Sunday, January 25, 2015

A Short Video about the PennEast Pipeline

25 January 2015




Saturday, January 24, 2015

For the Fastboys

24 January 2015

Friday, January 23, 2015

PennEast Scoping Hearing Postponed

23 January 2015




Might the "unforeseen circumstances" have had something to do with the piles of angry letters pouring into FERC? (I've been reading them all.)


While the NJ portion of the pipeline is in Hunterdon County, the hearing was scheduled in Mercer County, at 6:00 p.m. on a weeknight, with less than two weeks notice. (People are hopping mad about that, in addition to being hopping mad about the pipeline itself.)


This is our biking turf, Slugs. This is farmland, preserved open space, parks, and some of NJ cleanest streams in danger. This is where we go to escape on weekends. Get writing!


Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street NE, Room 1A
Washington, DC 20426
Docket # PF15-1-000


(See this link for instructions to comment online.)


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION
PennEast Pipeline Company, LLC
Docket No. PF15-1-000
NOTICE OF POSTPONEMENT OF PUBLIC SCOPING MEETING FOR THE PENNEAST PIPELINE PROJECT
(January 23, 2015)


On January 13, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) issued a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned PennEast Pipeline Project, Requests for Comments on Environmental Issues, and Notice of Public Scoping Meetings. The notice solicited comments on the potential environmental impacts of the planned project and announced the time and location of five public scoping meetings being held for the environmental proceedings.


Due to unforeseen circumstances, Commission staff is postponing the scoping meeting planned for Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at the Kendall Hall, Performance Theater, College of New Jersey, 2000 Pennington Road, Ewing, NJ 08628. Once a new venue is established and scheduled, the Commission will issue another notice advising of the new location and time.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

PennEast: Comment Deadline Extended, Additional Hearings

21 January 2015


Here's an interactive map of the proposed route. Take a close look.





This just came through from FERC:






UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
PennEast Pipeline Company, LLC Docket No. PF15-1-000

NOTICE OF EXTENSION OF COMMENT PERIOD AND
CLARIFICATION OF LOCATION OF PUBLIC SCOPING MEETINGS
FOR THE
PENNEAST PIPELINE PROJECT

(January 21, 2015)

On January 13, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or
Commission) issued a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for
the Planned PennEast Pipeline Project, Requests for Comments on Environmental Issues,
and Notice of Public Scoping Meetings. The notice solicited comments on the potential
environmental impacts of the planned project and announced the time and location of five
public scoping meetings being held for the environmental proceeding. The close of the
public comment period in that notice is listed as February 12, 2015.

Due to a limited printing delay in the mailing of the notice, we are extending the
comment period. Please note that the scoping period will now close on February 27,
2015.

In addition to extending the scoping period, the Commission staff has provided
further clarification on its scoping meeting locations. The table below now lists the name
of the building or hall at each meeting location. Please note that signage will be placed
upon the entry of the meeting venues for your assistance.



January 27, 2015
6:00 PM Eastern Time
College of New Jersey
Kendall Hall, Performance Theater
2000 Pennington Road
Ewing, NJ 08628
January 28, 2015




6:00 PM Eastern Time
Bucks County Community College
Kevin and Sima Zlock Performing Arts
Center, Gateway Auditorium
275 Swamp Road
Newtown, PA 18940
February 10, 2015




6:00 PM Eastern Time
Northampton Community College
Main Campus, Kopecek Hall, Lipkin
Theater
3835 Green Pond Rd
Bethlehem, PA 18020
February 11, 2015




6:00 PM Eastern Time
Penn’s Peak
Main Concert Hall
325 Maury Road
Jim Thorpe, PA 18229
February 12, 2015




6:00 PM Eastern Time
Best Western Hotel & Conference Center
Empress Ballroom
77 E Market Street
Wilkes-Barre, PA

Monday, January 19, 2015

I Guess I Know What I'm Doing This Summer

20 January 2015


Hoo boy.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

PennEast Pipeline Update

18 January 2015


Below is a message from the NJ Sierra Club about a public hearing at TCNJ on January 27, and about how you can comment online.  The docket number is PF15-1-000.


The proposed route is here.


The real battle begins! FERC recently announced the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Public Scoping Meetings on the PennEast Pipeline. It is critical for EVERYONE to attend these meetings and comment on this destructive pipeline! The first of 5 meetings is on January 27,at TheCollege of New Jersey - 2000 Pennington Road Ewing, NJ.
In order to stop this pipeline we need to flood these meetings and flood FERC with comments about how unnecessary and dangerous the PennEast Pipeline is!
The PennEast project would install over 100 miles of 30 inch pipeline across the region to connect the fracked gas fields of the Marcellus Shale and New Jersey.  The pipeline would cut through Hunterdon and Mercer counties, entering New Jersey just south of Phillipsburg after crossing the Delaware River. The pipeline will cut through miles of preserved parks and farmland, which we have worked to protect!
The PennEast pipeline would cross underneath the Delaware River, a source of drinking water for millions and enjoyed by thousands for fishing, kayaking, and other recreational uses. The pipeline project will damage water quality, clear cut forests and impact residential communities. 
We do not need more fracked gas or this damaging infrastructure running through our sensitive areas and under our water supply!  Join us in telling FERC to reject this project and protect our open spaces and clean energy future. 
Join us at the meeting at TCNJ OR email or write to FERC now and let them know you oppose this project!
Here are instructions on how o submit comments:
(1)        You can file your comments electronically using the eComment feature located on the Commission's website (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings.  This is an easy method for interested persons to submit brief, text-only comments on a project;
(2)  You can file your comments electronically using the eFiling feature located on the Commission's website (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings.  With eFiling, you can provide comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission.  New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on “eRegister.”  You must select the type of filing you are making. If you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select “Comment on a Filing”; or 
(3)              You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to the following address:
Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street NE, Room 1A
Washington, DC  20426
Please consider these points when preparing your comments:
This Project is NOT in the Public Interest
  • The pipeline project will endanger families and the environment to transport fossil fuels and support the fracking industry.  
  • The project does not preserve our natural resources; instead it will encourage significant negative impacts to important waterways, critical habitat, wetlands and forests.
  • Production of gas in the Marcellus Shale is predicted to exceed use in the Mid-Atlantic region within two years.[1]  This line is being pushed by the drillers to move their supply, not based on public need.
The Project would have Significant Adverse Impacts on:
  • Water Quality and Water Supply: the pipeline crosses through the Delaware River watershed which provide drinking water for millions in New Jersey and Pennsylvania 
  • Channel Stability: increased erosion from clearings 
  • Threatened and Endangered Species
  • Drainage and Compaction of Soils  
Pipelines Are Under-regulated & Poorly Maintained
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA) only has 135 inspectors to oversee 2.6 million miles of pipeline. PHMSA or its state partners have inspected only one fifth of that pipeline system since 2006.[2]
In the past ten years, gas transmission lines average 117 incidents a year, according to PHMSA.  In the past twenty years there have been 41 deaths, 195 injuries, and $1.6 billion in property damage as a result.[3] 
Clean Energy Alternatives
Instead of investing in long term infrastructure for more fossil fuels, we need to be investing in alternatives like solar, wind, demand response and energy efficiency that do not threaten the environment and our public health.  Researchers at Stanford have found NJ can run on 100%  renewable energy by 2050, creating green jobs while improving our environmental legacy.[4]
Mark your Calendar & SHARE these important meeting dates!
January 27, 2015 6:00 PM
College of New Jersey
2000 Pennington Road
Ewing, NJ 08628
January 28, 2015 6:00 PM
Bucks County Community College
275 Swamp Road             
Newtown, PA 18940
February 10, 2015 6:00
Northampton Community College
3835 Green Pond Rd
Bethlehem, PA 18020
February 11, 2015 6:00 PM Penn’s Peak
325 Maury Road
Jim Thorpe, PA 18229
February 12, 2015 6:00 PM
Best Western Hotel & Conference Center
77 E Market Street
Wilkes-Barre, PA

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Ice and Mud

17 January 2015


"Tyler State Park, not Tyler Arboretum," Tom said.

"Whoops.  Philly girl."

We were on the D&R Canal towpath at Carnegie Lake on Washington Road.  The temperature was in the mid-20s.

We were joined by Chris (riding Animal), Snakehead Ed , Bagel Hill Barry, and (gasp!) Mighty Mike.  Tom suggested heading north.

There were more people on the towpath than I expected.  We saw runners, walkers, and other bikers who were not nearly as hardcore looking as we were.

I stopped often for pictures, and when I did, Ed would stop to move his chain back to the big ring. At home he'd messed with the front derailleur as much as he was able, and on the stand it was fine.  But out here the chain would not stay on the big ring.  When Chris questioned him, Ed answered, "Because it's a piece of shit."  This would be repeated throughout the ride.

The surface of the canal was frozen.


Sometimes there were frozen ripples:


Mighty Mike's tire slowly went flat. When it's this cold, we don't bother to change mountain bike tires unless we have to.  If it's a slow leak, pump it up and keep on going.  There's enough time for a picture:


It's been cold all week, and we've had some high winds too.  I called out that I was stopping so that I could take a picture of branches blown onto the ice.

Ed, behind me, calculated that he'd go around me.  Unfortunately, where I chose to pull over was bordered by a long stretch of ice, which Ed figured he'd ride over rather than hit me. This didn't go according to plan.  He skidded, my rear wheel stopping his slide.

He stood up.  "Ow ow ow," he said.

"Did I break you?"

"I broke me," he answered.

I took my pictures while he dusted himself off.




"You need Chris to teach you how to respect ice," I told him.  After that I noticed that he was riding over ice every chance he got.  I, like all the others except Chris, chose to go around each of them.

Farther along, a half-frozen lock:



A sheet of ice foam floated at the end:


In Kingston, the towpath is a tunnel under the crossroad.  Tom and Chris were ahead of me when I emerged.  Tom was stopped as Chris attempted to get over a large tree blocking the path.  Back in my mountain biking days, I used to watch from the sidelines as Chris would do this sort of thing.  More often than not he'd clear the obstacle.  He didn't this time, and I watched the slow-motion fall, feeling every slip and slam, saying "Ow ow ow" as he came to rest inches away from impaling his back on a thick branch of the tree trunk.

He dusted himself off, lifted his bike over the log, and pedaled on. This is why he has Animal on his handlebars.

When we reached Rocky Hill, Mike pumped up his tire a third time.  Tom decided to turn around. Mike went with him.  The rest of us decided to go on to the next intersection, at Six Mile Run.

Ed, wanting some smooth pavement to ease his bruises, suggested we take Canal Road back to Kingston.

"Are you broken?" I asked again. "Do I need to make an incident report?"  He assured me that he was fine.  "Just bruised," he said.

On our way we passed several groups of road bikers.  And here I thought we were exemplary of Rule #5.

At Rocky Hill, Chris led us on the less well-groomed trail across the canal from the official towpath. "There are some car-sized mud holes out there," Ed said.

"Um," I said, worrying about my back.

"They'll be filled with ice," Ed assured me.  Those I could go around.

I detoured around the first one, Ed behind me.  "I told ya," he said.  "Car sized."  He was next to me when I was going around the next one.  He pedaled straight across it.  Impressive. Back in the day I'd have been cajoled into doing that too, but now I risk back surgery if I fall the wrong way.  I'll go around.

The sun had softened the mud.  Despite the below-freezing air, we were going to return muddy.

We got back onto the towpath in Kingston.

Here's another frozen lock:



Carnegie Lake near Harrison Street:



On the lake, east of Washington Road, the lake was filled with ice skaters.  All that's needed is some snow on the ground and presto!  Norman Rockwell.



I watched a lone figure skater as she set up for a spin.  I watched her do a corkscrew, watched her feet travel on the ice, remembering how tough it is to spin in one spot.  I used to do that, I thought. I turned back to my pedals.  Now I do this.

For a wussy, flat towpath ride, our bikes were filthy. 


Compared to Chris, who didn't detour from soft ground, I was sterile.  His cable was caked in so much dirt that he could no longer shift:



Ed was proud of the grass in his derailleur. He wanted a picture.


"No incident report!" he said.  We tried to figure out how far we'd gone.  He guessed something in the high 20s.  I was betting on something closer to 10.

Ed emailed me later to say he'd mapped the route to 24 miles, which is what I got, too, more or less. "Are you broken?" I asked again.  Again he assured me he was unharmed past needing a little ice and ibuprofen. All the same, I think I need to go write this up on the ride sheet and send it in.  Sorry, Ed.  Rules is rules.