The “Falcon” pipeline designed to feed the Shell Ethane Cracker in Beaver County with 107,000 barrels of highly explosive ethane daily is now up for permit review by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and we need residents to call/write with their concerns! A powerfully revealing article and series of reports released last night by the FracTracker Alliance highlights the extensive risk to local communities posed by the pipeline project, including:

QUICK FALCON FACTS:

  • An estimated 940-foot potential impact radius (PIR)
  • 60 of 97 pipeline miles qualifying as High Consequence Areas (HCA)
  • More than 8,700 people living in the “vapor zone”
  • 5 schools, 6 daycare centers, and 16 emergency response centers in “vapor zone”
  • In proximity to 8 source-water (drinking water) protection areas
  • Affecting habitats populated by 11 endangered, protected, or threatened species

(From FracTracker.org, “The Falcon: High Consequence Areas & Potential Impact Zones ” https://www.fractracker.org/2018/01/falcon-hca/)

This pipeline is also a unique vulnerability in Shell’s construction plans (the company cannot use eminent domain) and must be challenged as a part of a broader strategy to resist petrochemical development throughout our region. If this pipeline turns into an easy permitting win for Shell, then you will almost certainly see more petrochemical development like it in our region throughout your lifetime. Now is the time to get active and voice your concerns.

Please help us force the DEP to listen to the people by taking these actions…

  1. MOST IMPORTANT ACTION: CALL and WRITE to the DEP using the contact and script information below.
  2. Once you’ve done that, help us count our actions and track DEP responsiveness by filling out this quick survey: https://goo.gl/forms/zGRRxgEWn4vKOk3x1 .
  3. Don’t forget to attend and share news about this anti-petro rally:  https://nopetropa.wordpress.com/2018/01/24/attend-the-first-major-anti-petro-rally-in-pittsburgh/
  4. Post a personal comment on today’s Post-Gazette article and Times article on this topic.

That’s my intro, I’ll put the specifics below. Thank you for acting on this and sharing widely!

Yours,
Mark Dixon
email: mark {at} lens [dot] blue
NoPetroPA

screen-shot-2017-01-27-at-7-54-01-am
An early map of the proposed Falcon Pipeline. The articles referenced in this post may have a more up-to-date version.

DETAILS:

Shell has applied to build a 97-mile Falcon pipeline to feed the Shell Petrochemical Plant. It will traverse 22 townships in Pa., WV and Ohio. In Beaver County, this pipeline will come dangerously close to 550 family homes, 20 businesses, 240 groundwater wells, 12 public parks, 5 schools, 6 daycare centers, major hiking and biking trails and the watershed of the Ambridge Reservoir. (reference)

Given the fact that the DEP needed to halt construction on the Mariner East 2 Pipeline because of poor pipeline construction practices and some inadequate permitting, it would be in the DEP’s interest to allow for a greater degree of public input and oversight of the proposals in this application. We are therefore requesting DEP to extend the public comment period for this permit application to sixty days and to hold a public Q&A session/ meeting on the permit applications near the location of the Ambridge Water Authority, which will be impacted by the construction of the pipeline.

In order to do this, we need everyone to flood the DEP office with this request. Please call and leave a message to Dana Drake at DEP. Then cut and paste the following text into an email and email it to her. Thank you!

>>>DEP Call info: DEP SW Regional Office: 412-442-4000, ask for Dana Drake, DEP Southwest Regional Office Waterways and Wetlands Program Manager

>>>DEP Email info: send to RA-EPWW-SWRO@pa.gov and CC dadrake@pa.gov

Note about comment submissions from the DEP permit page for Shell:

Submit comments, suggestions or objections within 30 days of the date of this notice as well as any questions to the office noted before an application. Comments should contain the name, address and telephone number of the person commenting, identification of the certification request to which the comments or objections are addressed and a concise statement of comments, objections or suggestions including the relevant facts upon which they are based. Comments can be submitted electronically by emailing RA-EPWW-SWRO@pa.gov.

Draft e-mail:

Subject Line: Request for Public Meeting on Shell Falcon Pipeline application and comment period extension to 60 days.

I want to request a public meeting with a Q&A on Shell’s permit application for the Falcon Pipeline as well as an extension of the comment period to 60 days.

I live in [INSERT TOWNSHIP] and I am very concerned about the impacts this pipeline will have on our land, water, air, and health.

The pipeline will traverse 22 townships in Pa., WV and Ohio. In Beaver County, this pipeline will come dangerously close to 550 family homes, 20 businesses, 240 groundwater wells, 12 public parks, 5 schools, 6 daycare centers, major hiking and biking trails and the watershed of the Ambridge Reservoir.

Given the fact that the DEP needed to halt construction on the Mariner East 2 Pipeline because of poor pipeline construction practices, we believe it is important for the DEP to allow for a greater degree of public input and oversight of the proposals in this application. We are therefore requesting DEP to extend the public comment period for this permit application to 60 days and to hold a public Q&A session/ meeting on the permit applications near the location of the Ambridge Water Authority, which will be impacted by the construction of the pipeline.

DEP has an obligation to ensure that residents such as myself who may be impacted by the pipeline have access to all information about this proposed pipeline so that we can be effective participants in the decision-making process. Without the ability to ask questions about Shell’s application, my ability to contribute meaningful and relevant comments on the pipeline that DEP should consider in its decision-making would be greatly hindered. I strongly urge you to consider holding a public meeting and grant residents the opportunity to ensure that the health of our community is assured and the commitment to transparent local and state governance is affirmed.

[Sign Name, Address, City, County, Zip Code and telephone number]

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