Wetland worries: Riverkeeper raises concerns
According to Krueger, on May 12, TGP pumped the water level down to approximately one foot in order to install a travel lane so that TGP would have access to initiate restoration activities on the east side of Savantine Creek. “We are accessing through this wetland to avoid having to impact Savantine Creek and the associated wetland complex to meet a request by PCCD that we avoid crossing Savantine Creek if possible,” she wrote.
Krueger noted that precautions were taken to prevent the entrainment of aquatic life, that no protected species were involved and that there are no permit conditions that prohibit construction during this time window.
Krueger said that TGP was not aware of DRN’s interest in relocating the amphibians to another habitat. “Had we received such a request, we would have been happy to work with DRN to facilitate their request, if feasible,” she wrote. DRN contends that TGP restoration activities should have commenced sooner during mild winter conditions earlier this year to avoid the current situation.
This is not the first time DRN has identified concerns over the project. According to a letter sent by DRN to regulatory agencies earlier this year, the PCCD cited numerous violations, including 17 instances of dirt and sediment being discharged into water bodies, seven violations for worksite conditions and 21 instances of failure to properly institute Best Management Practices for erosion and sediment control.
DEP environmental community relations specialist Colleen Connolly said that DEP officials have conducted numerous inspections of the 300 Line Project and that the agency is aware of the DRN’s concerns.
“The department is currently conducting an investigation into the matter with the PCCD and will evaluate any actions at the conclusion of that investigation,” she specified in an email. “TGP has obligations associated with all areas requiring restoration along the pipeline.” DEP will also consider how that evaluation may apply to other restoration areas as well.