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

Photo by Tusik Only

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 rolling encampment is focused on educating the public about the TransCanada pipeline proposed to cross under the Potomac River West of Hancock, MD. “This encampment is the first of its kind in Maryland history to protest fossil fuels” noted WCBC.

At the launch, organizers came together to call on the public and Governor Hogan to say no to the Potomac Pipeline, “We all know pipelines leak. It’s not a matter of if it’s a matter of when,” explained Brent Walls, “With karst geology and the connection to Mountaineer gas… there are going to be thousands of people directly impacted by potential methane in their drinking water… so we’re calling on Hogan and all the other legislatures in West Virginia and Maryland to say no to the pipeline.” Representatives from the Montgomery County Legislature and Senator Benjamin Cardin’s office were present at the launch. Maryland Delegate Jheanelle Wilkins, D-Montgomery, told the crowd, “We must protect the residents of our state [and] our very precious Potomac River” referring to the millions of people who depend on the Potomac for their drinking water.

Brent Walls has been working closely with Brooke Harper with Chesapeake Climate Action Network to ensure the success of these encampments. Brooke explained, “Today we’re here to launch our rolling encampment… [to call] on Governor Hogan to deny the 401 water certification to stop the Potomac pipeline from being built… Maryland took a historic stride by becoming the first state with gas reserves to legislatively ban fracking and we don’t want to see the infrastructure in our state.” Section 401 of the Clean Water Act provides states with the authority to ensure that federal agencies will not issue permits or licenses that violate certain water quality standards. This enables states to maintain control over their aquatic resources. Governor Hogan has the authority to require a thorough environmental review process before construction can proceed.

Brent will be leading an encampment on Friday July 14th at Paw Paw Tunnel Campground. We encourage everyone to follow the No Potomac Pipeline Facebook Page to receive updates about this summer’s encampment opportunities.

If you can’t make one of encampments, you can still join our call in to Governor Hogan at 1-855-969-5613.  A sample script follows,  but using your own words is much more powerful: “Hi my name is _____ and I am calling as a constituent [I’m a Potomac River and national park user] to ask Governor Hogan to reject the pipeline under the Potomac. Thank you!”

And you can send him an email asking him to to reject the pipeline.

We also encourage you to make a video explaining why you oppose the Potomac Pipeline, post it to social media and tag the No Potomac Pipeline Facebook page. Watch our video below for an example. Thank you!