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Statement of Walter L. T. Hang 218 Wait Avenue, Ithaca, NY 14850 September 6, 2016

Greetings. My name is Walter Hang. I respectfully urge members of the Tompkins County Legislature to vote in favor of a resolution which requests that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation hold a Public Hearing in Tompkins County Regarding the Dominion New Market Pipeline Project (ID #6530).

Dominion Pipeline's Pollution Problems

This resolution is extremely important because the existing Dominion Pipeline has caused extensive water pollution problems at various locations along its 200-mile alignment. Many of the uncontrolled releases were never cleaned to state standards, including at the Borger Compressor Station on Ellis Hollow Creek Road. That is why I believe the proposed project must not receive a Section 401 Water Quality Certification required for the pipeline expansion to proceed.

See: Dominion Pipeline (earlier known as CNG) spills

DEC's Documented Inability to Prevent or Clean up Pipeline Pollution Problems

Since last December, I have compiled detailed Department of Environmental Conservation spill incidents data which document more than 120 major pipeline problems, including massive fires, explosions, ruptures and toxic discharges. These contamination releases often caused water quality violations that exceed applicable standards and remain administratively active many years after being reported.

See: Natural Gas, Crude Oil and Petroleum Product Pipeline Fires, Explosions, Accidents, Ruptures and Spills

Public Hearing Needed

Yet citizens are not being afforded an opportunity to voice concerns about water pollution hazards at any public hearings regarding the proposed New Market expansion of the existing Dominion Pipeline. I urge you to pass the resolution to address that public participation shortcoming.

Please Oppose Proposed Dominion New Market Pipeline Expansion

In addition to requesting a local hearing with expanded scope, I also urge that the resolution be amended to oppose the Dominion New Market Pipeline because it would: a) cause additional toxic pollution hazards in Tompkins County as well as across New York, b) help perpetuate America's addiction to polluting fossil fuel and c) contribute to global climate change.

New York would derive virtually no benefits from the New Market Pipeline expansion because we already have all the natural gas we need to heat homes, cook food and power our economy. The proposed project is mainly a transmission pipeline intended to convey fracked natural gas from Pennsylvania through New York to regional markets in New England.

Governor Cuomo has been asked to adopt a moratorium on granting any approvals for new fossil fuel infrastructure projects by a total of 22 State Legislators. In addition, more than 1,100 citizens, local elected officials and grassroots organizations across New York and the rest of the nation are signatories to a coalition letter which echoes that request. I believe this is the only way to end our state's and our nation's addiction to natural gas, coal and oil.

See: Legislators Sign-on Letter Requests That Governor Cuomo Adopt Statewide Moratorium on Fossil Fuel Project Approvals and

Coalition Letter Which Requests That Governor Cuomo Adopt a Statewide Moratorium on Fossil Fuel Project Approvals

New York has more than enough energy generating capacity for the coming decade, including ample back-up. We also have all the natural gas, oil and petroleum products required to keep our economy going strong.

That is why this is an ideal time to prove that "less is more" by doing everything feasible to minimize energy demand by insulating, weathering and retrofitting homes, structures and institutions while simultaneously halting all new proposed pipelines, compressor stations, power plants and other infrastructure projects that require state permits.


In conclusion, calling for a public hearing to be held while at the same time opposing the proposed Dominion New Market transmission pipeline is not incongruous in any way. The public should have an opportunity to speak. However, that should not prevent the Tompkins County Legislature from taking a strong stand on this issue at this time.

This is imperative because the Dominion New Market Pipeline public comment period is scheduled to end on September 12, 2016, only six days from today. If the Tompkins County Legislature does not act immediately, approval for the proposed pipeline project could be granted shortly thereafter.

Thank you for your consideration of this weighty matter. I particularly wish to thank Ms. Chock for her hard work at the 11th hour.