ACTION ALERT: Message the NJDEP

TAKE A FEW MINUTES TO PROTECT THE HEALTH & SAFETY OF YOUR FAMILY, FUTURE GENERATIONS, AND THE ENVIRONMENT THAT WE LOVE IN NEW JERSEY!

The proposed Compressor Station 206 and pipeline under Raritan Bay will not be built if Williams/Transco does not get all permits needed from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) & New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC).  To stop the NESE Project, your participation is needed by November 20.

Many voices need to tell NJDEP to deny the Freshwater Wetlands permit application for the Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) Project.

Gratitude is extended to over 300 people who shared their concerns about the NESE Project at the NJDEP hearing on November 5, and special thanks go to those who organized the pre-hearing rally.  A huge shout-out goes to folks from Princeton Manor – 125 of the participants came from there.  The hearing lasted for over 5 hours, and people from New York joined us to speak out.  However . . . This is not the end. 

We have until November 20 to send messages to the NJDEP. 

Please see the attached talking points and comment ideas and send them to: matthew.resnick@dep.nj.gov

  • Anyone who spoke at the hearing with prepared comments could also send the NJDEP their comments and/or more written comments.
  • You can also email your elected representatives to urge them to do whatever they can to stop NESE.
  • Please share this message and attachment with your friends and on social media.

Numbers matter! 

We want to be thankful for a large outpouring of comments to the NJDEP on Thanksgiving, so – 

Please copy/paste part(s) of the attached document and add personal comments to let the NJDEP know that we do not want this risky Northeast Supply Enhancement’s Compressor Station 206 or pipeline near and under the Raritan Bay.

Attachments: 

New Jersey’s Attorney General and others wrote to FERC about their Policies & Procedures.

New Jersey’s Attorney General joined with 6 other Attorneys General in a 36-page submission to FERC when FERC asked for input about revising their policies and procedures.  (on 7/25/18 on Docket No. PL18-1). In it, they detail and support their recommendations:

First, regarding project need, we recommend that the Commission assess need on a comprehensive, regional basis, and expand its analysis beyond the current dependence on precedent agreements, employing heightened scrutiny of precedent agreements with affiliates of project proponents.

Second, we urge the Commission to conduct a more thorough and robust NEPA analysis, comprehensively assessing on a regional basis the impacts of, and alternatives to, a proposed project, considering clean energy and other non-pipeline alternatives, thoroughly analyzing upstream and downstream greenhouse gas emissions, and considering state greenhouse gas emission-reduction policies.

Third, we recommend that the Commission consider environmental harm, including climate impacts quantified using the best available measure—the Social Cost of Carbon—and more heavily weigh the harm from use of eminent domain takings in its public interest assessment when balancing project benefits and harm in making a Certificate decision.

Fourth, we urge the Commission to better incorporate and consider state environmental and land use policies, no longer issue Certificates conditioned on later receipt of state certifications and permits under federal statutes, and to condition Certificates on obtaining and complying with state and local permits that do not unreasonably conflict with or delay approved projects.

Finally, we recommend that the Commission no longer issue partial notices to proceed with construction when Certificate rehearing requests are pending and limit the use and time of tolling periods for rehearing requests.

Click to read the full document from the Attorneys General (7/25/18, PDF)

Keep sending comments to FERC

Send comments to FERC that request a “reset” for the DEIS by asking them to publish a revised/supplemental DEIS that addresses all new information and all concerns of the public. Tell FERC that the March 23, 2018 DEIS was missing critical information, dismissed comments of the public & elected officials, and lacked supportive studies or data for FERC’s conclusions. Additionally, Williams/Transco submitted thousands of pages of new information and reports that needs to be reviewed and analyzed in a document that FERC publishes during the time period when the public can truly provide meaningful comments. These submissions were in May and June 2018 – after the DEIS was published & after the end of the “official” time period for sending comments to FERC.

FERC claims that they consider ALL comments they receive. Many people need to let them know that the DEIS was not acceptable.

SEND COMMENTS TO FERC NOW, AND COPY NJDEP.

The DEIS was incomplete & misleading.  Tell FERC that you want a revised or supplemental DEIS and an additional comment period of at least 45 days.

When you send a comment to FERC, also forward that comment to the NJDEP –

  • Commissioner Catherine McCabe: Commissioner@dep.nj.go
  • Director Ruth Foster: Ruth.Foster@dep.nj.gov

You can also forward your comments to your elected officials and ask them to support the opposition to NESE.

2018-05-08 Montgomery Township posts to FERC opposition

Special thanks to Montgomery Township for posting resolution #18-5-112 opposing CP17-101 to FERC on 5/8/2018.  

Includes Memorandum from Montgomery Township Mayor

MT-Mayor_Conforti_Memo

Montgomery Resolution #18-5-112 

MT-Montgomery_res-18-5-112

Map of area where proposed compressor CS206 is relative to Montgomery Township.

MT-map with cs206

FERC acknowledges adverse impact to Princeton Area, but refuses to perform environmental impact analyses.  Instead the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) issued by FERC on 3/24/2018 states reasons why FERC doesn’t believe assessing the toxic chemical emissions and high heat/ high discharge of the 50-foot smokestacks.  The DEIS acknowledges real threats, but doesn’t bother to analyze impact or mitigation possibilities – core components of a legitimate DEIS.  The DEIS only underscores that CP17-101 is a Public Threat to New Jersey and not a public convenience.

Montgomery Township and Franklin Township have both sent strong rebukes of the none-material DEIS.  We need more municipalities standing up to this sham to protect the residents of New Jersey.

 

10 days left to comment on NESE DEIS – Ends May 14, 2018

Excellent note from EELC today.  Excellent results from Princeton University team efforts, I love seeing the motions to intervene and comments cascading in my inbox.  Great news that Montgomery Township passed RESOLUTION #18-5-112 opposing CP17-101.  Now we need them to post it to FERC.

There are only 10 days including today.  Several communities have stated they will try to get comments in from their communities.  If anyone has questions or wants clarifications, send it out to the team (stopftcompressor [at] yahoo [dot] com) and you will receive a response.  Surfrider has great comment suggestions and our team has provided a few.  If you have not submitted comments and you are on this distribution list, please make those comments now.

Good attributes for comments:

  1. I oppose this project, I am a registered intervenor.
  2. How it directly impacts you – this will impact people in many different ways even people not in PA/NJ/NYC and that is completely legitimate.
  3. Highlight areas where FERC decided not to assess impact or completely missed.
  4. Identify areas where FERC acknowledges impact as rational that this is currently a Public Threat (not a public convenience) until FERC assesses and mitigates impacts.
  5. Reject the notion that this DEIS statement reflects an actual draft environmental impact statement.  It doesn’t.

Please also email NJDEP and ask why your elected officials have not sent comments after the DEIS.  This is also their critical time to take a stand to protect New Jersey.

10 days,
please make your voice count against
this imminent threat to our area.

12/22/2017 FERC Update – Notes from meeting with Transco, EPA and NJDEP

FERC issued an update regarding meeting with Transco along with Agencies EPA and NJDEP.

Click here to read the 12/22/2017 FERC Meeting note with Transco, EPA & NJDEP

Despite the Transco update, included below the meeting notes, does not address all of the stated FERC requirements, FERC has decided it will move forward with issuing the schedule soon for the DEIS.  FERC decided to decouple the General Conformity requirement from issuance of the DEIS.

What this means is that FERC does not want to bother waiting for details and specifications of the construction emissions in order to provide a more accurate environmental impact statement.  FERC is choosing to wing the DEIS instead of demanding more details from Transco.

Missing data for proposed Compressor 206

  • Emission details missing for meeting General Conformity requirements
  • No emissions data for added compressor at STA200
  • No analysis on CS206 Exhaust volume  & heat output for each 50′ smokestack
  • No evaluation of heat recovery system to reduce heat output
  • No validation of chemical emissions from CS206
  • No Health Impact analysis from chemical emissions
  • No 25 year chemical emission contamination projection and analysis for future reservoir site adjacent to proposed CS206

Included in Transco March 27 Application to FERC are the estimates that the proposed compressor will emit 29,580 lbs of Ammonia,  320 lbs of HCHO3, 44 lbs of Acetaldehyde, 6 lbs of Acrolein, 14 lbs of Benzene,  34 lbs of Ethylbenzene, 32 lbs of Propylene Oxide, 142 lbs of Toluene and 70 lbs of  Xylenes per year continually on a year over year basis.

These toxic chemicals have known impact on environment and human health.  Additionally, these are estimates from Transco with no independent validation from existing Transco Compressor stations that already have MARS 100 compressors such as STA 515, STA517 and STA520 (in PA).

What can you do today?  Send a note to EPA, NJDEP and FERC to let them know it is unacceptable to proceed with an environmental impact statement without the details and analysis to perform an accurate environmental impact statement.  Without this data and analysis, DEIS is not legitimate.  Need more information?  Contact stopftcompressor(at)yahoo(dot)com.

Our latest FERC Sample Submissions
Compressor missing details
Raritan Bay Missing details and analysis

 

Some Denied Permits: Hope Amid Chaos

Though there appear to be attempts in Washington D.C. to undo environmental protections and grant FERC more power through proposed legislation and actions of the EPA and Department of the Interior, there have been some encouraging developments in the courts and with state agencies that have supported protections of air and water quality.

 

FERC’S ANALYSIS OF GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS WAS FOUND TO
BE INADEQUATE SINCE IT DID NOT CONSIDER EMISSIONS FROM THE PIPELINE TO THE END USE OF THE GAS


August 21, 2017 – Sierra Club v. FERC, Case No. 16-1329
A three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission had not properly analyzed the effects of burning natural gas on climate change before approving the pipeline. They ruled that FERC must consider a pipeline’s cumulative downstream greenhouse gas emissions from the combustion of the natural gas transported by the pipeline as part of its environmental review. This ruling vacated and remanded a 2016 Order by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that had authorized construction and operation of the Southeast Market Pipelines Project (Project) by granting Section 7 certificates to three natural gas pipelines in Alabama, Georgia and Florida that make up the Project :

  • Florida Southeast Connection, LLC (Florida Southeast Connection Project
  • Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC (Hillabee Expansion Project)
  • Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC (Sabal Trail Project)

Docket #s CP14-554-000, CP15-16-000, CP15-17-000

http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/ferc-failed-to-adequately-consider-29867/

 

NYSDEC DENIAL OF CONSTITUTION PIPELINE CWA PERMIT
WAS UPHELD BY THE SECOND CIRCUIT COURT


Constitution Pipeline (CP13-499) – NY State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Denial of Water Permit was upheld in court where, on August 18, 2017, the US Court of Appeals – 2nd Circuit concluded: “Insofar as the petition contends that the NYSDEC Decision is a nullity on the ground that it was untimely, the petition is dismissed for lack of jurisdiction; to the extent that the petition challenges the NYSDEC Decision on the merits, the petition is denied.” Note: FERC approved the Constitution Pipeline project in 2014.

https://www.pipelinelaw.com/2016/08/05/constitution-pipeline-cases-reflect-tension-in-states-roles-in-permitting-natural-gas-projects/
https://www.pipelinelaw.com/2017/08/31/second-circuit-upholds-state-veto-constitution-pipeline-project-via-denial-water-quality-certification/

 

NJDEP DENIED PENNEAST PIPELINE’S
CLEAN WATER ACT (CWA) PERMIT


6/28/17: Noting that the Clean Water Act (CWA 401 and 404) permit applications were very incomplete for PennEast, the NJDEP denied their applications for permits. PennEast (CP15-558) could not complete the surveys needed for their permit applications because over 65% of NJ’s landowners did not allow them onto their property. However, if PennEast receives a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from FERC, they will then have the authority to gain access to properties for the surveying needed for these permits, and they will likely then reapply for the CWA 401 and 404 permits.

http://www.nj.com/mercer/index.ssf/2017/06/nj_dep_denies_permits_needed_for_penneast_pipeline.html

 

NJ’S RATE COUNCIL DECLARED THAT THERE IS NO NEED
FOR BUILDING THE PENNEAST PIPELINE
& THE REQUESTED RATE OF RETURN WAS EXCESSIVE


https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3106853/Comments-of-the-New-Jersey-Division-of-Rate.pdf
is in 9/12/16 in FERC Accession No. 20160912-6003(31683531)

 

NYSDEC DENIED A WATER PERMIT, BUT FERC DECIDED THAT NYSDEC “WAIVED” THEIR RIGHT TO ISSUE OR DENY A PERMIT SINCE THE DECISION WAS OVER A YEAR AFTER THE INITIAL APPLICATION


On 8/30/17, the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation conditionally denied Section 401 Water Quality Certification stream crossing permits for Millennium’s proposed 7.8 mile Valley Lateral pipeline project (C)P16-17). Then, at a 9/17/17 FERC hearing, it was “clarified” that the one-year period to review an application for the Water Quality Certificate started with “receipt” of application – not after determining it was “complete”.

http://www.bakerbotts.com/ideas/publications/2017/09/ferc-rules-that-new-york-state

 

WEST VIRGINIA REVOKES CWA 401 PERMIT IN WAKE OF HURRICANES HARVEY AND IRMA & WILL NOW REVIEW IT MORE THOROUGHLY UNDER WV’s STREAM ANTI-DEGRADATION POLICY


Sept. 7, 2017 – WVDEC revoked the Section 401 Water Quality Certification that they issued for the Mountain Valley Pipeline project (March 2017 & reaffirmed May 2017) one day before they would have needed to defend this in Court. (FERC Docket No. CP16-10). This came after a lawsuit by Appalachian Mountain Advocates on behalf of plaintiffs who argued the DEP’s analysis of the project’s effect on water quality in West Virginia was woefully incomplete.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/pipelines-bombshell-west-virginia-revokes-approval_us_59bb2c3ae4b06b71800c380c

October 10/11, 2017: 4th Circuit sent the WQ permit back to WVDEP for further review.

https://www.wvgazettemail.com/news/special_reports/marcellus/court-ruling-highlights-unanswered-questions-on-mountain-valley-pipeline/article_044cd2d7-83ce-5ab3-9567-00bb6e2b92fd.html

 

NORTH CAROLINA DEQ DELAYS DECISION ON
WATER QUALITY PERMIT


Sept. 14, 2017 – The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality issued notice to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline that the project “involves numerous stream crossings that have the potential to affect downstream water quality both temporarily during construction and permanently.” (CP15-554) The department noted that “more site-specific detail is necessary to ensure that downstream water quality is protected.” The Governor delayed the Water Quality permit decision until December.

http://www.roanoke.com/news/virginia/north-carolina-environmental-agency-delays-decision-on-water-quality-permit/article_b3acc74b-2b20-5bcc-b89f-3233fe07d7d5.html