Protecting Potomac River from Pipeline Campaign

In 2016, behind the scenes, without public input, a West Virginia gas company called Mountaineer Gas quietly laid the groundwork for a fracked gas pipeline that would threaten the Potomac River and the National Park Service’s C&O Canal, one of the most visited national parks. Residents in Morgan County, WV became aware of the pipeline proposal only after landmen requested access to properties for routing of the pipeline. Mountaineer Gas began bullying residents with ultimatums and eminent domain after receiving conditional approval from the WV Public Service Commission to route their gas line. The route proposed would cross five streams, all of which is in Karst geology. Karst geology is limestone that can rapidly dissolve and form pathways between the surface and groundwater, including streams. Pipelines do leak and in Karst geology pose a risk to private wells, cause stream contamination and stream flow loss, and develop sinkholes that can threaten the integrity of the pipeline.

hancock-rally

October 23rd protest rally at Hancock, Maryland

The proposal Mountaineer Gas submitted to WV Public Service Commission is for construction of a multi-million dollar pipeline from an existing line in the Martinsburg area west to Berkeley Springs and east to Jefferson County. This pipeline is contingent on the approval and construction of a TransCanada gas pipeline from Pennsylvania. The TransCanada gas pipeline would route south from Bedford, PA to Hancock, MD, under the C&O Canal and Potomac River, finally ending in the Berkeley Springs, WV area. Columbia Gas is currently communicating with the National Park Service to be granted a right-of-way access to drill under Park property.

There is a real risk of this combined pipeline project to the Potomac River, the drinking water source for over 6 million people, and a risk to several high quality West Virginia streams and to private property in both Maryland and West Virginia.

HANDS ACROSS THE POTOMAC RALLY ON OCTOBER 14TH! RSVP HERE!

BACKGROUND

LOCAL RESPONSE

TAKE ACTION! Tell Governor Hogan to reject the fracked gas pipeline under the Potomac River!

On October 4th, environmental groups, including Potomac Riverkeeper Network, filed a motion to intervene in the Mountaineer Gas appeal. Our intention was to bring the potential of environmental damage into the case. In addition, the community gathered and submitted over 60 letters of protest to the proposed gas line. On October 23rd, over 50 people gathered in Hancock to protest the pipeline.

Upper Potomac Riverkeeper and groups in West Virginia ran a success letter writing campaign targeted at the National Park Service to demand that the NPS make the right-of-way permit request from TransCanada a public process. The NPS responded by delaying a response to TransCanada’s request and promising to incorporate public participation in any consideration of the pipeline project. On February 9, 2017, TransCanada held an informational session in Hancock and over a 100 people participated in a “silent protest.

 

Latest Updates

Major Environmental Groups Urge MDE to Investigate Full Risks of Pipeline

Alarmed with the Potential Detriment to the Environment, Coalition Calls for Assessment, Rejection of TransCanada’s Eastern Panhandle Expansion Project Baltimore, MD — On Tuesday August 8, a letter signed by 18 state and local environmental organizations was delivered to Secretary Ben Grumbles of the Maryland Department of the Environment. The signatories demand that MDE use […]

0 comments

From Standing Rock to Hancock: Camp Out to Stop the Potomac Pipeline

On Friday June 30th at McCoy’s Ferry Campground, Upper Potomac Riverkeeper Brent Walls launched our summer long encampment series to stop a fracked gas pipeline from threatening our water. Standing Rock to Hancock: Camp Out to Stop the Potomac Pipeline is organized by several environmental organizations including: Potomac Riverkeeper Network, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Food and Water Watch, and Sierra Club. The […]

0 comments

Concern over TransCanada Pipeline at Chesapeake Bay Executive Meeting

Governors and representatives from Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Delaware, along with top EPA officials, convened in Annapolis on June 8th for the annual meeting of the Chesapeake Executive Council.  They signed a resolution urging President Trump and Congress to maintain current levels of support for the Chesapeake Bay Program. Calls by the Administration to eliminate the […]

0 comments

Submit Comments to Stop Fracked Gas Pipeline Under the Potomac

TransCanada, the owner of the pipeline that spilled 17,000 gallons of oil in to South Dakota farmland last year, has filed an application to run a natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to West Virginia the shortest (and cheapest) way they can — through Maryland. The pipeline does nothing for Maryland — yet it puts Maryland’s […]

0 comments

Tell Governor Hogan: No Fracked Gas Pipeline Under the Potomac!

Banning fracking in Maryland was the first step. Now we need to protect our rivers from fracked gas pipelines. And we need to act quickly. TransCanada, the owner of the pipeline that spilled 17,000 gallons of oil in to South Dakota farmland last year, has filed an application to run a natural gas pipeline from […]

0 comments