50 Ways Climate Change & Environment Subcommittee Monthly Meeting Date and Time:
The 50 Ways Climate & Environment subcommittee will have a regular monthly meeting on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 5:30 p.m. Our next meeting will be on March 8th. We meet at the RACC office headquarters at 101 S Main Street in Lexington. The office is on the 2nd floor of the Wells Fargo Bank. You can access the stairs from the ATM vestibule. Please join us. Mother Earth needs you!
Bus to the People’s Climate March on Washington:
There will be a bus to the People’s Climate March on Washington on April 29th. Please contact Bridget Kelley-Dearing for details and to sign up: firstname.lastname@example.org
Just adding Lisa Greer’s info in case she hasn’t asked you to post it. Please disregard if she has given information for you to post on the Science March.
Bus to the Science March on Washington:
There will be a bus to the Science March on Washington on April 22nd. Please contact Lisa Greer for details and to sign up: GreerL@wlu.edu
I’ve updated this Action Item on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. If you can replace the old one, I’d appreciate it.
FERC Hearings – Atlantic Coast Pipeline:
We NEED everyone to show up Thursday for FERC’s Public Meeting on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline! If we don’t have a strong showing of folks who are opposed, FERC will think our area supports the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. We can win this fight standing together!
Meeting Format: When you arrive, take a number. When your number is called, you will sit with one person, who will record your 3 minute statement. Write your comments ahead of time. Practice reading your comments and time yourself to see if you can fit it all in the allotted 3 minutes FERC allows for your recorded comments. If possible, submit your printed copy to the available FERC employees after you’ve recorded your comments at the meeting. You may use any or all of the comments listed below for your own. Thank you.
Need Help Writing Comments? Feel free to use any of the following:
Comments regarding problems with the Atlantic Coast Pipeline DEIS, FERC docket number: CP15-554-000
The DEIS for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, repeatedly fails to address or provide the critical information required for meaningful review. The DEIS treatment of Dominion’s proposed Blue Ridge drilling operation is a significant example of this deficiency.
The information provided in the DEIS is insufficient to support evaluation of the proposed Blue Ridge drilling operation. The scope and degree of excavation are not fully disclosed or considered, and the results of critical geophysical investigations have not been provided. Identification of geohazards and evaluation of mitigation measures have been deferred until later, precluding a meaningful opportunity for informed review of the project. The published DEIS fails to meet the information needs of of the public or the multiple governmental agencies that have permitting and oversight responsibilities related to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project.
Geohazard analysis submitted to FERC by Dominion fails to identify significant geohazards in the Little Valley area of Bath County, Virginia. Although the excerpted geohazard map sheet identifies extremely steep slopes along the pipeline route on the eastern slope of Little Mountain, no potential slope hazards are identified. Multiple recent landslides have recently occurred in this area and pipeline construction poses a significant risk for additional landslides.
Landslide risks to pipelines and other infrastructure in Little Valley and similar terrain in Highland and Bath Counties and elsewhere on the steep mountain slopes of the Virginia and West Virginia cannot be avoided. Mitigation will be very difficult or impractical to design effectively for the various locations with changing bedrock, soils, slopes and diverse groundwater situations as well as preexisting slide or land use impacts. In high-hazard locations, prevention of landslides and slope failure during or after pipeline construction may be impossible or cost prohibitive.
It should be recognized that Little Valley is only one of dozens of difficult locations with 45 to 75 percent (24 to 37 degrees) or steeper slopes, complex geologic structure, including karst, and recurrent major rainfall events that exist along the Allegheny-Blue Ridge section of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
Landslide risk is compounded by Dominion’s demonstrated failure to identify the presence of existing landslides. Little Valley is just one area of many in the path of the proposed ACP with steep and landslide-susceptible mountain slopes. Additional infrastructure, including an extensive access road system, has not been considered in the geohazard analysis submitted by Dominion to FERC and other regulatory and resource management agencies.
If FERC decisions concerning the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline are to be made in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act requirements, site-specific investigation of landslide risk and development of mitigation plans must be completed and made available on a schedule that allows informed agency and public review and comment and prior to permitting and construction.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is also ignoring evidence that the pipeline is not needed. Many of the customers who signed up for gas delivery are Dominion affiliates. FERC is basing the need for this pipeline on Dominion’s affiliate contracts. Do the affiliates need this gas? We need to see detailed records of their stated needs as well as historical data of past use. FERC is ignoring warnings that the gas industry is overbuilding pipeline infrastructure.
FERC must release a revised DEIS for the following reasons:
Prove that boring through the Blue Ridge is a practicable option, by providing reliable and complete geophysical data.
Disclose the extent of land disturbance and water quality damage the proposal would create.
Include detailed, site-specific plans and pollution control measures for all alternatives for crossing the Blue Ridge.
Include a site-specific investigation of landslide risks and mitigation plans, including but not limited to the additional infrastructure for the extensive access road system needed to build the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The DEIS must provide documentation that Dominion has not yet provided, including information requested by the U.S. Forest Service “to assess project-induced landslide hazards and risk to public safety, resources and infrastructure.” Currently the DEIS does not show slope-stability analyses and other detailed engineering data from Dominion and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and it must do this to be legitimate. Dominion has yet to finish field surveys, analysis and final measures related to slope hazards and recommends that they file those studies and “identify mitigation that would be implemented DURING CONSTRUCTION and OPERATION of the projects.” Dominion is not determining whether the pipeline is going to slide down the hill and blow up! This is unacceptable. A legitimate Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s DEIS must include this information. These components are required by the National Environmental Policy Review Act. This report must be completed and made available on a schedule that allows informed agency and public review and comment prior to permitting and construction.
In closing, it’s important to note that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline would lock consumers into decades of relying on dirty fossil fuels by building this enormously expensive, fracked gas, infrastructure, while at the same time putting lives, drinking water supplies, private property, publicly owned natural resources, and the climate at an unacceptable risk.
Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments on this important matter.
Please sign and share this pledge: http://weunitedpeople.org/
FERC plans the following public hearings on the draft EIS (all begin at 5 p.m., except for the hearing on February 16 in Suffolk, Va., which will begin at 5:30 p.m.). Please attend and submit your comments in person. It’s important that FERC sees a large unified opposition to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline!
Atlantic Coast Pipeline Hearings:
Monday, February 13, 2017 – Doubletree Hotel, 1965 Cedar Creek Road, Fayetteville, N.C.
Tuesday, February 14, 2017 – Forest Hills Middle School, 1210 Forest Hills Road, Wilson, N.C.
Wednesday, February 15, 2017 – Hilton Garden Inn Roanoke Rapids, 111 Carolina Crossroads Parkway, Roanoke Rapids, N.C.
Thursday, February 16, 2017 – Hilton Garden Inn Conference Center, 100 East Constance Road, Suffolk, Va.
Tuesday, February 21, 2017 – Moton Museum, 900 Griffin Boulevard, Farmville, Va.
Wednesday, February 22, 2017 – Nelson County High School, 6919 Thomas Nelson Highway, Route 29, Lovingston, Va.
Thursday, February 23, 2017 – Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference, 152 Fairway Lane, Staunton, Va.
Tuesday, February 28, 2017 – Highland Center, 61 Highland Center Drive, Monterey, Va.
Wednesday, March 1, 2017 – Gandy Dance Theater, 359 Beverly Pike, Elkins, W.Va.
Thursday, March 2, 2017 – Marlinton Community Wellness Center, 320 9th Street, Marlinton, W.Va.
ACTION – “Community Solar Bill”
It’s important we ask our legislators to change the name of SB 1393 known as the “community solar bill” to a what it really is: a solar subscription program. Let your legislator know that Virginians should have the option for subscriptions programs like the one offered by SB 1393, and real community solar programs that allow community ownership and development of projects that stay in the community.
Calling a monopoly-administered subscription project community solar is misleading and will make it difficult to persuade legislators to support what Virginians really want: community solar developed and controlled by local communities.
Help us set the record straight. Tell your legislators that we will not stop until we have real community solar.
ACTION – Respond to the attempt to repeal the Endangered Species Act:
ACTION – Stop Congress From Unleashing a War on Wolves:
A dangerous bill has been introduced in both chambers of Congress (S. 164/H.R. 424)—a bill we’re calling the “War on Wolves Act.” This damaging legislation would strip federal protections from wolves in four states and allow them to be trophy hunted, trapped and otherwise killed.
ACTION – Ask your senators to vote NO on H.J. Resolution 69. This is a cruel!
H.J. Resolution 69 passed the House with a 225 to 193 vote, it was authored by Alaska’s Rep. Don Young and was meant to overturn a federal rule which was years in the works, and crafted by professional wildlife managers at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The federal rule being overturned by the 115th Congress was meant to stop some of the most appalling practices ever imagined in the contemporary era of wildlife management. Gassing of wolf pups in their den, killing hibernating bears, spotting grizzly bears from aircraft and then shooting them after landing, and trapping grizzly bears and black bears with steel-jawed leghold traps and snares.
This is absolutely appalling and unacceptable! Representative Don Young’s contact information:
Contact your members of Congress, Representatives and Senators: