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Letter Which Requests That FERC rescind its "Conditional Approvals" for Dominion New Market Pipeline, Arlington Gas Storage and Constitution/Iroquois Pipelines.

September 11, 2016

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Office of Energy Projects
Washington, DC 20426

Re: Dominion Transmission, Inc. New Market Project, Docket No. CP14-497-00
Re: Arlington Storage Company, LLC, Docket No. CP13-83-000
Re: Constitution Pipeline Company, LLC Docket No. CP13 - 499 - 000
Re: Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P. Docket No. CP13 - 502 - 000


I write respectfully to request that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) immediately rescind the conditional approvals granted for the above-referenced proposed natural gas transmission pipeline and storage projects.

These conditional approvals are based on FERC's fundamental conclusion that:

"Construction and operation-related impacts on waterbodies and wetlands will be further mitigated by ... compliance with the conditions of the COE [United States Army Corps of Engineers, not in the original] Section 404 and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Section 401 permits required under the Clean Water Act (including compensatory mitigation) and by implementing the wetland protection and restoration measures contained in ... ECPs [Environmental Construction Plans, not in the original], including its Wetland and Waterbody Construction and Mitigation Procedures (Procedures)."

See page 25: Notational Order - Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

FERC's conditional approvals rest on the policy of "compensatory mitigation:"

"According to these regulations, compensatory mitigation means the restoration (re-establishment or rehabilitation), establishment (creation), enhancement, and/or in certain circumstances preservation of wetlands, streams and other aquatic resources for the purposes of offsetting unavoidable adverse impacts which remain after all appropriate and practicable avoidance and minimization has been achieved."


I reviewed FERC's responses to all of the comments submitted as part of the above-referenced authorization proceedings. No information whatsoever was submitted to challenge this critical rationalization for conditionally approving the above-referenced proposed projects. That is why I write today.

Since last December, I have compiled and posted for public review extensive DEC spill incidents data which directly contradict FERC's conclusion that, "impacts on waterbody and wetland resources will be effectively minimized or mitigated to the extent practicable."

On the contrary, DEC, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency have collectively and repeatedly failed for decades to prevent or clean up to state and federal standards nearly 150 major explosions, fires, ruptures and toxic discharges involving transmission pipelines, gas storage facilities and other fossil fuel infrastructure projects all over New York.

In short, the compensatory mitigation policy has not been translated into reality with regard to these disasters. That is why FERC's above-referenced conditional approvals must be rescinded.

As you will see, detailed government information proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the existing 200-mile Dominion Pipeline and the existing Arlington gas storage facility in Reading, NY both caused toxic contamination hazards that FERC should have addressed in its reviews.

This information supports DEC's recent decision to deny the Section 401 Water Quality Certification required for Constitution Pipeline to be built. FERC similarly failed to include these data in its review of that proposed infrastructure project.

Given the profound shortcomings of its review, I request that FERC use DEC's precedent setting decision as the basis for rescinding its conditional approvals for all of the proposed projects I have referenced.

See: Dominion Pipeline (earlier known as CNG) spills

New Market FERC Order

See: Reading, NY Spill Compilation

Arlington Storage Company, LLC Docket No. CP13-83-000

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

Notational Order - Federal Energy Regulatory Commission


I also provide for your review, detailed letters which I just submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers and the U. S. EPA. As you will see, I am requesting that both agencies take action to rescind a "blanket authorization" for Section 401 Water Quality Certification that was improperly granted by DEC for the Dominion New Market Pipeline Expansion Project pursuant to Nationwide Permit Program 12 - Utility Line Activities.

See: Letter to U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Which Requests That the Section 401 Water Quality "Blanket Authorization" Be Rescinded For Proposed Dominion New Market Pipeline Expansion Project

See: Request that EPA Region 2 Rescind the Section 401 Water Quality Certification "Blanket Authorization" Improperly Granted by DEC for the Proposed Dominion New Market Pipeline Expansion Project

I also requested that no Section 401 Water Quality Certification be granted for the proposed Dominion New Market Pipeline Expansion Project because neither Dominion, DEC, EPA or the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers can fulfill that extremely strict requirement of the U. S. Clean Water Act:

"In accordance with Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, applicants for a Federal license or permit for activities (including but not limited to the construction or operation of facilities that may result in any discharge into waters of the United States) are required to apply for and obtain a Water Quality Certification from DEC indicating that the proposed activity will not violate water quality standards (emphasis added)."

See: Clean Water Act - Section 401 Certification

For all these reasons, I reiterate my request that FERC rescind its conditional approvals for all of the proposed projects I referenced.

I trust that you will find my request self-explanatory, but please do not hesitate to contact me if I can answer any questions.

Thank you for your consideration.

Very truly yours,

Walter Hang
215 North Cayuga Street
Ithaca, NY 14850

cc: Honorable Judith A. Enck, USEPA
Honorable New York Section Chief,
U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District
Honorable Barbara S. Lifton
Honorable Steven Englebright
Honorable Thomas F. O'Mara
Honorable Charles E. Schumer
Honorable Kirsten Gillibrand
Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Honorable Basil Seggos