Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Privileged Info: USACE extends comment period in Constitution Pipeline

Privileged Info: USACE extends comment period in Constitution Pipeline

by William Huston on April 7, 2014

Now here's a strange one for ya… but first a little background info:

Today was the last official day to make comments on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC's) Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Constitution Pipeline.  You can read it online.

Warning! It's 25 Mb and 945 pages.  http://elibrary.ferc.gov/idmws/file_list.asp?accession_num=20140212-4002

Here's the rub: We've seen some crapola here in NY pass for a regulatory document (Oil+Gas SGEIS for shale gas permits, Fracking Regs, etc.), but this one takes the frack cake.

Some highlights:

  1. FERC as lead agency implementing the National Environmental Policy Act is supposed to look at all direct impacts, as well as cumulative impacts.Problem is, they only look at the environmental impacts of the pipeline itself.  So impacts of, say, all the fracking and compressor stations needed to produce the 650,000 Dekatherms/day is either, "negligible", "out of scope", or "non-jurisdictional".This is like looking at the deadly effects of gun barrel, but not the bullets.


    Williams Central Station, the beginning of the Constitution Pipeline produces 98,801 tons per year of pollutants, but it is a "non-jurisdictional facility".


    98,801 tons is like a train of coal 10 miles long.

  2. When you ask the applicant whether this is the start of the Constitution Pipeline, they start dancing around like Gene Kelly.
    • Half the time they say: YES this is the start of the Constitution Pipeline.
    • Another half the the time they say NO, this is an independent facility.
    • Another half the time(*)  They say both YES and NO!They say "YES this is the start of the Constitution Pipeline,
      but NO it's not a part of the pipeline." HUH? (face-palm)(* yes, three "halves")

      See for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyNfaRJqqdY

  3. They can't even decide what the max operating pressure of this beast will be. They've made public statements and filings saying all of the following: 1,100 psig, 1,400 psig, 1440 psig, and 1480 psig. Even the DEIS is internally inconsistent.
  4. This process has gone on for years. All of a sudden, at nearly the last possible moment, the applicant wants 11x 100′ tall radio towers, the environmental impacts of which are (drum roll) not in the DEIS.
  5. The DEIS says the gas is for domestic use, but in their conference calls and presentations to investors, the applicant admits this gas is for export into Canada.PS to Williams Partners and Cabot Oil and Gas: Did you ever read that statement at the bottom of the FERC eFiling form, about how it's a crime to lie to the government?
    18 USC 1001 crime to lie to the government

    Whoops! It's a crime to file false documents with FERC!

There's a ton more wrong with this document, I assure you, but it would take volumes to describe ever error or omission.

Bottom line is: use this to line your cat box, and that's about it.

So one party to this filing is the US Army Corps of Engineers. This is because the pipeline will cross "Waters of the United States", which is their jurisdiction.

The US Army Corps of Engineers made a filing today, and it was distributed by FERC. Later on in the day, someone noticed it's status had been changed from "public" to "privileged".

This means it is secret info, proprietary, or contains info sensitive to national security.

Well, one of our intrepid Frack Fighters happened to locate a copy in his brower's web cache.  Have a look for yourself: http://www.scribd.com/doc/216940906/US-Army-Corps-of-Engineers-comments-on-DEIS-Constitution-Pipeline-CP13-499

Notice any thing which is of national security interest? Neither did we!

So what's going on, FERC?

Anne Marie Garti, an attorney with the Pace Law Clinic who is representing a group called Stop the Pipeline also saw that document when it was public, and noticed something at the end… the US ACE granted a 30 day extension for their part of the comment period!

This is a reasonable thing, as all of these individuals and groups made a request for more time to study this massive document:

  • Kernan Land Trust,
  • NY State Department of Environmental Conservation,
  • EarthJustice,
  • Catskill Mountainkeeper,
  • Clean Air Council,
  • Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society
  • Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Riverkeeper, Inc.,
  • Sierra Club,
  • Stop the Pipeline,
  • Trout Unlimited,

and many individuals, citizens, landowners and intervenors. Could the FERC be working with industry (the applicant) to fast track this thing and wanting to hide this extension of time from the public view?


Pipe being delivered MONTHS before FERC will issue the Certificate for Public Convenience and Necessity.


Permits? We don't need no stinking permits!

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

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