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October 31, 2014
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Pipeline problems persist;frustration mounts


Beecher says she is hearing the same thing from the Susquehanna and Wayne Conservation District staff who are inspecting the TGP 300-line project in their counties, where the work is much farther along, but that pipeline project timelines sometimes dictate construction practices that are in conflict with water resource protection.

Differing standards are another problem. Beecher points out that normal construction projects, such as highways, are required to minimize the extent of earth disturbance at any time. Grover agrees. Seventeen miles of open turf in Wayne County have also presented ongoing challenges. “With any other construction process, we demand stabilization in four days,” he said. “In the case of the pipelines, DEP allows 60 days
from opening to closing the earth disturbance sites.”

Beecher noted that the things her staff is seeing go wrong are day-to-day maintenance of BMPs given the overwhelming acreage involved. “We’re seeing the same mistakes over and over again. We’re really frustrated. I do not trust the contractor and the company to manage this project to protect the resources of Pike County.”

With the rising number of violations, Beecher’s concerns are growing. “It’s scary to watch how this whole thing is unfolding,” she said. “I believe it’s time for this company to get assessed a penalty. When things are going wrong, when we have this many pollution events documented, I think DEP should be penalizing them as they go, not waiting until the end.”
El Paso Corporation spokesperson Penny Paul responded, “We are working with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, as well as with other state and local agencies, to resolve outstanding issues related to construction of Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s 300 Line Project.”

The conservation districts plan to continue addressing their concerns in hopes of improving outcomes for the next TGP project coming to Pike and Wayne counties—the Northeast Upgrade—which is in the planning phase now.

In today's NY Times

Clifford Krauss wrote an article in today's paper, on how 100 mcf per day of ngas is being flared (burned as a method of disposal)in order to extract more quickly the more profitable oil and liquid that results from the frac'ing of the Bakken shale in western North Dakota. This amount is capable of heating 500,000 homes per year, and they are just releasing into the atmosphere all the toxins and carbon dioxide that is equal to the exhaust of over 384,000 cars, just to make a profit more quickly.

Is it any wonder that the Tennesee Gas Pipeline is racking up violation after violation in seeking the same? Despite the overwhelming evidence on a daily basis that our states do not have either the regulation, or enforcement capacity, especially when it comes to emmissions, we hear from shale gas proponents and the industry that the EPA would be redundant, and that regulation would be a "job killer".

This all blatantly defies reality. The question is "what will it take for people to wake up" to the destruction of our air and water? When all "fresh" water needs to be purified, or is sold to us in a plastic jug by corporations at the same price of gasoline, will it be then? Or, will it just be when 80% of our infants and toddlers suffer from feeding disorders, are born prematurely, or with severe learning disabilities? Or, in the end, 90% of children suffer from asthma, instead of only the 25% that we currently see in the Barnett shale gas extraction areas?