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Urgent Help Needed

Call Governor Wolf TODAY on HB1100 – the PA Fracking Promotion Bill!

Tell him to follow through on his veto pledge NOW!

HB1100 has gone to Governor Wolf for signature. It makes over a billion dollars available in tax credits to the petrochemical industry. This type of subsidy spurred Shell to site the cracker plant to produce plastics in Beaver County and is being touted by Legislators for developing methanol plants in Northeastern PA, among other methane-fueled projects such as the processing of ammonia, and urea for fertilizer from PA shale gas. Read the bill here: https://bit.ly/2OJ9iR7. The Governor is under tremendous pressure from pro-fracking forces and some labor interests to approve the bill. We need to show him we support his veto!

Call Governor Wolf NOW at 717-787-2500

Tell him: Stick by your pledge to veto this horrendous bill! Because:

  • We do not need more fracking, more pollution from shale gas development, more processing of petrochemicals to make the plastics, or more chemicals and fertilizers to pollute our land and water.
  • HB1100 is one of a package of shale gas promotion bills (“Energize PA”) introduced by the Republican majority Legislature to incentivize new petrochemical and energy plants using shale gas from PA. The Department of Revenue estimates a cost to the taxpayer of about $22 million per plant per year, until 2050. The insult of taxpayers having to foot the bill for more ruinous fracking is being added to the injury communities and the environment are suffering from shale gas. We will not accept this!
  • Pennsylvania needs a new green economy that supports clean water and air to replace fracking and petrochemicals. Clean renewable energy and a just transition for workers from jobs that make them sick to healthy and family-supporting employment is the future we want.

Thank you for taking action to save Pennsylvania from more fracking, more pollution!




Sign on to our letter to make the Delaware River safe for primary contact recreation!

Today, people enjoy our beautiful river in many ways that bring them into direct contact with the water, what is known as primary contact recreation, such as kayaking, swimming and tubing. The regulations currently upheld by the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), Pennsylvania and New Jersey fail to recognize that these primary contact recreation uses take place frequently on the Delaware River along Philadelphia and Camden. As a result, the current water quality standards cannot be relied upon to sufficiently protect the health and safety of individuals, children and families who enjoy primary contact recreation activities on this stretch of the Delaware River.

Our petition calls upon DRBC and the states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania to recognize primary contact recreation as a designated use for this section of the Delaware River in order to conform with the mandates of the Clean Water Act as well as to modify the water quality standards to better protect the health and safety of those who participate in activities on the river that involve direct contact with the water.

It is important for those of us who enjoy the River today, and those who will enjoy the River for generations to come, to know that the DRBC and other agencies have put in place regulatory protections that will ensure the healthy water quality necessary to fully support ongoing recreational uses of the river, including those that put us in direct contact with the water.

If you would like to sign on in support of locking in the environmental successes we have achieved to date and help to make more progress that will make our Delaware River even safer for those who enjoy the water in our urban reaches, please sign this letter of support for our Safe & Healthy Delaware Petition:


Commissioners
Delaware River Basin Commission
PO Box 7360
West Trenton, NJ 08628

Re:      Support for the Petition to Upgrade the Lower Delaware River to Primary Contact Recreation

Dear Commissioners:

On March 2, 2020, the Delaware River Basin Commission received a petition supported by organizations from across our watershed and regionrequesting that it upgrade the designated use of  Zone 3 and River Miles 95.0 to 81.8 of Zone 4 of the Delaware Estuary to include primary contact recreation. I support this Petition and urge the Commission to upgrade the Delaware River as requested.

As the Petition shows, this section of the lower Delaware River is already being used by community members for primary contact recreation – things like waterskiing, wakeboarding, jet skiing, canoeing, kayaking, paddle-boarding, snorkeling, and swimming. Additionally, numerous organizations, including educational and cultural institutions as well as environmental groups, regularly host primary contact recreational programming in this section of the river.  

The Commission has a legal duty to protect these primary contact uses. Recognizing the existing use of primary contact recreation will ensure that the Commission and the member states prioritize developing and enforcing the standards and protections essential for those who are enjoying these sections of the River for primary contact recreation.

I therefore urge the Commission to upgrade the Delaware River as requested in the March 2, 2020 Petition.

Sincerely,




Write to DRBC to deny the Gibbstown Liquefied Natural Gas export terminal on the Delaware River!

Comment period open through April 24

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) has re-opened the public comment record on the Gibbstown Logistics Center proposal to export Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from a to-be-constructed Dock at the Greenwich Township, Gloucester County, NJ deepwater port. The comment period closes April 24.

The approval that was given by DRBC is being legally contested by Delaware Riverkeeper Network, leading to an adjudicatory hearing and the re-opening of the record for written public comments. The permit was unfairly rushed through with practically no opportunity for the public to know about the project, much less comment on it. Rather than flying under the radar, news about this terrible plan has spread and DRBC has received the message that the public won’t be ignored. Now another public comment period has been opened to hear what you have to say. Please take a few minutes to write to DRBC to oppose their approval and tell them NO LNG at Gibbstown! We don’t want the Delaware River to be a conduit for fracked gas export!

Since we exposed the plans for the proposed LNG export dock after investigations into the project in June 2019 when DRBC approved the project’s permit, opposition has grown. As more has been learned about the dangerous handling of LNG that Delaware River Partners and New Fortress Energy are planning at the terminal, people have united to stop this massive accident-waiting-to-happen.

You can use the sample letter below to help write your own comment. You may submit directly to the DRBC or use our webform provided at the bottom of the page.

Here are some Talking Points if you want to write your own comment.

  • Air pollution from activities at the site, including truck traffic, diesel equipment, venting of LNG and NGL, has not been publicly discussed, nor have the impacts of flaring off gas and/or the construction and operation of a proposed “small capacity” natural gas liquefier on site.
  • The climate crisis will be worsened by the development of fracked gas that the project would require to be extracted in the Marcellus Shale region of PA and the emissions released when LNG is produced and then burned as fuel. Natural gas is more than 95% methane; methane is 86 times more potent than carbon in warming the atmosphere on a 20-year time scale and 104 times more potent on a 10-year time. If we don’t reduce methane emissions by 45% to 50% by 2030, the planet will reach tipping points that will make it impossible to avoid climate catastrophe. Fracking pollutes and ruined public health and the environment everywhere it occurs. Development of this polluting fossil fuel is over; we need renewable, truly clean energy.
  • The Dock would provide 2 additonal shipping berths, adding to the one dock already approved for non-LNG cargo. That would triple the potential activity at the facility, greatly increasing ship traffic. Each year 100 ship vessels at Dock 1; 37 LNG ships at Dock 2; total: 137 ships on the river.
  • Over 1,650 trucks trips each day would bring LNG and natural gas liquids (NGL) to the terminal. The total “daily trips” of all traffic is estimated at 8,450 to/from the site. The proposed Rt. 44 Bypass has not even started construction, would take a year or more to build. Currently trucks, at times one per minute, are cutting through residential neighborhoods in Gibbstown to construct Dock 1 and raise hundreds of acres out of the flood hazard area with imported fill.
  • Would require dredging of 45 acres of river, impacting water quality; fish, aquatic life, and wildlife, including threatened and endangered species; river vegetation; and other river uses.
  • Train traffic to Gibbstown Logistics Center would carry NGL and eventually LNG. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) recently approved a “Special Permit” for rail cars to carry LNG (designed 50 years ago and not proven safe for LNG), from Bradford County, PA (distance: over 200 miles) across Pennsylvania, New Jersey and into Gibbstown; unit trains of up to 100 cars would be allowed. Nationally, there is a ban on using rail cars for transporting LNG because it is so dangerous but PHMSA rulemaking is being considered to allow it nationwide as well. Documents do not disclose how much NGL will be moved by rail, which is allowed under current regulations, but the volume will increase since the facility would expand.
  • Would “transload” LNG round the clock directly from trucks or rail cars onto shipping vessels, each ship taking 10-15 days to fill, a much extended loading period that greatly increases the opportunity for accidents and spills. Other LNG facilities typically load ships in one day to minimize risk.
  • NGL, classified by PHMSA as “liquefied hazardous gas” (LHG) would be unloaded from a 20-railcar rack to be stored in tanks and in the underground cavern. It would be loaded by a pipeline from storage to the ship at one of the berths for sale overseas.

Sample Letter:

Re: DOCKET NO. D-2017-009-2 , DELAWARE RIVER BASIN COMMISSION , Delaware River Partners LLC, Gibbstown Logistics Center, Dock 2 , Greenwich Township, Gloucester County, New Jersey

I oppose the DRBC’s approval of the Gibbstown Logistics Center’s proposal for a terminal, known as Dock 2, to export Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in ships on the Delaware River. I consider the proposal contrary to DRBC’s role of protector of the water resources of the Delaware River. The key aspects of this project are still publicly unknown; what we do know is that the project is extremely dangerous, will inflict substantial environmental harm, and is a liability for local communities, the region, and the Delaware River, estuary and watersheds. DRBC must deny approval to protect our water and the river’s irreplaceable resources.

My specific concerns are many and include:

  • The handling and transloading of LNG from trucks and/or rail cars onto ships docked at the two berths exposes people, workers, and the environment to irrational and unacceptable danger, including the risk of spills, fire, and explosion.These threats to safety and health simply can’t be justified by a company cutting corners to pad their bottom line.
  • The backyards of Gibbstown homes adjoin the terminal property; a day care center, athletic fields, public parks, are right up against the site. thers in NJ and nearby PA, are within the potential impact zone should there be an incident. Pennsylvanians don’t have any say in the project; most people don’t even know about it.
  • Devastating environmental impacts include the dredging of 45 acres of river, harm to fish, aquatic life, and wildlife, including threatened and endangered species, and damage to river ecosystems. Operation of the project will release dangerous air emissions and threaten water quality.
  • New Fortress Energy, owner of the site, says they will use both trucks and rail to transport LNG to the terminal from a LNG processing plant they are building in Wyalusing Twp., Bradford Co., PA over 200 miles away. Applications say
  • A “Special Permit” was given by the federal government to the company to transport LNG in rail cars that were designed 50 years ago and not proven safe for LNG, a new kind of “bomb train” due to LNG’s properties that can cause a deadly cloud, an inextinguishable fire, or a powerful explosion. The trains, up to 100 cars, would travel over 200 miles from Bradford County, PA through communities across Pennsylvania, New Jersey and into Gibbstown on the river.
  • Ships carrying millions of gallons of flammable hazardous LNG and NGL will endanger communities up and down the Delaware River, Estuary and Bay. In years past, the import of LNG by ship on the Delaware River was defeated, considered too dangerous and economically harmful to other business concerns. Other shipping vessels will pass within a few hundred yards of the docks.
  • Climate change impacts are being fueled by methane emissions from fracked gas. The extraction of shale gas, LNG processing, transport and burning releases methane that loads the atmosphere with this most potent greenhouse gas. The public health and environment burdens of fracked regions are unconscionable and can no longer be tolerated. We need renewable, truly clean energy, not LNG.

 




The Atlantic Sturgeon Need Your Help!

NMFS has been failing to perform its legal duty to protect Atlantic Sturgeon on the brink of extinction that are being killed by PSEG’s Salem Nuclear Generating Station. Tell them to take swift, strong and immediate action to protect these majestic species for present and future generations!

Once again, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is failing in its duty to protect the endangered Atlantic Sturgeon of the Delaware River. Your letter to NMFS today could help end this irresponsible behavior before it’s too late.

The Delaware River population of Atlantic Sturgeon, which is designated as endangered pursuant to the Endangered Species Act, is genetically unique and today has a surviving population that includes less than 300 spawning adults. With numbers this precariously low, the responsibility for vigilant protection by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and all government agencies and private actors could not be greater. While NMFS has approved the Salem facility to kill Delaware River Atlantic Sturgeon over its life, the level of kill seems to be increasing and we at the Delaware Riverkeeper Network are alarmed by the takes and the failure of NMFS to act.

In just 4 months in the beginning of 2019, there were found at Salem 9 dead Atlantic Sturgeon, 6 injured Atlantic Sturgeon, and 2 injured Shortnose sturgeon. If this rate continues, by the end of 2019 there will have been 45 injured or killed Atlantic Sturgeon.Based on reports from previous years, there is every reason to believe that this is not an idiosyncratic year but rather a disturbing pattern. While NMFS does allow Salem to take some Atlantic Sturgeon from the River, on the order of 200 incidental takes by the year 2040, this current amount of take is obviously too high.

There are just 300 spawning adults left of the Delaware River’s genetically unique population of Atlantic Sturgeon.  You can quickly see how this level of take – 45 in just one year -- could overwhelm the species in no time.

As NMFS is aware, closed cycle cooling is an alternative technology that could be employed at the Salem Nuclear Generating Station and would substantively reduce the impact of Salem on endangered species and all aquatic resources (reducing fish kills of all species by over 95%). The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection relied, in part, upon NMFS’ incidental take statement when issuing its renewal of PSEG’s NJPDES Permit, in 2016, and allowing Salem to continue to use of its antiquated OTC system.  This system impinges and entrains fish, causing grievous injury and traumatic deaths.

Call upon NMFS today to exercise its authority to reinitiate Endangered Species Act consultation to reevaluate what is going on. Urge them to include consideration of other presently available and affordable alternative technologies that could reduce the kills by as much as 95% or more, like closed cycle cooling.  Urge NMFS to reconsider its incidental take exemptions and to reevaluate the devastating and cumulative harms inflicted upon endangered species by Salem’s continued operation of its antiquated OTC systems which cause unnecessary and grievous injury and death in numbers that do jeopardize the existence of endangered species, including the Atlantic Sturgeon .

NMFS acting as a Rubber Stamp on the devastating damage being inflicted to the sturgeon populations of the Delaware River is unacceptable and must stop. Write to NMFS today, and feel free to use or edit the sample text in the form below, to urge the agency to immediately protect these majestic species for present and future generations.

You can read the Delaware Riverkeeper Network’s letter to NMFS, here.

By clicking submit you grant The Delaware Riverkeeper Network permission to retain this information. For our Privacy Policy, please visit: http://www.delawareriverkeeper.org/privacy-policies




PennEast Pipeline is Doubling Down, It's Time to Flood NJ, PA & DRBC With Letters to STOP PENNEAST!

It is Important We Remind All the Decisionmakers That Nothing Short of "NO" is Acceptable.

The PennEast Pipeline, if built, would damage 1,613.5 acres of land (1,065.2 acres for pipeline facilities, 110.1 acres for access roads, 372.3 acres for pipe and contractor ware yards, 31.1 acres for above ground facilities); will cut through at least 255 waterbodies (including 159 perennial, 45 intermittent, 40 ephemeral, 11 open water), 633 acres of forest, 91 acres of wetlands; impact “several” vernal pools; and infringe upon and damage habitat for threatened and endangered species of bat, sturgeon, snake, turtle, mussels and more. The PennEast pipeline, if built, would cut through Special Protection designated reaches of the Delaware River, cut under the F.E. Walter and Beltzville reservoirs, and will carve its way through the Susquehanna River as well.

As high as these numbers are, we know that they do not represent the full bootprint of the PennEast pipeline.  We know this because thousands of individuals and organizations have worked hard to document and prove the many ways PennEast has consistently misrepresent the size and scope of the devastation to be inflicted if the PennEast pipeline were built.  

Not only will PennEast inflict devastating harm on our environment and rob people of the safety and sanctity of their homes by forcing them to become host to an explosive pipeline, but it will result in the drilling and fracking of at 3,000 additional shale gas wells releasing volumes of climate changing emissions that will forever devastate the earth for generations.

We Must Stop PennEast!  
To Protect Our River, Our Homes, Our Communities and Future Generations.

Please Send Your Letter Today!  And Get Your Friends and Neighbors to As Well.

You can send an email and twitter through our system or write directly to the addresses below.

 

Philip D. Murphy
Governor of New Jersey and Chair of the DRBC Commission
Office of Governor PO Box 001 Trenton, NJ 08625

Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York and Vice Chair of the DRBC Commission
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building Albany, NY 12224

John Carney
Governor of Delaware and DRBC Commissioner
Tatnall Building 150 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
South Dover, DE  19901

Tom Wolf, Governor of Pennsylvania and DRBC Commissioner
Office of the Governor
508 Main Capitol Building Harrisburg, PA 17120

Catherine R. McCabe, Commissioner
401 E. State St. 7th Floor,
East Wing P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Patrick McDonnell, Secretary
Rachel Carson State Office Building
400 Market Street
Harrisburg, PA  17101

Executive Director Steven Tambini
Delaware River Basin Commission
25 Cosey Road
P.O. Box 7360
West Trenton, NJ 08628-0360

sample text:

 Re: Stringent Review of PennEast Pipeline Project Pursuant to State Law & DRBC Authority

Dear Governor Murphy, Governor Cuomo, Governor Wolf,  Governor Carney, NJDEP Commissioner McCabe, PA Secretary McDonnell, and DRBC Executive Director Steve Tambini:

It’s time for you to fulfill your legal and moral obligations to protect our communities, protect our environment, and protect future generations; it’s time for you to put a stop to the PennEast Pipeline Project.  You all have the power to say “no”.  We expect you to use that power.

Governor Murphy, Governor Wolf, NJDEP Commissioner McCabe, and PA Secretary McDonnell, you must deny all state approvals, including Clean Water Act 401 Certification.

Governor Murphy, Governor Cuomo, Governor Wolf,  Governor Carney, and DRBC Executive Director Steve Tambini you must deny PennEast a DRBC Docket.

All of the information on the record and in PennEast’s own materials make clear that PennEast will have a devastating and irreparable impact on our water, air, forest and wildlife resources and that there is no way this pipeline can fulfill the requirements of our state and DRBC rules, regulations and laws. 

It’s time to put an end to the farce, for you to perform your legal and moral duties, and to reject the PennEast Pipeline any and all state and DRBC approvals. 

Do it now, before it is too late!

Sincerely and Urgently,