Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Legal Reasons DAPL Is Not Dead

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Anne Marie Garti
Date: Thursday, December 8, 2016
Subject: The Legal Reasons DAPL Is Not Dead

Please read this important analysis, act on it, and educate others as well.

Anne Marie


The Legal Reasons DAPL Is Not Dead

by Daniel E. Estrin
Dec 8 2016

Daniel E. Estrin is General Counsel and Legal Director for Waterkeeper Alliance.

Like many concerned citizens, I initially felt great relief on December 4th when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will not grant Energy Transfer Partners an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) to cross the Missouri River at Lake Oahe, the sacred grounds and drinking water supply of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. But history teaches that the devil is often in the details, and I immediately noted troubling language in the Corps' public statement, i.e., that the Corps did not say it had "denied" the request for an easement, but rather that it "will not grant" the request. Reading between the lines, it seemed conceivable that the Corps might only be kicking the proverbial can down the road, and that what it really meant was that it will not grant the easement at this time. I immediately began searching for the Corps' decision document (Corps' Decision), which would provide a more detailed explanation of exactly what the Corps had decided, and what might come next.

Let's pause for a bit of legal background: In an nutshell, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires that, before federal agencies take certain actions such as issuing permits, they must first analyze the impacts of those actions on the human and natural environment. Under NEPA and its implementing regulations, the first step of compliance is to prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA), wherein the agency superficially reviews the proposal and makes a threshold determination whether the project has potential to cause any significant environmental impacts. If the agency decides there will be no significant impacts, it may issue the EA, accompanied by a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). If it decides there may be significant impacts, preparation of a more thorough and time-consuming Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is required. Importantly, NEPA mandates that preparation of an EIS include, among other stringent requirements, meaningful and expanded opportunities for public engagement via formal notice and comment processes.

The Corps' consideration of whether to grant Energy Transfer Partners permission for DAPL to cross Lake Oahe requires at least three distinct Army Corps authorizations: a Rivers and Harbors Act section 408 permission, an easement for the pipeline right-of-way to be located on federal lands, and a Clean Water Act section 404 "dredge and fill" permit. The Corps' receipt of these applications and requests triggered NEPA, and an EA was prepared and finalized during the summer of 2016. Unfortunately, as a result of unwise and controversial Army Corps "nationwide permitting" policies, the DAPL EA considered only the impacts of the pipeline crossing at Lake Oahe, and did not consider any of the other massive, cumulative impacts of the entire 1,172-mile pipeline proposed to cross hundreds of waterbodies in four states, including indisputable and enormous climate change impacts. Along with its EA, the Corps ultimately issued a FONSI, effectively ending the NEPA process for the project.

It is only with this legal background and factual context that the problems with the Corps Decision become clear; contrary to what seems to be popular belief, the December 4th Corps' Decision did not correct or reverse the prior, erroneous, determination that the Dakota Access pipeline does not have potential to cause any significant environmental impacts. More specifically, it did not withdraw or retract the EA and FONSI issued by the Corps over the summer:

"I want to be clear that this decision does not alter the Army's position that the Corps' prior reviews and actions have comported with legal requirements." – Corps' Decision ¶ 15

Thus, while I do share the Tribe's appreciation for the "pause" that the Corps' Decision has provided, and I do believe that a good faith, thorough, technical review of alternative DAPL routes via a robust EIS process would be highly beneficial to all involved, I have concerns with the Corps' new approach that make me extremely uneasy.

First, as noted above, NEPA requires federal agencies to initially decide whether a proposed project has potential to cause any significant environmental impacts. If not, issuance of an EA and FONSI is legal and appropriate. If so, an EIS must be prepared. I'm concerned that the Corps' attempt to have it both ways here – i.e., to leave the FONSI in place, while at the same time purporting to require preparation of an EIS – leaves the status of the Corps' Decision in "limbo" and vulnerable to legal challenge by Energy Transfer Partners. Indeed, on December 5, just one day after the Corps announced its decision, <>the company filed a motion in federal court seeking a ruling that it already has all of the authorizations it requires from the Corps for the pipeline to be constructed across Lake Oahe.

Second, the discretionary nature of the Corps' Decision, which is expressed as a "judgment" call by the Assistant Secretary for Civil Works, may leave it open for reconsideration and potential reversal by the Corps under the new presidential administration that will take power on January 20. Such a reversal might require no more than another memorandum decision reaching a different conclusion upon further consideration. While such a reversal might ultimately be found by a court to be "arbitrary and capricious" (the legal standard under which the legality of most agency actions is measured), the discretionary nature of the Corps' Decision, and the odd FONSI-EIS dichotomy discussed above, may ultimately render the decision unviable.

Third, for several months, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Waterkeeper Alliance, and many other indigenous people, environmental groups, and concerned citizens have been demanding that an EIS be prepared for the DAPL project. An EIS is typically a lengthy environmental review document that contains, at minimum, at least the following elements:
   * A purpose and need statement, i.e., an explanation of the reasons the agency is proposing the action and what the agency expects to achieve;
   * Review of alternatives, i.e., consideration of a reasonable range of alternatives that can accomplish the purpose and need of the proposed action, including a "no action alternative";
   * Description of the affected environment, i.e., discussion regarding the environment of the area to be affected by the alternatives under consideration;
   * Analysis of environmental consequences, i.e., a discussion of the direct and indirect environmental effects and their significance; and
   * Meaningful and expanded opportunities for public engagement via formal notice and comment processes.

All of these components of a NEPA EIS are intended to accurately inform government decision-makers and the public about all of the true costs and benefits of a project under consideration. Unfortunately, the Corps' Decision does not direct that the newly-required EIS for the Missouri River/Lake Oahe portion of the pipeline will contain any or all of the above EIS components. Rather, it simply requires that the Corps engage in the following "additional review and analysis":
   * "A robust consideration and discussion of alternative locations for the pipeline crossing the Missouri River, including, but not limited to, more detailed information on the alternative crossing that was considered roughly ten miles north of Bismarck;
   * Detailed discussion of potential risk of an oil spill, and potential impacts to Lake Oahe, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's water intakes, and the Tribe's water rights as well as treaty fishing and hunting rights; and
   * Additional information on the extent and location of the Tribe's treaty rights in Lake Oahe." – Corps' Decision ¶ 14.

The concern here is that the Corps' Decision essentially suggests that eventual approval of DAPL is still a strong probability and that the "EIS" the Corps' Decision purports to require will be used only for the purpose of determining the optimal pipeline route in light of the Tribe's rights. It's also notable that nowhere in the Corps' Decision does the Corps suggest that the optimal route will not be at Lake Oahe.

All of these concerns ultimately leave me with the belief that the DAPL project is still very much alive, and that we need to continue to pressure President Obama and the Army Corps to build on the December 4th Decision with important additional actions.

So how can you help? Formally changing the NEPA status of DAPL is the #1 thing we can do to win this fight! Write to <>President Obama and respectfully request:
   * That the Army Corps make a formal finding pursuant to NEPA that DAPL does have potential to result in significant environmental impacts.
   * That the Army Corps immediately issue a legally binding order withdrawing the EA, retracting the FONSI, and requiring the preparation of an EIS for the project.

This is the single most important thing the Army Corps can do to ensure that a valid NEPA EIS will be prepared, and that all of the potential impacts to human health and the environment will be carefully considered, before any final decision is made to approve or disapprove authorization for DAPL to cross the Missouri River.

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

NYS DEC approves permits for Dominion New Market

Dominion New Market CWA 401 and CAA certificates silently approved by NYS DEC. This was discovered by Dennis Higgins​​ and has not been reported by any news outlet.  Adding compression to 60 y/o rusty pipes is really stupid.  Prediction (which I really hope does NOT come true): Within 24 months of completion, there will be a massive explosion within 5 miles downstream of one of the sites with added compression: Veteran, Chemung Co; Sheds, Madison Co.; or Minden, Montgomery Co. This is based on my analysis of 8 of the worst pipeline accidents in US history.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dennis Higgins
Date: Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Subject: [stop-ned] dominion 

I know Cuomo told Trump "hands off New York", but with no fanfare, he just sent Trump a different message: that NY does not care about its citizens' air quality any more than Trump does. DEC awarded needed air permits for Dominion New Market expansion. The 33,000hp of additional compression will will generate 200,000 tons of pollution a year. The 112,000 dt/d additional gas in the line, when burned will generate millions of tons of CO2E. Using PSC's own CO2 costing, and Dr Howarth's leakage estimates, the fugitive methane from Dominion will cost everyone from wellhead to gas-fired plant, half a billion dollars annually in climate impacts. This was a pipeline DEC could have said 'no' to. DTI used non representative wind data from Rome and Albany to justify particulate dispersal at Brookman Corners, a location surrounded by Amish farms and subject to frequent inversions. DTI used flawed acoustic data, challenged by an independent report. DTI failed to count 4 dozen homes in the vicinity of the Veteran compressor station and omitted mention of microturbines for onsite electric generation at Brookman Corners. Bottom line - an incomplete, flawed, if not criminal application.  Please go post something on DEC's FB page, and Cuomo's too, send them a note, phone them, to let them know how disappointed you are with this gift to Dominion and Donald Trump's kind of America.

Veterans and Sheds
This looks like the permit for Brookman Corners 

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Pipeline explosion reported near Kansas City International Airport

The pipeline is owned by Mid-America Pipeline Company
which is a subsidiary of Enterprise Products.
Approximate GPS is 39.408745, -94.679255

There is a mainline and also a loop in the same ROW.

NPMS lists the commodity category as "Liquified Petroleum Gas" and the description as "ETHANE/PROPANE, NATURAL GASOLINE, PROPAN" (in a field which is not fully readable in the NPMS browser unless you look at the HTML-- for me it only shows "ETHANE/PROPANE, NATURAL GAS..."

But if you look at their response plan filed with PHMSA it lists the product as "natural gasoline", which is an NGL (natural gas liquid) and an intermediate refinery product, usually sent as a feedstock for petrochemical industry.

Lists the sizes as "10" and 8?"...
I don't why the "8?", whether Enterprise isn't sure, or whether it's a PDF font problem.


SMITHVILLE, MO (KCTV) - A large fire was burning just north of Kansas City International Airport and west of Smithville, KCTV reports.
A glow in the sky was visible from KCI Tuesday night.
The Southern Platte Fire Dept. tweeted just before 7 p.m. that companies from their agency along with the Northern Platte Co. district and Kansas City, MO Fire Dept. were on the scene of a pipeline explosion. About 15 minutes later, they tweeted the northern districts and pipeline company were handling the incident.
So far, no injuries are reported. By 7:30 p.m., aerial footage from KCTV appeared to show the flames dying down.
KCI spokesman Joe McBride tweeted flights in and out of KCI are not being affected by the situation at this time. He said the fire was not on airport property.
13 NEWS and KCTV continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as information becomes available.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Emergency crews were responding to a large fire in Platte County, not far from Kansas City International Airport.
Crews were called to the scene near Northwest Skyview Avenue and Northwest Martin Road about 6:30 p.m.
The Southern Platte Fire District said the fire was the result of a pipeline explosion.
Plumes of fire and heavy smoke were showing from the scene and was lighting up the sky from miles away. An hour after the fire started, it was still burning, but the flames had reduced significantly.
Nearby grass and trees also caught fire and were still burning an hour later.
A pipeline company crew was heading to shut the valve off so the fire could burn itself out. The pipeline carries ethane and propane, according to the Kansas City Fire Department.
KCI Airport spokesman Joe McBride said the fire was not affecting flights at the airport and was not on airport property.
Smithville police asked the public to stay away from the area to make it easier for emergency crews to get to the scene.
Stay with KMBC 9 News and refresh this page for updates.

No injuries from fire when a gas pipeline ruptured

SMITHVILLE, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say there were no injuries as a result of a blaze that erupted when a gas pipeline ruptured north of Kansas City, Missouri.
A Platte County Sheriff's Department dispatcher said the fire was reported about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Platte County, north of Kansas City and not far from Kansas City International Airport. The fire was later put out.
The responding Southern Platte Fire District said the blaze resulted from a pipeline explosion, though the cause was unclear.
The identity of the owner or operator of the pipeline was not immediately available.
The Kansas City Fire Department says the pipeline carries ethane and propane.
Joe McBride, a spokesman for the airport, said the blaze was not affecting flights at the airport and was not on airport property.


Pipeline explosion near KCI airport, no injuries

PLATTE COUNTY, Mo. - Multiple units responded to a pipeline explosion north of Kansas City International Airport Tuesday night.
The call for the fire went out around 6:30 p.m. There were no injuries reported.
According to the Southern Platte Fire Protection District, it, along with the Kansas City Fire Department and Northern Platte County were on scene working to extinguish the flames.
The District also said the incident was being handled by northern departments and the unnamed pipeline company.
The pipeline carries ethane and propane, according to the Kansas City Fire Department.
An airport spokesman said the fire was not affecting flights and was not on airport property.




Friday, November 25, 2016


Risk = Likelihood * Severity.

What we casually call "Safe Space" is where there is very low likelihood of even minor severity impacts.

But if you find yourself in a situation, where it is Very Likely of Very Severe Impacts, you should consider GETTING OUT NOW! (This is just a good general rule, even if it is just your own body at risk.)

Now, Imagine Severity as a Logrithmic scale, from a point called "1 Minor Injury" to a point labeled "1 Million Dead"

We can imagine that as the Severity approaches the extremes, then Likelyhood becomes much less important.

Look at at a "safe &* sane" firecracker. Very little black powder. With the chance of nothing more than minor injuries, you almost don't care about if the risk is "very likely".

You put on a band-ade and a week later you're all better:
Big deal!
Even young children play with firecrackers.

But let us look at another case where the Severity is 5,000,000 people dead or injured.

Again, the likelihood begins not to matter. What happens if your scientists say, "It is not very likely", yet they made a math error? Do you want to risk it?

The Precautionary Principle comes in handy comes in handy in cases where there is Extremely Severe Risk. It is a scientific principle which basically says, DO NOT, by ether your actions, or neglect, allow a catastrophe to happen. Do not create those circumstances. And if you see those circumstances exist, then you should act swiftly to diffuse the damn thing.

(h/t Dr. Rob MacKenzie for helping me understand risk. Any errors are mine, not his!)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

New Graphics about AIM, Indian Point, PIR and INCREASED RISK of failure near compressor stations.

This email is OK for public distribution. No need to ask, just share it.

As some of you know, I've been on a mission to calibrate the federal PIR formula-

I have collected data on 7 major accidents to date::
  • Edison NJ 3/23/1994
  • Carlsbad NM 8/19/2000
  • Appomattox VA 9/14/2008
  • Cleburne TX 6/7/2010
  • San Bruno, CA 9/9/2010
  • Sissonville WV 12/11/2012
  • Salem PA 4/29/2016

The data I need are, Diameter, MAOP, and some evidence, a PAR, CAO, aerial photos, news accounts, etc. where I can get an idea the extent of the impacts.  

I just found data on another accident, Unityville PA, 6/2/15. This one was different, as there were mixed reports as to whether there was a fire or not.  However there was severe discoloration of 
surrounding vegetation. 

Two things to note. EVEN WHEN THERE IS NO FIRE, this accident still had impacts at 733'ft, well outside the predicted PIR of 574 ft. (24" @ 1200 MAOP). 

Considering only those accidents where were spontaneous failures (discarding Cleburne, as it was caused by a strike with drilling equipment): I am left with 7. Of these, 5 (71%) occurred within 4 miles of the nearest upstream compressor. 

I have not seen this metric discussed on this list as indicating elevated risk. 

Here is a graphic. Note the Y-axis is a log scale, so each division represents a 10x jump.  

​Note for reference I have included Indian Point in Westchester Co NY, which is not only 4 miles from the nearest upstream compressor, but also has structures important to safety which are just 105'ft from the new 42" Algonquin AIM pipeline. : 

Note also there there are EXISTING aging gas lines which run through Indian Point which are both 50+ years old.

Spectra Energy has failed several attempts at the HDD pull of the big new 42"in under the Hudson, so they want to test the rest of the new pipeline by pushing 25% more gas through the existing rusty lines. Yes, and without increasing MAOP! (Nice magic trick).

Slide from NRC presentation showing the new AIM (green) and the existing lines (blue):

Here is a map showing my "better PIR circles" here:
(My online calculator and explanation here:)

The RED is the circle where I expect all Major Impacts to occur within.
I define a major impact as major damage or complete loss of structures,
scorched earth, death or severe injuries.

The ORANGE circles are what I call the Minor Impact Radius, which is where I would expect to find all minor impacts, like melted siding or other structural damage which could result in insurance claim.

All of this is based on historical data.

Notice that BOTH THE OLD AND THE NEW pipelines have their MAJOR IMPACT CIRCLES intersecting with the Indian Point Facility with the old pipelines being WORSE (covering a larger area including both reactors, control room, etc).  From a Risk Management perspective, this is REALLY REALLY STUPID.

​This Indian Point situation is EXTREMELY GRAVE. I urge everyone to get involved in
the resistance movement. There are literally 20 Million Lives at risk. IMO, we need
a "Standing Rock" type response here in NY to this INSANITY.

Related Video:

Another video, my Magnum Opus is coming shortly. I've been working on
this for nearly 3 weeks. 

(I would be working on this full time until I complete it, but I have to bill some hours at my day-job to keep a roof over my head and some noodles in my belly. If you appreciate my work, now is a good time for a Paypal donation: Thanks.)


May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

How we get through this...

So for the next 4 years,
I propose a return to Chivalry.

We men should show the women in our lives,
and every woman we meet
such great care and tenderness.

Every person of color. Great care and affection.

Every person of every kind of gender preference/expression,
every ethnicity, every religion: Great care and tenderness and compassion, and a wish for their happiness.

To rid the world of hate we must begin with ourselves.

Even the poorest teller at the grocery store, the waitress, the garbage collector, the man or woman who cleans the toilets at the office building. Great care, and respect.

This is how we will get through this:

We will start behaving and living
with utmost regard to our highest principles.

And what are our highest principles?
Truth? Nonviolence? Universal Compassion?

(those are my suggestions)

Let us use our mind skillfully
and practice action which is not motivated by
greed or hatred.

Let us use our voice
to express a POSITIVE VISION
of what we want to be.

And a commitment to live to be
consistent with our chosen moral principles always.

I suggest beginning each day with GRATITUDE.
We all have so much to be grateful for.

My favorite compassion practice
is called Metta. It is a Buddhist thing.

Here is a short introduction to the practice:

This video is part of a meditation practice.
Practice means "time spent doing it".


May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

Thursday, November 3, 2016

"Solvent Degreaser TCE to be listed as Known Human Carcinogen: Federal Report"

Sent: 11/3/2016 1:18:52 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: [TCE] "Solvent Degreaser 'Known'Human Carcinogen: Federal Report"
Solvent Degreaser 'Known'Human Carcinogen: Federal Report

By Pat Rizzuto
Chemical Regulation Reporter®
November 2, 2016

Trichloroethylene, formerly a widely used solvent, will be listed as a "known human carcinogen" in a federal Report on Carcinogens to be published Nov. 3.

The Department of Health and Human Services, which issues the report, upgraded trichloroethylene (TCE) from a "reasonably anticipated to be" to a "known human carcinogen," HHS's National Toxicology Program said in a Federal Register notice to be published Nov. 3.


The Dow Chemical Co., PPG Industries Inc. and GreenChem Industries LLC are among the U.S. companies that made or imported 225 million pounds of TCE in 2011, the most recent year for which data is available.


Trichloroethylene has been found on at least 1,045 of the 1,699 current or former Superfund sites, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.


For the entire article, see

The Report on Carcinogens is available at
The TCE documents are available at


Lenny Siegel
Executive Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
a project of the Pacific Studies Center
278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice/Fax: 650/961-8918

TCE mailing list

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

Saturday, October 29, 2016

The woman at Dunkin' Donuts is voting for Jill Stein!

Friends, I want you to think about this:

This is an IDEAL time for a Green to WIN! And Jill is a very solid candidate. I would almost say IDEAL. I think the corporate media is BULLSHITTING us with fake polls. (Boy, that's a shocker! Who'd have suspected the media lies? :0 )

Everyone I talk to is voting for Jill. I mean 80%. And not just my hippy/progressive friends. I just talked to a woman working in a (corporate) coffee shop. "I don't like either one. This is a joke. I feel like this is the Truman Show." I said, "I'm voting for Jill Stein!" and she said, "Yah, I probably will too...." I ALMOST FELL OVER!

Keep the faith, Peeps. These are REVOLUTIONARY Days. It is happening all over.

THESE are the times of Constitution Conventions. And we all are at the leading edge of defining what our collective values should be for the next phase.

This is a really exciting time, and I'm so happy. I have never seen a Green ever do this well for such a big office in 30 years!!!!

Keep believing in what might be possible.
Our collective belief and intention now
is very very important.


May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

Jason Garner: Stink Trucks?

Jason Garnar--

24,000 people drink water from Endicott's Ranney well, which is just 1 mile downstream from where i3 Electronics has been discharging their UNPERMITTED (x2) wastes from an operation started April 2011. These wastes are NOT permitted by their SPDES permit. This land use (commercial waste treatment) requires a Special Use permit, however they never approached the local planning board. Chris Pelto told me "Does Endicott even have a planning board?" WRONG ANSWER. This illegal operation violates state/village zoning laws, as well as the Clean Water Act, but DEC looks the other way, has allowed this as a SECRET 2-year "pilot program" with NO Environmental Impact Statement under SEQRA. Here we are 5-years later and it's still going on.

The Village suffers 240 heavy trucks/week because of this, REALLY foul odors, and threats to our water quality and quantity. 80,000 gallons PER DAY of higly toxic, hazardous waste in UNMARKED trucks, including 10x Super Concentrated Reverse Osmosis Landfill Concentrate from Seneca Meadows, the largest landfill in NY which takes household+industrial waste from 5 states.

The DEC is not helping us. They have NEVER issued the facility any fines or violations despite NUMEROUS leaks, spills, contamination incidents dating back to the 1970s-- 4 Decades! The WORST might be 12,000 gallons/month of HORSE URINE (!!!) from Dr. Reddy's Labs in Middleburgh, trucked in from 2hrs away, which is contaminated with a groundwater contaminant so powerful (MTBE), it was BANNED as a gasoline additive by Gov. Pataki in 2000.

I have been asking you since JULY to weigh in on this issue. You told me you were "interested", but never met with our group.

Debbie Preston LOVES Leachate!

Unfortunately, so does Donna Lupardo, who DID meet with our group, but who evidently has not heard our numerous legal issues raised, and/or does not care that the VoE has an illegal commercial waste dump operating in the downtown shopping district, as she told Bob Joseph this week on WNBF she sees "no problem" with all this, as long is it "doesn't increase".

(Donna lives in Endwell which gets water from Endicott. Maybe with her fat salary she can afford a heavy-duty water filter?)

Maybe even Donna is beholden to the Maines/Matthews and the GB Chamber? Or maybe she's got a piece of the action?

What about you?

Why have you been ignoring our requests for months to meet with Concerned Citizens of Endicott, Jason?

We need you to Weigh In on this critically important issue:

Where do you stand on the "Stink Trucks"?

Let me guess- We need the Jobs?

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

Thursday, October 27, 2016

How do the Leachate Trucks get away with not having DOT HAZMAT placards?

The reason why the trucks are getting away with no Hazmat placards is because of a complicated loophole in the law. It's really complicated. DOT HAZMAT Law: 49 USC § 5103, leaves the definition open to the Sec. of Transportation:

"A hazardous material, as defined by the Secretary, is any particular quantity or form of a material that may pose an unreasonable risk to health and safety or property during transportation in commerce. This includes materials that are explosive, radioactive, infectious, flammable, toxic, oxidizing, or corrosive."

The Sec. publishes a table at 49 CFR § 172.101, but landfill leachate is not listed.

This is probably because the toxicity of chemicals are all based on studies like the LD50. But Landfill Leachate is not a single thing. It is a complex mixture of Acids/Bases, VOCs, industrial solvents, organo-chlorines, hydrocarbons, BTEX, pesticides, salts, radioactive materials, biological agents -- you name it! So the DOT cannot determine toxicity of something if the chemical composition changes all the time. It's whatever the landfill took in this week/month/year. Could be anything.

But trust me-- Reverse Osmosis Concentrate from Seneca Meadows IS POISON if you drank it, and an inhalation hazard.

And there are several other definitions to look at, defined by EPA not DOT:

Hazardous wastes and hazardous substances are designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Hazardous wastes are designated under the EPA's Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, while hazardous substances are designated by the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). The Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (HMTA) regulates all essential modes of transportation due to the dangers hazardous materials can present during shipment by ground, air, sea, or any other mode of transportation, such as through a pipeline.

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)