Though the legislative session has just closed down for the year, the fight against LNG terminals and associated pipelines is still in full swing! The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has opened a Supplemental Scoping Period to gain public feedback on two alternate end routes for the Palomar Pipeline.
As it stands, the pipeline would extend from the Bradwood Landing LNG Terminal site on the Columbia River, through the Willamette Valley, and across Mt. Hood National Forest, crossing hundreds of waterways in its path. The two “alternative routes” do not provide any further protections to Mt. Hood National Forest, and would impact still more waterways in Oregon. The Maupin Bridge alternative puts the pipeline directly through the City of Maupin, while the Warm Springs alternative routes the pipeline through Warm Springs Reservation, including large areas of Crooked River National Grassland.
The introduction of two new alternative routes for the pipeline so close to the initial deadline for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) raises concerns that FERC will not adequately address the environmental impacts of the pipeline on the areas that the newly-introduced routes pass through. Just within the new alternatives, the problems of human health and safety, soil disruption in fragile scablands areas, threatened species’ habitat destruction, and conflicts with pre-existing land management plans, are all raised.
The good news is, you can do something about it. Submit a comment to FERC today using their online form, and make your concerns about the Palomar Pipeline heard. Comments are due July 13th, so please take action as soon as possible.
Below are sample comments, which you should feel free to copy and paste wholesale – consistency is the name of the game when submitting comments on Environmental Impact Statements.
Thanks for taking action, and stay tuned for further action points and events – we’re planning outings to the proposed terminal and pipeline sites at Bradwood Landing and in Mt. Hood National Forest in the coming months, and hope to see you there!
Clicking on the above link will bring you to the FERC “Quick Comment” page; you will need to enter your name and email address, FERC will send you an email very quickly, and you will need to click on the link within that email to continue the filing process. Enter the docket number in the appropriate field, click “Search,” and then “Select” for Docket Number CP09-35-000.
Sample Comments: Feel free to cut & paste any or all of these comments!
Docket Number: CP09-35-000
I am writing today as a concerned citizen to submit comments to the Supplemental Scoping Period for the Palomar Gas Transmission (Docket No. CP09-035-000). I see significant problems with the Palomar Pipeline’s proposed routes, and cannot condone the construction of a pipeline with such massive environmental and public safety impacts. These so-called “alternatives” are just two different ends the same bad story of needless degradation to the environment and to Oregonians’ quality of life.
The Maupin Bridge alternative route attempts to avoid crossing of the Deschutes River in a designated “wild and scenic” area. However, it’s shocking that the “alternative” route is right through the center of the city of Maupin. Maupin residents are concerned about how the pipeline would affect their quality of life – from the standpoints of safety, effects on tourism and recreation, and property values. And the second alternative – the Warm Springs route – presents devastating effects on Crooked River National Grassland. The pipeline would disrupt fragile scablands soil composition and threaten already-vulnerable species’ habitats in ways that cannot easily be restored. Furthermore, the Northern Warm Springs Alternative Route would place the Palomar pipeline outside of a designated utility corridor. This conflicts directly with the priorities and policies outlined in the Crooked River National Grassland Land Management Plan, which requires that all utility lines be within preexisting utility corridors.
In summary, neither of the two proposed alternatives truly mitigates the harm that the Palomar Gas Transmission pipeline would cause. This eastern section of the pipeline is still proposed to go through Mt. Hood National Forest, which is unacceptable to the people who rely on the National Forest for recreation; furthermore, both “alternatives” raise serious questions about the safety of the people and ecosystems that the pipeline would pass by and through. It is my hope that FERC will be able to adequately address these concerns in the DEIS.