• The majority of vegetation that the pipeline and associated work spaces would affect during construction is agricultural land (1,413.9 acres)- additional vegetation types affected would include 949.2 acres of upland forest, 275.1 acres of open lands, and 50.4 acres of wetlands. (4-76) (Top two tiers of Lancaster's economy are tourism and Agriculture- and this is not going to have any impact on that? or no significant impact? I can't see it.)
• Construction of modified above ground facilities for the Project would affect 86.9 acres of ag land, 58.5 acres of open land, and 23.7 acres of upland forest (no wetlands affected) (4-77)
• Transco proposes to use 22 contractor/pipe yards (20 in PA, 2 in VA), and 53 staging areas (all in PA), affecting 364.1 acres of ag land, 71.1 acres of open land and 29.6 acres of upland forests (no wetland affected). (4-77)
• 155 access roads- 152 in PA, 3 in VA- 40 would be permanently maintained for operation and remaining 115 would be restored to preconstruction conditions- In order to support the construction equipment- Transo would make some improvements to these roads, including tree, brush, or structure removal (since when is tree, brush and structure removal a necessary improvement?), grading, installation of culverts and the addition of gravel. (4-77)
• Transco consulted with fed and state resource agencies to id sensitive or protected vegetation types, natural areas, and unique plant communities-
^ no fed owned or protected nat communities would be crossed
^ no state forest would be crossed, nor park- designated "natural areas"
^ 8 nat or special concern community types in vicinity of CPLN and CPLS- considered vulnerable or imperiled in the state
PADCNR did not request that Transco conduct field surveys for these areas, but suggested they be avoided. (so, is Transco avoiding them, and if not, will they conduct special field surveys? we need to ensure that they do these studies.) (4-78)
• 7 forested wetlands along CPL N and 1 forested wetland along CPL S. Transco would minimize and compensate for effects on these wetlands (4-78)
• Several jeweled shooting stars, a PA threatened plant species- were identified along the CPLS route- none of the other 5 PA DCNR identified vegetation community types were documented (4-78)
• 18.2 acres affected during construction, and 9.1 affected during operation (permanently)- the Safe Harbor East Woods County Natural Heritage Inventory
• Interior forest habitat is not managed as fed or state regulated sensitive area- clearing or fragmentation of interior forests creates more edge habitat and smaller contiguous forested tracts, which can affect availability and quality of feeding and nesting habitat for certain species as well as isolate species populations- (4-80)- (so to fragment the interior forest is a benefit to the habitat? What about the negative affects on the species who depend on that deep interior habitat? This is just BS, and has to be named as such).
• Transco delineated interior forests using aerial photography. Forest patches were delineated by their non-forested edges and had to be at least 225 acres in size. 118.9 acres of interior forest would be permanently eliminated and converted to forest edge habitat. (4-80).
• During siting and development of routes, Transco implemented routing strategies to avoid and minimize effects on forest habitat and interior forests: selecting route through non-forested areas, collocating the pipeline routes with existing utility and transportation infrastructure to the extent practicable, utilizing already disturbed cleared discontinuous or fragmented portions of forest, adjusting the route to maximize the preservation of the largest interior forests stands. (4-80)
(What does it mean "to the extent it is practicable"?- it is practicable by NOT PUTTING THE PIPELINE IN- I don't understand this ambiguity and nonsense speak- either it impacts the environment or it doesn't- )
• Newly created edge habitats would be established by maintenance of the permanent ROW- indirect impacts extend for 300 ft on each side (600 ft)- 1,993.8 acres of interior forest in this manner. (4-81)
* habitat fragmentation may benefit or have no effect on some species, but would be detrimental to others. (absurdity of this comment) - (4-81)
* Wildlife is more exposed to common predators that frequent the edges.
* 45% of CPL N would be collocated with existing pipeline and electric transmission line ROWs and 11 % of CPL S.
• Noxious weed and Invasive Plant Species- 22 along the CPL N, 51 along CPL S- NW and IPS change or degrade natural vegetation communities, and reduce the quality of habitat for wildlife and native plant species- (and are more likely to take over in ROWs- this is a big concern- the takeover of the ROWs of these plants- and/or the industry trying to control them by spraying more chemicals to keep them under control, and the negative effects of said chemicals.- unacceptable)
• Removing existing vegetation and disturbing soils during construction could create conditions conducive to the establishment or spread of noxious weeds- particularly where new corridors are established in previously forested areas. (4-82) (Which is the CPL South)
* During construction, vehicles equipment and materials would be inspected and cleaned of soils, vegetation, and debris before the are brought to the project area or moved to another work area within the construction ROW. (Are you kidding me? they are going to go somewhere (where?) and wash the trucks inside and out in order to not carry seeds from one side to another? We watched them do their work at Rock Springs- a Williams site- in the past year-, and they did NOT do any of this- how practical is this? Really, empty promises, like so much in this document.). (4-83)
* If noxious or invasive plant species are identified , Transco would conduct remedial actions such as the application of herbicides (4-83) (So take away the woods, replace them with invasive plants and conditions for invasive plants to take over) and then spread herbicides on former wooded land- oh, there is no shame, is there?)
• Construction, including ROW, extra workspace, above ground facilities, contractor yards, and access roads would affect 3,501.6 acres of vegetated lands. 2,359 acres of open and ag lands, 1,092.2 acres of upland forest, and 50.4 acres of wetland habitat -- Operation of the project would affect 1,140.8 acres of vegetated lands, including 1,049.8 acres of ag and open lands, 423.5 acres of upland forest and 6.4 acres of forested wetlands. (4-83)
• Primary effect of pipeline construction would be cutting clearing and or removing 2,688.8 acres of existing vegetation, of which 949.7 acres would be upland forest. Remaining vegetation would include 1,413.9 acres of ag land, 275.1 acres of open land, and 50.4 acres of wetlands (4-84) (But don't worry- no significant impacts)
• Conclusion: (from Transco)- primary impact would be on forested lands- however due to the prevalence of forested habitats within the project area and eventual regrowth of prior forested areas outside of the permanent ROW we conclude that the permanent conversion of forested land would not result in a significant impact on the vegetation resources within the project area. (4-85) (What exactly is less than significant? where is the scientific analysis of what is significant and what isn't?)