For those of you following the developments of the Potomac Pipeline – and I hope that’s all of you – you probably know that the National Park Service (NPS) has yet to issue its Right of Way (ROW) permit for TransCanada to begin construction. Nor has the Maryland Board of Public Works issued its permit for construction on DNR property.
However, on September 21, TransCanada submitted a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to request authority to begin construction on other sections of the pipeline, not under the jurisdiction of NPS or the Board of Public Works.
What we need is your help in a letter writing campaign to NPS C&O Canal Superintendent Kevin Brandt, to urge – no, insist – that NPS does not issue the ROW permit.
You know the issues:
- Risk of pollution to the Potomac
- Risk of impact to the C&O Canal from a blow out
- Risk to destruction of historical property
- Risk of pollution to thousands of private wells
- Risk of destruction to personal property
- Risk of continuous threat of a natural gas explosion
If NPS issues the ROW permit, they will absolutely be allowing these risks to occur. Because the Potomac Pipeline would cross the C&O Canal, which is owned and managed by the National Park Service, TransCanada must obtain a right of way from the federal government to cross that federally owned land. FERC’s approval preempts State siting authority, which has a similar effect as exercising eminent domain OVER private property. FERC, however, cannot preempt another federal agency’s control over its property. And what’s more, the horizontal directional drilling proposed by TransCanada has NEVER been used to cross the Potomac and especially in an area known for its Karst geology.
So, please, write to Superintendent Brandt at the National Park Service (firstname.lastname@example.org or 1850 Dual Highway, #100, Hagerstown, MD 21740). Tell him that your health and safety, and that of your fellow citizens simply is not worth the risk of piping fracked natural gas, which is not produced in Maryland and will not be used in Maryland.
Here’s a sample letter. But try to personalize it – use your home location, mention something specific about why this is important to you personally.