PA DEP Hearing Walk Out

Last night 125 people stood up and walked out of the PA DEP's hearing on air quality for the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline, slated to cut through more than 30 miles of Lancaster County. 

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Jeopardizing the Water for Another 70k Lancastrians

The more light we shine on the approval process for the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline, the more reckless it appears to be. (For many residents not yet paying attention, it's still easier to accept that the process is haphazard rather than outright illegal, immoral or dangerous.) Now city officials are reporting their concerns about how the pipeline would cross a main water line that serves 70,000 residents:

"With construction of the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline possibly only a month away, Lancaster city officials said Friday they still don’t know how, or exactly where, the pipeline will cross a main water line that 70,000 residents rely on for drinking water.

Nor has the city signed an easement agreement allowing the gas pipeline to cross the city’s right of way.

'We’re very frustrated and angry,' Charlotte Katzenmoyer, the city’s public works director, said Friday morning.

She said the city had repeatedly written to Williams Partners, the pipeline’s builder, without receiving a reply.

Asked about the situation on Friday, Williams spokesman Christopher  Stockton said the company is aware of the water line from engineering drawings and it will be clearly flagged, along with other buried lines, prior to pipeline construction."

We've all learned that Williams, via their spokesperson Chris Stockton, will say whatever sounds best, like JOBS and PROGRESS; and we all know that Williams has continued to treat residents with the kind of condescension that only an entitled corporation can get away with--but to hear that they've snowed or ignored city officials in charge of our water safety, with the same disregard they've displayed toward residents, is yet another degree of enlightenment for the pipeline's opponents. 

Yesterday, workers were out in a corn field searching for the exact location of the water main. 


Governor Tom Wolf Blues

He's our seemingly enlightened Governor, but his hideous blindspot on fossil fuels is both unsurprising and dangerous. This week, a host of issues put Governor Tom Wolf in the spotlight for his draconian and inconsistent views on his constituents' health and safety. Here's an update on what you should know about the Governor's recent doings:

 

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BBC Radio 4 Talks with Sister Janet

Last Saturday, while those of us in Lancaster attended a Mass Action Training, Sister Janet McCann of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, was talking with BBC's Martin Bashir about the chapel, their lawsuit against FERC and the larger moral issues surrounding fossil fuel consumption and infrastructure. Her piece starts around 5:00, and shares the story of our opposition to the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline with an international audience.


Philly Inquirer's Will Bunch on the Politics of Pipelines

Bunch writes, "The people who haven’t been friends to Clatterbuck in this epic battle have been the politicians from both parties who — their pockets often bulging with campaign donations from Big Oil and Gas — tout the economic benefits of projects like the Atlantic Sunrise while shielding their ears from the pleas of property owners. 'When it comes to the environment, whether it’s Democrats or Republicans, the industry has them in their back pocket,” she told me this week. “It doesn’t matter which party you belong to.'

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Sarah Lee Guthrie Supports the Sisters

Musician Sarah Lee Guthrie--daughter of Arlo, granddaughter of Woody--stopped by the chapel before a concert with her father at Long's Park last night to show her support for LAP and the Adorers.

Guthrie wrote on her FB page:

"Standing at a chapel in a corn field in Lancaster, PA. Atlantic Sunrise Project would like to put a pipeline thru these beautiful fields @lancasteragainstpipelines is going to stop them with our help... and that is why I came here. #solidarity #resist"

Lancaster Online's Jeff Hawkes also covered Guthrie's visit to the chapel:

"...during her set before an outdoor crowd of more than 10,000, Guthrie, 38, gave a shout-out to the opposition group, Lancaster Against Pipelines.

She also improvised anti-pipeline lyrics to “I’ve Got to Know,” a social-justice song written by her grandfather and Dust Bowl troubadour, Woody Guthrie."


Eminent Domain Now in Use

Here's LancasterOnline's editorial board on August 10 on the use of eminent domain in the county:

"So you can do a hundred things in your quest to contest eminent domain, but miss one thing — fail to cross one 't' or dot one 'i' — and you’re doomed.

No wonder people feel helpless and overwhelmed when they’re facing the prospect of eminent domain. The system seems stacked against them.

However legal the taking of private land for corporate benefit may be, it still strikes many of us as deeply unfair."

More on eminent domain:

"U.S. Eastern District Court Judge Jeffrey Schmehl on Tuesday issued an order giving the Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. the right to condemn the property of Jeffrey and Kim Kann to obtain permanent and temporary rights of way for the pipeline."

via Ad Crable at Lancaster Online, August 5 (don't miss the comments)

The decision was made while landowner Kim Kann was out of the country.

WGAL's Mike Straub spoke with Kann after the condemnation.

BTW, here's the link to LancasterOnline's complete coverage of the Atlantic Sunrise.


Local News Coverage

Three pieces by Ad Crable on the Atlantic Sunrise, all worth reading: Williams bought the farm; the PA DEP is hosting a hearing on the Atlantic Sunrise's air pollution; and a "restless" Williams is aggressively advertising and pressuring legislators.

 

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Williams Bought the Farm

Here's LAP's July 28th statement regarding Williams's purchase of the farm in Conestoga where we've been camping and gathering since January:

 

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