DEP Public Hearing Demand

The PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is accepting public comments on wetlands & waterways permits for Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise natural gas transmission pipeline. The Atlantic Sunrise is intended to connect and expand Williams’ Transcontinental pipeline to move fracked gas from North East PA to export facilities in Maryland (Cove Point) and the Gulf States.

Pipeline construction would result in hundreds of wetland and waterbody crossings, many of which are located on steep, rugged terrain with sensitive ecological resources.  Here’s a breakdown of the impacts:

327 River and Stream Crossings

  • 58 crossings impact high-quality, cold-water fisheries (HQ-CWF)
  • 5 major river crossings: Susquehanna River (2 locations), Conestoga River, Tunkhannock Creek, and Swatara Creek
  • 1 crossing impacts Tucquan Creek, a State Scenic River

251 Wetland Crossings

  • 51 wetlands are designated “exceptional value” (EV) wetlands
  • 15 of these EV wetlands also contain a forest component
  • 8 forested wetlands are considered a “Natural or Special Concern Community Type” by the PA DCNR

The impacts associated with the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline are environmentally unacceptable!

Contact DEP by Aug 1, 2016 and ask for a Public Hearing!

Copy the Form Letter Below,Write your demand, and

Select your regional DEP contact!

(or download the file here)


Dear [Select DEP Contact Below],

I am writing to ask that you hold a public hearing on Transcontinental Pipe Line Company’s (Transco) application for water obstruction and encroachment permits for its proposed Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline (FERC Docket: CP15-138).

The Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline would cause significant impacts to waterbodies and wetlands. Transco is proposing at least 578 waterbody and wetland crossings along the proposed pipeline route in Pennsylvania, impacting numerous exceptional value (EV) wetlands, high-quality watersheds and Tucquan Creek, a State Scenic River. The DEP has an obligation to protect these sensitive ecological resources under Art. I, Sec. 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. Before it can issue permits for a project of this magnitude, the DEP must first provide citizens the opportunity to voice their opinions on the record at a public hearing.

The Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force executive summary acknowledges that “permits are not reviewed for the cumulative and long-term impacts” and that “chosen routes do not necessarily avoid sensitive lands, habitats, and natural features.” Further, it states that these impacts are not always minimized or mitigated. The Task Force identified “recommendations of the highest priority for the Commonwealth” that included amplifying and engaging in meaningful public participation. Holding a public hearing for these permits will show the public that inclusion and participation is indeed “of the highest priority” for the DEP.

[Please include any other concerns that you have about the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline].

DEP should follow New York’s lead when it comes to analyzing pipeline construction impacts to waterbodies and wetlands. Just recently, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation denied water quality certification for the Constitution Pipeline, which means that the company is legally prohibited from building the pipeline in New York.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

[Your contact info]


DEP Contact List:

If you live in Susquehanna, Wyoming, Luzerne, or Schuylkill Counties:

Joseph Buczynski, Waterways and Wetlands Program Manager, DEP Northeast Region, 2 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701-1915, (570) 826-2511, jbuczynski@pa.gov

If you live in Columbia or Northumberland Counties:

David Garg, Waterways & Wetlands Program Manager, DEP Northcentral Region, 208 West Third Street, Williamsport, PA 17701, (570) 327-3636, dgarg@pa.gov

If you live in Lebanon or Lancaster Counties:

Scott Williamson, Waterways & Wetlands Program, DEP Southcentral Region, 909 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110, (717) 705-4799, scwilliams@pa.gov