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Keep Calling and Writing to Kill Critical Wetland and Waterway Protection Variances for Dominion New Market Pipeline

Keep Working to Kill Dominion New Market Pipeline/All Our Fossil Fuel Infrastructure Achievements Are On the Line

Check out more terrific media coverage: Upstate Environmental Group Petitioning Dominion Pipeline Project

Watch a video which spells out our immediate plan of action:

Keep cranking up the heat: Take Urgent Action to Kill Newly Requested Wetland and Waterway Protection Variances for Dominion New Market Pipeline


Our backs are still against the wall on Dominion New Market Pipeline. This project involves a huge expansion of an existing fracked gas pipeline that caused extensive contamination problems which were never cleaned up to state standards. Dominion reportedly said it is "making improvements" to the pipeline. B_.

The project received "conditional approval" from FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) as well as authorizations from the Cuomo administration. On 1/24/17, however, Dominion requested wetland/waterbody protection variances which reopened the proceeding to regulatory and public scrutiny.

We are working systematically to require FERC and Governor Cuomo to DENY any variances from being granted and to REVOKE a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan for the Borger Compressor Station site in Ithaca, NY that has documented fatal flaws.

Toxics Targeting is coordinating intensive media coverage, sophisticated policy advocacy and political coalition building. FERC and the Governor have been flooded with phone calls. Governor Cuomo has received more than 600 personalized letters which request that he adopt a statewide moratorium on all fossil fuel infrastructure approvals. Our coalition letter which echoes that request has more than 1,200 signatories.

Pour it on. It is now or never.

Write the Governor: new personalized form letter.

Become a signatory to our: Coalition Letter Which Requests That Governor Cuomo Adopt a Statewide Moratorium on Fossil Fuel Project Approvals

Tie the Governor's switchboard into the Gordian Knot by calling 518 474 8390.

Our Overarching Plan of Action

Governor Cuomo must face overwhelming public criticism for granting approvals for the Dominion New Market, Spectra and Algonquin Incremental Markets fracked gas pipelines and the Competitive Power Ventures and Cricket Valley gas/oil-fired power plants.

We must stop the Governor from calling himself a champion in the battle against climate change while continuing to permit fracked gas pipelines, compressor stations and storage facilities. We must strip away the pathetic political cover provided by Big Green Groups.

Unless we can hold the Governor accountable for his actions, he will very likely approve Northern Access Pipeline, Crestwood Liquefied Petroleum Gas/Arlington methane gas storage on Seneca Lake, Millennium Valley Lateral Pipeline and a host of other energy infrastructure projects.

Those approvals would perpetuate New York's addiction to fossil fuels at a time when statewide energy demand is declining and global climate change concerns are greater than ever.

Proposed Northern Access Pipeline 2/9/17 Hearing

That is why I traveled Thursday evening to testify at the Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) National Fuel Gas Northern Access Pipeline Hearing in Sanborn, NY, near Niagara Falls. This project is a nearly 100-mile, $455 million transmission pipeline that would transport fracked gas from PA through New York to Canada.

It was an honor to meet so many Western New Yorkers who worked long and hard on our campaign to keep New York 100% Shale-Frack-Free. It was also wonderful to meet Kim Lemieux and her Pendleton Action Team colleagues who are battling the proposed pipeline night and day.

The hearing room was packed. No major elected officials showed up, but more than 100 organized labor officials, rank and file members and business leaders turned out. There were also at least 100 concerned citizens, representatives of local enviro groups and members of multiple Native American Nations. No big green groups deigned to participate.

See pics: Northern Access Pipeline Hearing in Sanborn, NY - 2/9/17

I was the 53rd person to testify. Listening to the speakers, it was abundantly clear that I was very likely the only person who actually read the DEC hearing notice and understood what the regulatory proceeding was about.

Virtually all the testimony involved political theater and had nothing to do with DEC's regulatory obligations. Pro-business entities support Northern Access Pipeline because it would create jobs. DEC has little to do with promoting economic development. Activists oppose the project because they fear pollution, demand renewable energy, oppose natural gas export and decry Capitalism. Many of their concerns also have little to do with DEC's responsibilities.

I testified that DEC must DENY a Section 401 Water Quality Certification as well as wetland/waterway and other approvals required for the proposed project to be built. I documented National Fuel pipeline explosions/pollution releases and asserted that DEC cannot possibly certify the Northern Access Pipeline will NOT cause water quality violations as required by the Clean Water Act. I also referenced massive pipeline failures that DEC failed to prevent or clean up in the Niagara Frontier, including a spill of 1,023,000 gallons of brine that occurred not far from the hearing site.

I refuted testimony that Northern Access Pipeline could be built properly and operated safely. I also included our fossil fuel infrastructure moratorium request in the official hearing record.

Finally, I referenced DEC's shocking inability to safeguard public health and the environment in the Niagara Frontier from toxic hazards that I documented in a landmark 1981 report which received extensive national as well as international coverage, including on 60 Minutes.

See: NYPIRG Ravage River AP clip

I will submit detailed testimony by the 2/24/17 deadline.


The hallmark of our amazingly successful efforts to prohibit shale fracking in New York and prevent fossil fuel infrastructure approvals is that we have organized a formidable coalition of well-informed individuals, groups and elected officials that speak with one sophisticated voice on extremely complex regulatory matters.

It is not enough for citizens to make demands. The key to our victories is that we: a) document why our requests are supported by law and regulatory requirements and b) generate the media and political driving force required for our requests to be fulfilled by the powers-that-be.

There is no question that we face extraordinarily hard challenges in our quest to stop Governor Cuomo from granting more fossil fuel infrastructure approvals in order to minimize consumption of natural gas, oil and coal in New York.

We can prevail, however, if we work together to implement our battle-tested strategy. More about that shortly.

Keep slugging. There is no time to waste. Go hard.

Onward and upward,