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Gallows Run Watershed Association

Mark Gallagher's Pipeline Presentation at Nature Nurture  Center

"At the science of pipeline meeting in Easton this week, Mark Gallagher presented a lot of information regarding pipeline construction. A couple of facts he presented; FERC is set up to approve pipelines; and one federal agency cannot break another federal agencies rules. NEPA is set up to make sure federal rules are followed. 

Mark said that most of the applications for pipelines have "boiler plate" text for the resource reports, and present the very bare minimum for any kind of restoration. Most applications do not correctly document the resources that are actually on the ground. The application just follows FERC's checklists and on paper follows all rules and regulations. 

Mark strongly suggested that communities up against a pipeline pay very close attention to the clean water act. The section he mentioned are sections 401 water quality certificates, section 404 wetlands, section 303 water quality standards. 

In addition to the clean water act they have to abide by other federal acts; endangered species, wild and scenic river act, national historic preservation act, etc. NEPA's role is that all federal regulations are satisfied by all agencies and companies. 

Almost the entire pipeline is in the Delaware water shed and they have to abide by the anti steam degradation standards and be permitted. Mark pointed out that the pipeline applications almost always miss many of the wetlands, small steams, and riparian buffer zones. The resources in the path are not on project plans. And we need to point out every one of these discrepancies. We need to look at penneast's environmental assessments and how they are they proposing to build showing "no measurable change" to any wetland. 

He suggested a lawyer, Carolyn Elefant. Who is versed in these projects. 

Any construction project must present how to minimize impacts. They must follow steam anti-degradation rules and in New Jersey must follow NJ subsection of the federal clean water act. If the pipeline does not get water permits they cannot build."

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