Threatened, Endangered, and other Special Status Species - Bullet Points

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4.7 Threatened, Endangered, and other Special Status Species

               • State listed species are protected in PA under Title 58 Part II of the PA Code (58 PA Code sections 75.1-75.4)- 3 agencies are responsible for administering the law (PGC, PFBC, PADCNR) (4-103)

               • Transco initially identified 8 ESA listed species as potentially occurring in area- however based on field surveys rom 2014, 2015,  4 would NOT be affected by project- gray bat, dwarf wedgemussel, dwarf-flowered heartleaf, and harperella.  These four may be affected- northern long-eared bat, Indiana bat, bog turtle and northeastern bulrush. (4-104)

               • Table on (4-105) says for the Indiana bat, northern long eared bat, bog turtle, northeastern bulrush "may affect, not likely to adversely affect.  (Does this mean the pipeline would positively affect them?  If so, how? If it is affecting in some way, what are those affects-and who determines what is adverse and what is not?)

               • On Indiana Bat- Transco conducted field inspections (4-106)- who did these studies? (how long were they there? What protocol did they follow? Who can verify this information?)

               • On Northern long-eared bat-may occur within all of the counties crossed by the project in PA- project is within 5 miles of 5 known hibernacula in Schuylkill, Northumberland, and either Lancaster or York Counties- (which is it?)- and two hibernacula are within .25 miles of the project in Northumberland County.  (4-107-108).

               • Transco completed mist netting surveys for northern long eared bats at 312 sites- catching 70- 52 of which were radiotagged in order to track to roost locations on properties where access could be obtained- (4-108)

               • Based on guidance of results (4-109), Transco delineated the potential impacts the project would have on northern long eared bats habitats. (what does this mean? how? did they move the line to avoid these areas?)

               • Transco would do the following for northern long eared bat- routing the pipeline through nonforested areas where possible collocating the Project with existing ROWs to avoid greenfield habitat to the extent practical, when routing through forested areas 1) selecting route to minimize length of forestland crossed within each forest, 2) locating the ROW as far away from interior portion of forest as practicable, 3) giving preference to routing the pipeline through fragmented and discontinuous forest stands versus forest stands with continuous canopy cover. (4-110) (Who is deciding what is practicable, practical, and when existing ROWs are used or not?  We suggest that existing ROWS be used, negating the need to build a greenfield line, the CPLS- DENY the CPLS part of the Atlantic Sunrise Project).

               • Bog Turtle- federally listed threatened species- endangered in PA-Transco was able to access about 92% of parcels in Lancaster and Lebanon Counties to survey for Bog Turtles.- resulting in 37% of no-access parcels potentially contain suitable habitat for bog turtles. (4-111)

               • Survey indicated 11 individuals, including 5 adult females and 5 adult males, and 1 hatchling.- 7 fitted with transmitters- Transco is currently developing Phase 2/3 survey report which will be submitted to FWS and FERC. (4-112) (How can FERC approve the DEIS when details like this are not yet completed?  This ability for the regulatory agency to preliminarily approve such a project, knowing the damage being done to endangered animals seems to evidence their inability to take their regulatory power seriously, and instead see their work as rubber stamping whatever the industry wants. It is shameful.)

               • Bog turtle results are incomplete. (4-112) (so what is this environmental impact study submitted for if the surveys are not complete? Seems like FERC needs to be sued for not doing their job and following their own protocol).

               • Transco must receive written approval from Director of OEP before construction or use of mitigation may begin. (4-112) (and apparently that approval is expected, else this project would not be preliminarily approved).

               • Northeastern Bulrush- federally listed endangered species- state listed endangered in PA-in the sedge family of plants- Transco conducted surveys from July8-Sept 2 2014-and also on Jan 26, 2015 in Columbia and Luzern Counties) (4-113) (Does this mean on one day in Jan of 2015 one surveyor went out to multiple places looking for this bulrush- in one day... and how well could they have looked in one day at multiple places- and is it visible in January?  seems like an off season time to be looking)

               • Transco found the N. Bulrush in one wetland in Luzerne County and second wetland in northern Columbia County.  The route was revised to avoid impacts- providing a buffer of 250 feet between workspace and the N. bulrush population- but does not avoid the wetland entirely.  Transco also re-routed in Columbia County to avoid impacts- the construction space is set back 110 feet from bulrush population, and 50 feet from the wetland.  (4-113) (In the case of Luzerne Co- doesn't it seem as though the wetland being impacted in any way, considering that the water is all connected in the wetland area, would in fact impact the environment where the bulrushes are growing? So this is acceptable?  And who monitors to see if there is any impact on the bulrushes, and what happens to the industry when they are affected?  Is there a law in place that requires them to have some kind of compensation? I now when the gas industry destroys the drinking water of landowners along the line of fracking areas, they are not required to compensate (unless the landowners sign contracts that they will not sue the companies) so I am wondering if they are held to a higher level of accountability for things such as endangered vegetation called Northern bulrushes).

               • There are 5 state listed animals and 5 state listed plant species that may be present in the project area. 

               -Bald eagles- Transco efforts only identified one confirmed and one potential bald eagle nest near the project- in Deep Creek and at intersection of Iron Bridge Road and Bridge Valley Road (both on CPL S) (4-114)

               -Allegheny Woodrat- 4-118)

               -Eastern Small footed bat (4-119)

               -Timber Rattlesnake (4-120-121)

               -Mussels-(4-122)