEIS fails to adequately address the greenhouse gas lifecycle of a project that enables an additional 2 bcf/day of natural gas to be shipped and burned. This is not a sufficient analysis of the full climate impacts as required under NEPA.
4. Forest and Habitat. The project will permanently impact thousands of acres of prime forest and farmland and fragment habitats of species listed threatened or endangered. Yet the DEIS waves off these concerns, only saying that FERC will consult with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
5. Air and Noise Pollution. The DEIS states that one of the compressor stations will violate the Clean Air Act, but it leaves that issue to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to resolve. There is also the significant issue of a once-proposed compressor station in Virginia that was removed from MVP’s application of October 23, 2015. Even after the application’s filing, residents in Montgomery County, VA reported that MVP surveyors and engineers continued in their efforts to site a compressor station in Virginia. This is on the record with the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors as of April, 2016. FERC must state definitively whether additional compression will be required, and it must consider the environmental impacts of an additional compressor station within the context of the proposed project.
6. National Treasures. The pipeline would cross the Weston and Gauley Bridge Turnpike, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Jefferson National Forest (including the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and the Brush Mountain Inventoried Roadless Area), and the DEIS says FERC will consult with the U.S. Forest Service to minimize impacts. However, the Forest Service has already commented that the sum of these crossings will result in significant impacts. The EIS process should not move forward until all concerns raised by the Forest Service are addressed.
7. Local Economies and Environmental Justice. The DEIS points out that 14 out of 17 counties along the proposed route have poverty rates above their respective statewide averages. These are the places where the environmental impacts will occur. Yet instead of addressing how the environmental impacts will be mitigated, the DEIS states that short-term employment and local spending during construction will somehow offset community impacts. A short term bump in local spending does nothing to reduce the risks to public health and safety endured by these communities.
For these reasons, I urge you to find that the Mountain Valley Pipeline is not in the public interest and reject its application.
Comments are closed.