DEIS: FERC’s Admissions that the DEIS stinks

Below is the FERC staff’s comments about the DEIS not cutting it.  These are areas where FERC wants an answer back from PennEast before the DEIS comment period is finished.

To me – here FERC is admitting that the DEIS is incomplete, and they are violating the public’s ability to comment within the comment period on these developments.  PennEast could in fact offer answers to these questions on day 45 – giving the public ZERO DAYS to comment.

FERC Recommendations

These come from FERC’s section on “Conclusions and Recommendations”, and is in the area where they are also recommending conditions on the final order.  These though are specifically the “within the DEIS comment period” asks.

Point 15: Prior to the end of the draft EIS comment period, PennEast shall file with the Secretary the results of its ongoing evaluation of potential presence of working and abandoned mines near the proposed crossing of the Susquehanna River. The evaluation shall include documentation of coordination with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation, and shall identify any specific design or mitigation measures. (Section 4.1.5.4)

Point 19: Prior to the end of the draft EIS comment period, PennEast shall file with the Secretary documentation to identify any special construction procedures that will be implemented to minimize impacts on C-1 streams. PennEast shall provide documentation of consultation with appropriate federal and state agencies regarding C-1 streams, including identification of any agency recommendations and PennEast’s responses. (Section 4.3.2.2)

Point 20: Prior to the end of the draft EIS comment period, PennEast shall file with the Secretary proposed crossing methods for all waterbodies, including those with contaminated sediments. The proposed method shall ensure that the potential suspension of sediments during construction shall be avoided or minimized to the greatest extent possible so as not to change bioavailability of any potential contaminants present. PennEast shall include documentation of consultation with pertinent agencies and identify any recommended minimization measures. (Section 4.3.2.2)

Point 26: Prior to the end of the draft EIS comment period, PennEast shall file with the Secretary the special construction methods that it will implement during construction in extremely saturated wetlands. If additional workspace is required at the saturated wetlands along the pipeline alignment, PennEast shall identify these in a table and provide site-specific justification for the additional workspace. (Section 4.4.2)

Point 32: Prior to the end of the draft EIS comment period, PennEast shall file with the Secretary the measures or changes that it will implement to the Project’s design in order to ensure that the Project is consistent with the FWS requirement to avoid all bat hibernacula by at least 0.25 mile. PennEast shall also provide documentation of the consultation with the FWS on this restriction. (Section 4.6.1.1)

Point 42: Prior to the end of the draft EIS comment period, PennEast shall file with the Secretary any route adjustments, workspace modifications, or mitigation measures developed through PennEast’s ongoing consultations with landowners regarding the following planned and/or pending projects:

  1. a)  Fields at Trio Farms Subdivision;
  2. b)  Huntington Knolls, LLC Housing Development; and
  3. c)  Hopewell Township Emergency Services Facility.

PennEast shall provide documentation of correspondence with these landowners. PennEast shall either incorporate these deviations or a route that avoids the resources of concern, or otherwise explain how potential impacts on resources have been effectively avoided, minimized, or mitigated. (Section 4.7.3.2)

Point 43: Prior to the end of the draft EIS comment period, PennEast shall file with the Secretary an update of the status of the development of the site-specific crossing plans for each of the recreation and special interest areas listed as crossed by the Project or otherwise affected in appendix G-14. The site-specific crossing plans shall include, as applicable:

  1. a)  site-specific timing restrictions;
  2. b)  proposed closure details and notifications (e.g., reroutes, signage, public notices);
  3. c)  specific safety measures; and/or
  4. d)  other mitigation to be implemented to minimize effects on the recreation areas and their users during construction and operation of the Project. (Section 4.7.5)

Point 45: Prior to the end of the draft EIS comment period, PennEast shall file with the Secretary documentation of USDA approval for construction and operation of the Project within any and all parcels affected that have active USDA conservation easements. Alternatively, PennEast shall identify any Project changes made to avoid parcels with USDA conservation easements, and include documentation of consultation with the USDA that confirms avoidance of USDA conservation easements. (Section 4.7.5.4)

Point 53: Prior to the end of the draft EIS comment period, PennEast shall file with the Secretary proposed mitigation measures to minimize noise levels associated with emergency or maintenance MLV blowdown events. Mitigation measures may include but not be limited to use of a silencer, restricting maintenance blowdowns to daytime hours only, and/or notifying landowners in the immediate area of the planned blowdown event. (Section 4.10.2.3)

Point 54: Prior to the end of the draft EIS comment period, PennEast shall file with the Secretary a complete noise analysis of the Project metering (interconnect) stations using the best available typical design or vendor specification with regards to impacts on the closest identified residences/NSA as shown in table 4.10.2-10. (Section 4.10.2.3)

 

 

Published by

Mike Spille

I'm a thinker, an analyzer, a synthesizer. Maybe not in that order. I live in West Amwell NJ with my wife Kristina, our two kids Day and Z, our two dogs Fern and Cinna, and two cats Ponce de Leon and Xavier.

2 thoughts on “DEIS: FERC’s Admissions that the DEIS stinks

  1. Mike, Have you thought about providing your comments back to FERC, even before PenEast responds, based on what you or HALT would expect the answers should be from your perspective? You can almost imagine what PenEast would be expected to answer based on what they have already sent to FERC in other responses. Regards, Tony

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  2. Tony, yes we are doing that (and more!).

    What this really shows is that FERC doesn’t particularly care about due process for the public, just their own internal checklists. In reality the should never have issued a DEIS with so many glaring holes in it.

    -Mike

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