Friday 24 November 2017

Press Statements (59)

Groups Urge Court to Reverse Approval of Cove Point LNG Export Facility Federal regulator approved construction of massive $3.8 billion liquefied natural gas export facility on the Chesapeake Bay without considering all environmental and safety impacts (Washington, DC)  Several groups have filed arguments against the continued construction of the Cove Point liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility on the Chesapeake Bay at Lusby, Maryland. In September 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) authorized the controversial LNG export facility despite widespread criticism of FERC’s Environmental Assessment (EA) for Dominion Cove Point. Since that time, Dominion has been constructing the massive $3.8 billion facility on the Chesapeake Bay. Groups and residents across the Bay region say that FERC’s decision fails to address the LNG export facility’s role in speeding fracking across the region, polluting the Bay, worsening the climate crisis, and threatening the health and safety of nearby residents in Calvert County. On Friday, November 20, 2015, Waterkeepers Chesapeake, Potomac Riverkeeper, Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper, and several local groups represented by the Institute for Public Representation at Georgetown University Law Center filed an amicus brief in support of petitioners EarthReports, Inc., et al.’s challenge to FERC’s decision to license Dominion’s LNG export facility. They argue that FERC’s EA is impermissibly narrow in geographic scope and ignores significant project-related environmental impacts. “We are happy to finally to get our day in court despite the fact that the construction of the LNG export facility has continued unabated. For far too long, FERC and our public officials…

Campaign Launched to Ban Fracking in Maryland

Baltimore, MD:  Today, 72 groups, compelled by the mounting evidence of fracking’s negative effects, announced their call for a permanent, statewide ban on fracking in Maryland to protect public health, our air, water, climate and local business interests. The organizations include a range of environmental, health, faith, labor and business groups including Food & Water Watch, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Maryland League of Conservation Voters, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East - Maryland/DC Division, National Nurses United, Waterkeepers Chesapeake, Interfaith Power & Light, Breast Cancer Action, The Harvest Collective, and the Chesapeake Sustainable Business Council. A full list of groups and their call for a fracking ban can be found here: http://www.dontfrackmd.org/who-we-are/ “It is impossible to ignore the mounting evidence showing that fracking poses severe health threats,” said Thomas Meyer, Maryland Organizer at Food & Water Watch. “On top of that, fracking could destroy Maryland’s growing sustainable economy; everything from tourism and recreation to farms and restaurants could be devastated by fracking. A two year moratorium is a good start, but in order to truly protect Maryland's residents and economy, a complete ban is necessary.” "Introducing industrial-scale gas development and fracking into the mountains of western Maryland is completely incompatible with what is primarily a tourism-based economy,” said Allegany County resident Dale Sams. “Fracking requires huge volumes of water, which will have to be extracted from our rivers and streams; and our narrow country roads and small bridges will be damaged by the thousands of heavy trucks used to haul drilling equipment and toxic waste. The only way…
New Investigative Report Documents Nation’s Neglected Rail Infrastructure Waterkeepers from across the country identify significant areas of concern with 114 railway bridges along known and potential routes of explosive oil trains NEW YORK, NY AND SAN FRANCISCO, CA – November 10, 2015 –Waterkeeper Alliance, ForestEthics and a national network of Waterkeeper organizations today in releasing a new investigative report Deadly Crossings exploring the condition of our nation’s rail infrastructure. From July – September 2015, Waterkeepers from across the country documented the structural integrity of 250 railway bridges along known and potential routes of explosive oil trains, capturing the state of this often neglected infrastructure in their communities. The Waterkeepers identified areas of concern with 114 bridges, nearly half of those observed. Photos and video footage of the bridges inspected show signs of significant stress and decay, such as rotted, cracked, or crumbling foundations, and loose or broken beams. Waterkeepers were also present when crude oil unit trains passed and observed flexing, slumping and vibrations that crumbled concrete. Upper James Riverkeeper Pat Calvert made several reports, including a narrow rail bridge located immediately upstream of the Richmond City drinking water intake facility that provides water to approximately half a million people has significant cracking and steel braces on the foundation that appear to be a makeshift repair. This effort was initiated out of concern for the threat posed by the 5,000 percent increase in oil train traffic since 2008. Oil train traffic increases both the strain on rail infrastructure, as well as the likelihood…