Tag Archives: Delaware Riverkeeper

Clean water is a fundamental right –Delaware Riverkeeper Network vindicated in court

Courts in other states should affirm or institute the “sea-change” the Pennsylvania Supreme Court just upheld:

PEDF vs. Pennsylvania, J-35-2016 “…the people’s rights to clean water and air and the preservation of a healthy environment are on par with our other fundamental rights and freedoms…”

Delaware Riverkeeper Network, press release, 20 June 2017, Pennsylvania Supreme Court Upholds Constitutional Environmental Rights in Milestone Case,

Delaware Riverkeeper Network [logo]

For Immediate Release
June 20, 2017

Contact: Jordan Yeager, Attorney, Curtin and Heefner Law Firm, 267.898.0570
Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper, 215.369.1188 x 102

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Upholds Constitutional Environmental Rights in Milestone Case

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Gulf and south Atlantic Waterkeeper Retreat

FERC reform as an initiative was one result of this year’s meeting, this time where Georgia Water Coalition usually meets, of the Riverkeepers and other Waterkeeper members and affiliates from Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and beyond as far as Oklahoma and Pennsylvania.

Group Front row by himself: Pete Harrison (Waterkeeper Alliance attorney).
Kneeling: Rick Frey (St Marys), Dan Tonsmeire (Apalachicola), Laura Jackson (Mobile), Rachael Thompson (Satilla), Dale Caldwell (Chattahoochee), Kemp Burdette (Cape Fear), Gordon Rogers (Flint)
Standing: Jason Ulseth (Chattahoochee), Bill Strangler (Congaree), Casi Callaway (Mobile), Susan Wendel (Altamaha) Earl Hatley (Grand), Elena Fodera Richards (Savannah), Emily Markesteyn (Ogeechee), John S. Quarterman (WWALS), Bart Mihailovich (Waterkeeper), Bruce Bodson (Galveston), Krissy Kasserman (Youghiogheny, wearing the blue and gray plaid shirt) Henry Jacobs (Chattachoochee, wearing the beanie cap leaning against the wall), Jacob Oblander (Lower Savannah River Alliance Affiliate, right behind Krissy), Michael Mullen (Choctawhatchee, right next to Jacob), Rebecca Jim (Tar Creek, right next to Krissy), Tonya Bonitatibus (Savannah), Matt Starr (Upper Neuse, right behind Gordon), Cade Kistler (Mobile, against wall), Sam Perkins (Catawba), Lisa Rinaman (St Johns).
Not pictured: Kaitlin Warren, Seth Clark, and Jen Hilburn (Altamaha), Rachel Sliverstein (Miami), Kelly Cox (Miami), Neil Armingeon (Matanzas), Gretchen Quarterman (WWALS), Anna Alsobrook (French Broad), Bill D’Antuono and Harrison Langley (Collier), Misha Mitchell (Atchaflaya), Myra Crawford (Cahaba), John Paul (Caloosahatchee), Kevin Jeselnik (Chattahoochee), Frank Chitwood (Coosa), Hartwell Carson (French Broad), Rob Walters (Three Rivers).

That group picture was taken late after many people had left, and some never arrived, due to hurricane or other reasons. Some of the missing are below in pictures Gretchen took, including one of Altamaha Riverkeeper Jen Hilburn, in whose extensive watersheds we met. And of course FERC reform wasn’t the only initiative: trash, biological contamination, CAFOs, and others are on the agenda.

Bart Mihailovich, Waterkeeper Alliance, 3 November 2016, 2016 Gulf and South Atlantic Regional Retreat Recap, Continue reading

WWALS and 182 Organizations from 35 States Call for Congressional Review of FERC 2016-09-21

For Immediate Release

WWALS and 182 Organizations from 35 States Call for Congressional Review of FERC

PDF

Hundreds of Nonprofit Organizations Join to Demand Reform of Rogue Agency

Washington, DC, September 21, 2016 — More than 180 organizations representing communities across America called on leaders in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and House Energy and Commerce Committee to hold congressional hearings into the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) extensive history of bias and abuse. The groups are also requesting reform of the Natural Gas Act, which the groups say, gives too much power to FERC and too little to state and local officials.

“The time has now come for Congress to investigate how FERC is using its authority and to recognize that major changes are in fact necessary in order to protect people, including future generations, from the ramifications of FERC’s misuse of its power and implementation of the Natural Gas Act,” says Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper, leader of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network and a primary organizer of the effort.

Protesting the pipeline at the Suwannee River crossing...so nice to see lots of kids! “A prime example of FERC’s dereliction of duty to the public benefit is the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline Spectra Energy is drilling through Alabama, Georgia, and Florida and under our Withlacoochee River in Georgia and our Suwannee River in Florida,” says John S. Quarterman, president of WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS), the Waterkeeper® Affiliate for the upper Suwannee River. He added, “FERC failed in its due diligence by opaque selection of environmental contractors, by issuing its permit before permits from two states and the Army Corps, by ignoring copious new geological and other evidence, and by giving Sabal Trail construction go-ahead while a lawsuit is still pending by Flint Riverkeeper, Sierra Club, Gulf Restoration Network, and others, including construction through properties whose landowners have not even had eminent domain compensation hearings. Most egregiously, despite FPL, the source of the $3 billion for this boondoggle, admitting in its 2016 Ten Year Plan that Florida needs no new electricity until 2024 at the earliest, FERC refuses to even reconsider the alleged “need” for this unnecessary, destructive, and hazardous pipeline. Corporate profits for Spectra Energy from Houston, Texas and Enbridge from Calgary, Alberta are no justification for taking local land and risking our water, air, taxes, and safety.”

The letter to Continue reading

No new Florida electricity needed, says FPL, so why Sabal Trail?

FPL admits Florida needs no new electricity, so why should Sabal Trail get eminent domain?

PDF FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION

Hahira, GA, September 6th 2016 — Two Georgia brothers are stuck with paying almost ten times as much in Sabal Trail’s legal fees as they spent defending their property against that invading fracked methane pipeline, even though FPL apparently admitted this year that all three of its 2013 excuses for that pipeline are no longer valid. Two federal agencies and numerous state agencies issued permits based on those excuses. Sabal Trail used those permits to get eminent domain, including to drill under rivers in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama and through the fragile limestone containing our drinking water in the Floridan Aquifer. It is time for this unnecessary, destructive, and hazardous boondoggle to be shut down and its $3 billion in FPL ratepayer money to be used for solar power in the Sunshine State.

James Bell, one of the brothers stuck with having to pay Sabal Trail attorney fees, says:

"First and foremost, this is a multi-billion dollar company that is for profit. In my personal opinion I don’t see how a private for-profit company should be allowed eminent domain. I don’t understand that. That makes no sense to me. I might could understand it if it was for the greater good of the country but this is not. And it is certainly not the federal government or the state government building some road or highway."

Florida Power & Light claimed Continue reading

Sierra Club protest at Lake City today 2016-08-18

Sierra Club Campaign Organizer Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson has taken the Lake City pipe yard ball and run with it. Monday she got TV coverage at that illicit Sabal Trail storage yard for 36-inch fracked gas pipe, and today she’s called a press conference and protest there. Plus Sierra Club has filed two legal actions. Here’s how you can help.

Haley Wade, WCJB-TV, Gainesville, Florida, 15 August 2016, New pipeline has protestors,

There is something you can do: you can say no.

The sun is shining.

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Webinar: TPP & Pipelines vs clean solar and wind power 2016-07-17

Join us to discuss how fracking feeds the frenzy of pipeline building, to LNG export, promoted by the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other impending “free trade” treaties. All those 20th-century dying dinosaurs are already being overtaken by solar and wind power.

When: 7:30-PM EDT Sunday July 17th 2016

Where: Online

Who: Continue reading

WWALS asks Lowndes County to do three things more against Sabal Trail 2016-04-24

Sent yesterday to the Chairman, the other five elected Lowndes County Commissioners, and the County Clerk (PDF). They meet again 5:30PM Tuesday evening, April 25th 2016.

Dear Commissioners,

Thanks to Chairman Bill Slaughter for saying in the Valdosta Daily Times that the Commission signing an easement contract was not an endorsement of the Sabal Trail pipeline.[1] Therefore I ask you to:

  1. Invite the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to investigate on site and on paper the numerous omissions by Sabal Trail of springs and underground water transmissivity in what it told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; .please see the letter from WWALS to the Army Corps,[2] attached with the letter from WWALS to you of April 12th.
  2. Ask our U.S. Congress member Austin Scott (GA-08) to join the four Georgia Congress members who have already asked FERC to fix its processes or deny a permit for Sabal Trail.[3]
  3. Join the hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals who have already asked the U.S. Congress to call in the General Accounting Office (GAO) to review FERC’s permitting processes.[4]

Please find appended further information about the issues the Chairman raised in the VDT of eminent domain, in differences in regulation of oil and gas pipelines, and in environmental and safety issues of natural gas pipelines.

Since I wrote to you on April 12th, two more major natural gas pipelines have run into serious problems.

On April 20th, Kinder Morgan shelved Continue reading

Ask Congress to have GAO investigate FERC

It’s time to throw a spotlight on FERC’s favoratism. Maya K. van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper, who has been fighting pipeline projects for years, asks all of us to sign a petition to ask two Senators to get the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to “conduct an official investigation into the operations of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”).”.

Or ask your member of the House of Representatives Continue reading

Delaware Riverkeeper and leaky methane pipes

Delaware Riverkeeper again has standing to oppose fracked natural gas pipelines, as part of the recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling against frackers.

Andrew Maykuth wrote for philly.com 23 December 2013, What Pa. court’s ruling on gas-drilling law means,

…opponents of shale gas drilling say the court decision carries substantial symbolic and political weight. They hope it signals a reconsideration of state government’s love affair with fossil fuels.

“With this huge win, we will move ahead to further undo the industry’s grip of our state government,” said Maya van Rossum, executive director of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, whose standing as a plaintiff in the case was restored by the Supreme Court’s decision.

The ruling may also revitalize the state’s Environmental Rights Amendment, a 42-year-old law that guarantees Pennsylvanians’ access to clean air and water.

Fracking backers of course say the ruling will harm business. Somebody remind me, why should big business get to destroy local property and watersheds to turn a buck?

Local governments in Pennsylvania made big fossil fuel think again: Continue reading