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 Pennsylvania to West Virginia the shortest (and cheapest) way they can — through Maryland. The pipeline does nothing for Maryland — yet it puts Maryland’s natural resources, and the drinking water of millions downstream, at risk.
The pipeline means farmers and landowners will have to fight to protect their property rights. In fact, they already are: TransCanada’s landmen are using the same scare tactics that have been used for decades: “Sell your rights or we’ll take them for free through eminent domain.” It’s a dirty trick that divides neighbors and hurts communities. The only winners are pipeline owners.
The pipeline would enter Maryland northwest of Hancock and go under the Potomac River and the C&O Canal before terminating in West Virginia. But TransCanada’s application has no justification or evidence that substantiates a “need” for natural gas in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle.
Governor Hogan has the authority to stop this pipeline. He can direct the Department of the Environment to deny a special water quality certification under the Clean Water Act.
We know that pipelines can leak and that their construction can hurt local and regional water quality. The Eastern Panhandle Expansion project would be no exception. In fact, the pipeline will impact sensitive Karst geology that could transmit pollutants through a connected underground aquifer, degrade pristine streams, and threaten public and private water supplies. Sinkholes and caverns will impact the integrity of the pipeline, causing subterranean ruptures and possible explosions. And for what? Marylanders won’t benefit from this pipeline.
Please take a minute right now to send an email to Governor Larry Hogan asking him to reject the Eastern Panhandle Expansion project! Democrats and Republicans came together to stop fracking in Maryland and we can do it again to stop this pipeline. If we are serious about a future that is frack-free we must stop the infrastructure that supports fracking. Make no mistake about it, this pipeline will happen if we sit back and wait for someone else to stop it.
And pick up the phone to call 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 [calling as a Potomac River and national park user] to ask Governor Hogan to reject the pipeline under the Potomac.”
Call on Governor Hogan to instruct the Department of the Environment to deny the Clean Water Act certification for the Eastern Panhandle Expansion project!
Join us and add your voice in opposition to this fracked gas pipeline!
Brent Walls, Upper Potomac Riverkeeper
P.S. With support from hundreds of our members, we were able to help build a powerful grassroots movement to ban fracking in Maryland. Please consider making a generous donation to help us in this next fight to keep fossil fuel infrastructure from causing irreversible harm to our water supplies!