Pipeline protesters must address zoning, building code violations, official says

Reposted from an article by Wesley Robinson at Pennlive.com

The tobacco barn at the center of pipeline protests in Lancaster County remains condemned after a Conestoga Township Supervisors meeting Tuesday night.

The barn, which was condemned Monday, is privately owned by Justin and Susan Cappiello, who have given Lancaster Against Pipelines permission to use the land and the barn for an encampment protesting an upcoming pipeline. Organizers hoped Conestoga Township supervisors could help in the matter, but the officials said have no say in the matter.

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Conestoga Township Supervisors condemn tobacco barn at The Stand

On Monday afternoon, the local building inspectors arrived at the Lancaster Stand and plastered “Condemned” notices all over the tobacco barn that has become the centerpiece of the encampment against the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline. The abrupt notice was conducted by West Lampeter Township Zoning Board, as ordered by the Conestoga Township Supervisors. The barn is privately owned by Justin and Susan Cappiello, who have granted permission for Lancaster Against Pipelines to hold the Lancaster Stand encampment on their land, including use of the tobacco barn.

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Report Exposes True Cost of Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline

The Sierra Club reports that a new study shows that "FERC Overestimated Benefits While Ignoring or Discounting Economic and Social Costs." You can read the full report here.

From the Sierra Club site: 

Today, a report prepared by Key-Log Economics for the Sierra Club and Appalachian Mountain Advocates was released, detailing what it calls the true costs of the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline. The proposed fracked gas pipeline was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on its former chair’s final day -- just before the commission lost its quorum.

The Atlantic Sunrise project would clear cut its way through ten Pennsylvania counties, impacting 2,000 acres of forested land and crossings hundreds of wetlands and water bodies. The proposed route includes nearly 200 miles of new pipeline which would supply gas exports out of Maryland and gas plants in North Carolina and Florida.

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Saturday Schedule of Events

SATURDAY SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

ALL ARE WELCOME - BRING A FRIEND

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Lancaster Against Pipelines Joins Indigenous Leaders in Denouncing Pipeline’s Path Through Native Burial Grounds

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

EMAIL: clatterbuckm@montclair.edu

LOCATION: The Lancaster Stand

DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 4 @ 10 AM

ADDRESS: 325 Conestoga Blvd ⚫ Conestoga PA 17516

For the past two years, county residents have joined indigenous leaders in condemning the plans of Transco/Williams to run the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline through confirmed Native American burial grounds and ancient archaeological sites located in southern Lancaster County. Whether filing comments on the FERC docket, or delivering statements at public hearings, or enduring arrest on the Brookfield property itself during pre-construction drilling, Native and non-Native persons alike have demanded that these sacred Susquehannock (Iroquoian) sites be honored.

 

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Weekend Campout at The Stand!

Lancaster Against Pipelines invites you to a weekend campout at The Lancaster Stand from Friday, February 17 at 5pm until Sunday, February 19 at 5pm. Together we will prepare to stop construction of the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline by building community around the new fire circle, practicing our nonviolence and action skills, and constructing needed camp infrastructure. This is a family friendly event, and all are welcome!

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Press Release: Lancaster Stands Against Transco/Williams to Protect our Homes, Land, Heritage, and Future

FERC’s approval of the Atlantic Sunrise Project lays bare a rigged system of government that serves big business and billionaires at the expense of local communities and the environment. FERC’s decision came nearly two months early, at Transco/Williams’ request, despite incomplete surveys, missing mitigation plans, numerous pending lawsuits, and unprecedented community opposition. 

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The Stand II

As 2017 begins, Lancaster Against Pipelines remains committed to shutting down the proposed Atlantic Sunrise pipeline.

As most of you know, FERC issued its FEIS (Final Environmental Impact Statement) for the ASP one week ago. That document is basically an 800-page Horror Story that Williams has planned for Pennsylvania—and beyond.  Here’s a brief sampling of how the ASP would put our land, water, wildlife, and personal safety at risk: 

  • 388 water body crossings
  • 44 interior forests fragmented
  • 3,700 acres of land, including dozens of preserved farms, violated
  • 126 private wells within 150-ft of route
  • 152 residential or commercial buildings within 50-ft of route

Additionally, a number of sacred Native American sites are targeted by the ASP.  Right here in southern Lancaster County, along the Conestoga River, a federally recognized Susquehannock Indian village & cemetery (more than 1,000 years old) sits directly in the pipeline’s path. 

Absurdly, FERC’s statement concludes that the ASP would have “less-than-significant” environmental, cultural, and social impacts.
 

Community Bonfire at THE STAND — Sunday, January 15 at 2 PM 

Stand_dedication_meal.jpgFERC expects us to calmly accept these shocking risks. They think we should all be okay with an Oklahoma company sending explosive, poisonous, fracked gas to foreign markets through our rivers, farms, and playgrounds. 

We have news for FERC: NOT A CHANCE! 

In open defiance of the FEIS and Transco/Williams’ plans to poison our water, our land, and our children’s future, LAP is hosting a COMMUNITY BONFIRE & PLEDGE SIGNING EVENT on Sunday, January 15, at 2 PM. 

Together, we’ll: 

[1] Publicly reject the findings of this FEIS—with the bonfire’s help :-). 

[2] Sign a community pledge to fight the ASP with Civil Disobedience. 

[3] Hold an open council meeting to plan a large-scale, prayer-and-action encampment on the grounds of The Stand to block ASP construction, if approved. 

Everyone committed to fighting the ASP is welcome to this event! 

LOCATION: STAND II 

We’ll gather at LAP’s newly-built second STAND structure. This is located about ½ mile south of the original Stand. This new structure rests directly in the path of Williams’ alternate Conestoga River crossing. It’s located at the intersection of River Road, Conestoga Blvd, and Groff Avenue in Conestoga, PA.   

  • Parking is available at Safe Harbor Park, across the road from The Stand. 
  • GPS: 39.938298, -76.386099 


WHAT TO BRING

  • Friends, family & kids
  • Warm clothing 
  • Outdoor chair 
  • Ideas for resistance 
  • Tent (if you plan to camp) 

FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE 

For more information, visit our “Stand With The Land” Facebook event

CAMPING OPTION 

For any adventurous souls wanting to camp overnight, bring a tent and we’ll carry the event into MLK Monday—a fitting way to celebrate the courageous, justice-seeking work of Martin Luther King, Jr. 

RAIN DATE 

  • Rain Date: Sunday, January 22 @ 2 PM (same location)

Letter to Governor Tom Wolf



Please take a few minutes to review the below letter to Governor Tom Wolf and click here if you wish to add your name to the letter.  Deadline for signing the letter is noon on Tuesday (November 8th).

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Lancaster County community members dedicating “The Stand,” a blockade and encampment site to protect their land, water, and homes against the proposed Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline (October 2016).

An Open Letter to Governor Tom Wolf

Dear Mr. Wolf,

The board of Lancaster Against Pipelines writes this letter as a public denunciation of your recent decision to provide $24 million in grant money to expedite gas pipeline projects in Pennsylvania. Even more shocking is the fact that your new Pipeline Investment Program (PIPE) is funded by siphoning money out of the Alternative Energy Investment Act, which was established to support clean energy projects in PA.

Snatching what little money has been set aside for renewable energy projects, only to further subsidize dirty fossil fuel use in the form of fracked gas, is scandalous. It also represents a shocking level of tone-deafness to the voices of local communities throughout our state.

Here in Lancaster County, thousands of community members have spent the past three years working to derail the proposed Atlantic Sunrise gas pipeline project. Why? Because the ASP would perpetuate the environmentally disastrous process of hydraulic fracturing, the poisonous and earthquake-causing process of wastewater disposal, the forced construction of pipelines through resistant communities, and the horrifying atmospheric impacts of methane leaks.

Mr. Wolf, local communities are not interested in exchanging the health and safety of our families, friends, and neighbors for corporate profits. Why are you?

Here’s one snapshot of how local communities are rejecting the fracked-gas industry in PA. Last month, 200 community members gathered on an Amish-operated farm in Lancaster County along the Conestoga River to openly reject the proposed Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline through our neighborhoods. Local families built a physical blockade on this farm, directly in the pipeline’s path. Plans are already in place to establish a long-term, large-scale encampment on this site if FERC foolishly approves the pipeline later this year.

Three candidates running for PA state office, from your own party, were there to support Lancaster County’s blockade of the ASP: Greg Paulson (Senate District 13), Dale Hamby (House District 100), and Nick Selch (House District 41). They clearly understand something you don’t—namely, that local communities in PA have rejected the backward looking, dystopian vision of another dirty fossil fuel industry that’s trading our health, safety, and future for short-term corporate profits.

Why aren’t you standing with us?

And Lancaster County is hardly alone in rejecting the gas industry. Citing our constitutional rights to clean air and clean water, municipalities all over PA have begun using local Rights Based Ordinances to shield themselves from unwanted gas industry harms. Pittsburgh, Wilkinsburg, West Homestead, and Stroudsburg—among others—have all passed fracking bans. State College and West Chester have not only banned fracking, but injection wells and new pipelines, too. Highland Township votes November 8 on whether to ban injection wells.  Grant Township reinforced their ban on frack-waste injection wells by legalizing the right of residents to use non-violent direct action to enforce this ban if necessary.

Why are our local communities forced to pass such laws? It’s precisely due to actions like yours, Mr. Wolf, as our state and federal officials fail to protect us against massive, unwanted, industrial harms—most notably those coming from gas infrastructure projects.

Mr. Wolf: With PIPE, you’re not only failing to protect us. In truth, you are actively supporting the very harms we’re desperately working to stop. While local communities have been busy banning dirty gas practices in PA, you’ve been looting PA’s clean energy coffers to expand it! Whose interests are you protecting?

Nowhere has the fracking & pipeline industry’s true nature been more clearly exposed than at Standing Rock, North Dakota. The nation—indeed, the world—has watched in horror as elders and children, women and men have endured riot police, the National Guard, armored vehicles, helicopters, 24-hour surveillance, mace, rubber bullets, baton beatings, attack dogs, sound canons, strip searches, and mass arrests. Their crime? Peacefully protecting their own drinking water and sacred homeland from a pipeline they don’t need or want.

It’s time for our elected officials to stop protecting the industry, and to start protecting the people.

Mr. Wolf: While you pander to the industry ahead of Tuesday’s election, we’ll be here with our families in Lancaster County, fiercely fighting to protect what we love the most. The national tide has already turned. And, unless you change course, you’ll be left standing on the wrong side of history.

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On behalf of our local communities & in passionate defense of our land, our water, and our children’s future:

The Board of Lancaster Against Pipelines
Lancaster County, PA