Friday, December 14, 2012

Countdown To A Pipeline – And Stopping It

Posted December 14, 2012

While most communities in the country are counting down to their special holiday, I’m counting down to January 2nd, the day that the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company recently announced it was going to begin its rampage to cut through 450 acres of land and forest in the Delaware River watershed for a pipeline to carry unsustainable/dirty fracked shale gas.  The pipeline, tree cutting, stream gouging, and wetlands devastation will happen through mature forests, pristine streams, and beautiful residential communities that have been largely preserved – until now.

Which pipeline is this one?  Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s  NorthEast Upgrade Project (NEUP).  

(For a map of this and all pipeline projects proposed for our Watershed go to the Delaware Riverkeeper Network Website at:

We have 19 days to stop this fracked gas pipeline from cutting through healthy pristine habitat and rural communities that still thrive in PA and NJ– we have 19 days left to see if the decision-makers and the courts finally listen and respond to our legal challenges and concerns from the community. Of course the Delaware Riverkeeper Network is not sitting idly by while the countdown happens.  We are taking action.

Back in June we filed a request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to ask them to revisit key decisions on this pipeline – mainly the level of devastation it will bring to our watershed communities.  So far FERC has sat silent on that request.  In contrast, FERC has issued multiple responses to multiple requests put forth by the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, and often within a matter of days.  And in fact, just today December 14, FERC granted TGP permission to move forward with the project and the advance tree cutting just 11 days after they asked for the permission; and yet FERC still has not responded to our request for a rehearing and it's been almost a full 6 months (169 days to be exact) since our legal request was filed on June 28.  FERC is leaving us no option but to go to the courts -- how is that for public service?

In August Delaware Riverkeeper Network had also filed a rehearing request with the Delaware River Basin Commission urging them to review the project – last week, as the result of a backroom deal and no public comment whatsoever they rejected that request, as well as a petition we submitted in September urging them to review all pipelines including the NEUP.  (videos of petition rejected: ; petition first submitted: )

For the past 17 months, Delaware Riverkeeper Network scientists and citizen monitors have been out in the field – documenting  harm and pollution inflicted by TGP’s past pipeline debacles.   See for example a story about their wetlands assaults: &

But that is not where we are stopping – not at all.  There is much more to come.

With 450 acres of land, 90 streams and 136 wetlands in our watershed alone on the chopping block, literally, we will not sit idly by and just let it happen.

So our holiday plans at the Delaware Riverkeeper Network include the joy of doing what is right and best for our communities, giving the River, the forests, the streams, wetlands and communities a voice against the Pipeline Goliath that is callously seeking to indelibly devastate them with its giant footprint of damage.

Stay tuned to see what we are up to and how you can help.

And consider setting aside December 29 to learn how you can exercise your first amendment rights and help us stand up to this pipeline Goliath if our legal attempts to stop it before then fail.  And then again we can gather in the New Year, January 2nd, and as countless others have done in years past, we can join together and in solidarity speak up against harmful projects fueling the fracked gas frenzy including the NorthEast Upgrade Pipeline Project.

We have 19 days!


  1. I find this completely outrageous, especially since the FERC will not respond to public questions or inquiries. This can happen anywhere and we need to speak up BEFORE it is in our backyards.

  2. I am crying that these corporations have special privlage to destroy our sacred habitat / environment and that the government officials, elected by the people, refuse to protect. Who are these people who can override the citizen's plea to preserve our water, air, forest, land to live healthy lives. What happened to their ears and eyes? Oh covered in $$$! Once the damage is done you can't buy your way out. We are headed for the worst devastation inflicted by man since the industrial revolution (and our water ways, lakes, streams haven't fully recovered - partly because we have con't to pollute them...)There is a world wide out cry is anyone listening to the people? Tell me who, what, when where so I can be a positive conduit to cease this destructive force.
    Polly Fletcher ( I don't know why is says mollymooch)