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Stop the Chainsaws in the Delaware River Basin! Take Action Today

February 12, 2013

 One email, two phone calls to prevent pipeline destruction

Recent pipeline projects in the Delaware River Basin left “deforested moonscapes” that are adding to storm water runoff and other problems, as Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper, put it in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Please act now to stop chainsaws from biting into forests, felling trees in Pike County, in the Delaware River Basin, as part of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) Northeast Upgrade (NEUP) project. They’ve already felled old growth trees in New Jersey for the TGP.

For background, please see the Delaware River Voice, “Pipeline on the move: one last chance to stop the chainsaws,” by Maya van Rossum.  Trust us, the devil is in the details — we just barely averted tree-felling starting yesterday. Excerpt:

Despite setbacks this week, there is still hope for the forests, trout streams and privately protected woodlands to keep standing and stay healthy while our legal challenges and other battles against the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company’s Northeast Upgrade Pipeline Project (TGP NEUP) wage on.

But We Need Your Voice and Those of your Friends to Stop the Chainsaws
This has been a tough week for legal battles that were aimed at halting Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company’s (TGP) chainsaws from beginning cutting through beautiful pristine elder forests, heating up pristine trout-loving streams and scarring the private lands that so many have worked so hard to protect.  But it is still not too late.  So before I tell the legal story – please take a moment now to:
  1. Pick up the phone and make 2 important phone calls to DRBC (609-883-9500 ext 0 or ext 200) and the Army Corps (215-656-6502) to tell them “reopen the DRBC NEUP docket and stop the project while you do the necessary review”.
  2. Then write an email with a click here.
  3. Visit our Facebook page to share the news and urge others to act.
These 3 actions will take less than 10 minutes of your family’s precious time but could make the world of difference for some of the cleanest habitats of the Delaware River watershed that we want to protect for our young ones.
Note that this is a national issue. Anyone, from anywhere in the U.S., can chime in, especially to the Army Corps, which represents President Obama; and to President Obama himself.
Last December, over 50 organizations, including Protecting Our Waters, pressed DRBC to review and require permits for any and all pipeline projects in the Delaware River Basin. The DRBC flatly refused our requests and our in-person testimony at their public meeting. However, faced with deforested moonscapes from two pipeline projects, the DRBC then acknowledged their grave error, as reported in the Philadelphia Inquirer last week.
Now, an incredible legal drama continues to unfold. Delaware Riverkeeper Network and other organizations are fighting in court for the life of the watershed, requiring a stay of the illegitimate permit granted by FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) to fell trees for the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Northeast Upgrade Project (TGP NEUP). Unfortunately, multiple court decisions have been speeding the pipeline along, rushing the process, and overriding the stay. Maya sums it up here:
It is excruciatingly disappointing that the federal courts have rewarded the gamesmanship of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the TGP by denying our efforts to keep the chainsaws from cutting and put the project on hold until the legal challenges which have been legitimately brought can be seen to completion.  It is clear to me that FERC, the Pennsylvania DEP, the DRBC and TGP have avoided, violated and undermined the state and federal laws that should be protecting us from the harms of the TGP NEUP and other pipeline projects.  The agencies are supposed to protect and serve the public and the environment; but it seems that at every turn they are protecting and serving the pipeline companies and gas drillers to only exacerbate the drilling frenzy devastating our neighbors to the west living in industrial zones and seeing their public lands cut down for the shale gas drillers.

That’s why we need you to stop the chainsaws

The action steps: (takes ten minutes)
Call; Email; and Fax the DRBC — tell them:
  • They got it wrong on TGP NEUP.
  • They KNOW they must review and regulate this pipeline’s cut through the forests and parks, so do it NOW, before the cutting begins.
  • Demand the DRBC reopen the TGP NEUP docket, do a cumulative review, and hold a public hearing, before allowing the docket and project to go final and cut its path through our communities, forests, creeks and wetlands.
Email: carol.collier@drbc.state.nj.us 
Be sure to copy your email to the Commissioners:
edward.c.voigt@usace.army.mil
Michele.Siekerka@dep.state.nj.us
akeaton@gw.dec.state.ny.us
Kathleen.Stiller@state.de.us
Phone the DRBC at: 609 883 9500 – you have to wait to the end of the voice message and then select 0 for the operator to leave a message. It’s a pain but worth the wait to send your message personally and directly.
NOTE: If DRBC says they are not accepting calls re the Tennessee Gas Pipeline, please direct the person to take your message to Carol Collier and assert that your message is as important, in fact as urgent, as any other message that could come in today.
Tell Obama’s Commissioner: 
Your second phone call goes to Lt. Col. Becking of the Army Corps, President Obama’s representative at the DRBC:
215 656 6502
Also: 
Fax: your DRBC letter to 609 883 9522 — Or send your email through the DRN website to be sure they all get your communication too.
Lastly, please chime in on Facebook and Twitter to let folks know you’ve done this action and encourage them to do it also. POW Facebook page
Thanks from the POW team for taking action, on behalf of the life of the river, all the living river communities, all who live downstream, and all the local communities impacted by fracking. Every pipeline project induces more fracking.
5 Comments
  1. February 12, 2013 9:05 am

    Yes, “stop the chainsaws” for pipelines to ruin our land everywhere; we don’t need gas or pipelines.

  2. Zandra Moberg Price permalink
    February 12, 2013 10:08 am

    Nice lady at the Corps of Engineers said they have gotten “a million calls.” Good work!

  3. Naomi Teppich permalink
    February 12, 2013 11:34 am

    Not fair to ruin the land and water. They have rights too.

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