Without much fanfare, the Pennsylvania Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force released its DRAFT report this week.
The task force and DEP will accept public comments on the recommendations in the report, starting on Saturday, November 14, and continuing for 30 days. The public comment period closes on Monday, December 14.
It is important to note there will be NO PUBLIC HEARINGS. Why?
PITF felt there were plenty of opportunities for public face-to-face commenting at PITF meetings, but that depends on how you define “plenty of opportunities”.
PITF has held 4 meetings to date: July 22, August 26, September 23, and October 28, 2015. PITF meetings were in the middle of the week, in the afternoon and took place in Harrisburg. The public were limited to a generous 2 minutes each for commenting, during the last hour of each PITF meeting.
The next meeting is Wednesday November 18, 2015, from 1pm-4pm, DEP South Central Regional Office, Susquehanna Rooms A & B, 909 Elmerton Ave., Harrisburg.
Will Impact Every County in Pennsylvania
The latest “boom” of the natural gas industry is to build pipelines, lots and lots of pipelines. PITF recognizes this and states in the Draft Report:
“All told, this pipeline infrastructure build-out will impact communities and the environment in every county in Pennsylvania,” the report said.
Considering magnitude of the massive build-out of pipelines, the public would expect opportunities for more participation in the form of PUBLIC HEARINGS.
There are numerous recommendations in the Draft Report for more Public Outreach and Communication which PITF seems to be ignoring when it comes to commenting on the draft report.
Is PITF serious about including the public in the process? Apparently not.
What YOU Can Do
- Write a Letter to your local Newspaper and demand PUBLIC HEARINGS. DEP has 6 regional offices across Pennsylvania; there is no reason why Public Hearings cannot be held in your area.
- Email, Write, Call or FAX Governor Wolf – Demand PUBLIC HEARINGS.
For US Mail or Phone contact:
Office of Governor Tom Wolf
Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120
- Do download and read the “draft report” like your home depends on it, because it does.
- Submit a comment, let PITF know what your think. Giving kudos where kudos are due, the “ecomment” for PITF draft report is much easier to navigate than FERC. Download Instructions for ECommenting on Draft PITF Report
If you prefer NOT to use the “ecomment” process or know someone without access to the internet, comments may be submitted via US Mail:
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection,
Rachel Carson Building, 400 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101.
**IMPORTANT: For US Mail submission – Be sure to include a statement that you are submitting a comment on the Draft Governor’s Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force Report and wish have it made part of the record.
**IMPORTANT: Successfully submitted comments will appear on the View Comments page within 5 business days of receipt. Check for your comment before resubmitting to avoid duplicate submissions.
YES, YOU MAY SUBMIT MORE THAN ONE COMMENT.