3/13/13 Tomorrow: join the biggest fracking rally Maryland has ever seen!

From the Maryland League of Conservation Voters:

As some of you already know, the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs committee voted narrowly 6-5 last week against the Maryland Hydraulic Fracturing and Right to Know Act of 2013.  However, this is not the end of the movement.

If we’re going to win a moratorium on fracking for natural gas in Maryland next year, one thing is certain: we need you. To come out on top, we need to take our statewide grassroots movement straight to the doorsteps of legislators in Annapolis.  We need you to maintain the momentum and join us in Annapolis this Wednesday:

RSVP: Join the biggest fracking rally Annapolis has ever seen on March 13th.

Marylanders deserve legal protections against drilling now, while the state investigates the risks to our air, water and climate. We can’t afford the toxic, undrinkable tap water, rural towns overrun with industrial truck traffic and supercharged climate emissions already linked to fracking activity in other states. Also- Center for Health, Environment, and Justice Executive Director and movement hero, Lois Gibbs, just confirmed she will be speaking at the rally!

On March 13th, we’ll stand tall as a movement in Annapolis, and show the General Assembly the need to protect our communities.

Hope to see you there!

10-10-11 Seven citizen groups address 194 land use change proposals with letter to the Frederick County Planning Commissioners

Download letter as pdf file here.

 

 

 

05-24 7PM Gasland film showing in Middletown

Tuesday, May 24th @ 7pm   showing of GASLAND

A film directed by Josh Fox, winner of Special Jury Prize-Best US Documentary Feature-Sundance 2010, nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary. “The largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history has swept across the United States. The HALLIBURTON-developed drilling technology of “fracking” or “hydro-fracking” has unlocked a “Saudi Arabia of natural gas just beneath us. But, is hydro-fracking safe?”

Post film discussion led by sponsors  Citizens for the Preservation of Middletown Valley and the Sierra Club.

where:  CHRIST REFORMED CHURCH,12 S. Church Street, Middletown MD

Dominion Gas proposes a gas compressor facility near Jefferson rural neighborhood, important meeting June 19th

A West Virginia corporation, Dominion Transmission Inc. (DTI), is planning to build an 11-acre industrial facility between Rt. 340, Rt. 180 and Gene Hemp Rd. on the edge of Jefferson, MD. This PEAK Gas Compressor Facility is part of a huge “Gas Storage Factory” project. Check out www.jmdca.org for information, join the site visit on June 19th at noon and the SCOPE meeting on June 19th 7-9pm at the Ruritan Center in Jefferson.

Gas Turbine Compressor Station in Planning Stages for Rural Middletown

Join others (http://www.tellmetoday.com/) to fight the Dominion Transmission Inc. Storage Factory Compressor Station Project proposed for Marker Road in Middletown.   Dominion Transmission is in the initial planning stage for the construction of an 11-acre industrial site on Marker Rd. at the location shown below. There was a meeting held in Middletown on November 19, 2007. The next meeting will be in February 2008. According to a Dominion representative, they will build-out the infrastructure to support multiple gas turbine/compressor units. (FYI: Jet engines are gas turbines) Dominion’s Chambersburg, PA (see photo on flyer) facility has 4 units. The buildings in the photos are 4 to 5 stories tall. So, what’s the big deal? If you search the Internet, here are some issues that other’s who live near a “compressor facility” have experienced: sound pollution (day & night operation), light pollution, environmental pollution (including gas leaks), emergency sirens, decreased property values. What are your thoughts? An online forum has been setup about the Middletown Compressor Station. Hopefully this will make it easier to keep informed and communicate any concerns.

To access the forum: go to www.TellMeToday.com and click on the image of Middletown. On your first visit, you have to register to access & contribute to the forum. Follow the registration instructions. Once you are logged in, click on the Middletown Compressor Station. Click on a topic to view it. To contribute to a topic, just click on the “Post Reply” button. IMPORTANT: At the bottom of each topic page (in the blue bar), if you click on the “Subscribe topic” link, you will receive an email notification anytime someone contributes to that topic. If you have problems accessing the forum, you can email: richm@tellmetoday.com

Jefferson Maryland Community Association (JMDCA) speaks out about DTI Compressor Site

June 5, 2008

Dear Elected Official,

The community of Jefferson MD has been chosen as a proposed site for peak gas compressor station by Dominion Transmission, Inc. (DTI) on the parcels of land between RT180/RT340/and Gene Hemp Road.  Jefferson residents are in firm opposition to the building of this facility in our community, and have formed the Jefferson Maryland Community Association (JMDCA). JMDCA is serving as the main liaison for the Jefferson Community in regards to the proposed DTI compressor site. I am writing to you on behalf of all five committee members for JMDCA.   We would like to request your support in opposing the building of the DTI facility in Jefferson.   We would especially appreciate your filing any opposition(s) with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) docket number PF07-12.

DTI originally proposed the gas compressor station for Middletown, MD off of Marker Rd.  Many of the same concerns that the residents of Middletown have about the facility in their location hold true for the Jefferson site.  However, there are also some additional concerns that are unique to the proposed  Jefferson site.  Please see the following list for just a sampling of our concerns and their supporting points.

1.) Geological Predisposition

a. There is a fracture line that is visible at the proposed site.   This is a significant difference between the proposed Middletown and Jefferson sites.  Please reference the following source for the document entitled, “Source Water Assessment for the Copperfield Water System Frederick County, Maryland”.

http://www.co.frederick.md.us/documents/Utilities%20&%20Solid%20Waste%20Managem

ent/Water%20Purification-distribution/Source%20Water%20Assessments/SWA%20Copperfield.pdf

On the very last page examine “Figure 6: Fracture trace map for Copperfield.” The fracture line shown is for only part of the site.  What about the rest of the site not visible on this map? It is my understanding from a person well versed in construction that a site with a fracture line on any part of it should not be considered for building a compressor station as it can be costly to build on with specific structural design and can be a potential disaster.

There is a strong possibility that a sink hole could develop near the fracture line.  If that happens, both the facility and the pipeline would be in jeopardy as well as RT340 and RT180.  A rupture could occur in the pipeline.

b. There is a second significance to the presence of fracture lines.  One primary way that ground water moves is through fracture lines.   The fracture trace map specifically shows that the fracture lines going through the proposed site are interconnected with other fracture lines throughout Jefferson including the Copperfield & Cambridge Farms Developments.  Therefore, fracture lines could potentially bring contaminates to existing well head areas for immediate residents, Copperfield, and Cambridge Farms from the site.

Additionally the current land owner has already drilled residential wells on the proposed site which could increase the chance for contaminants to be introduced into the water source.

2.) Direct Impact on Catoctin Creek, Potomac & Chesapeake Bay

a. Our primary focus with this point of concern is the Catoctin Creek which feed directly into the Potomac approximately two miles downstream.  The creek has shown signs of declining health, and the added stress of building a gas compressor facility in the

2 immediate vicinity would be environmentally irresponsible.  Please refer to

http://dnrweb.dnr.state.md.us/streams/pubs/ea05-5_county.pdf.  where Frederick

County’s results run from page 191 to 205.  It specifically lists most of Catoctin Creek as “poor on macroinvertebrate health.”  Also reference Maryland Biological Stream Survey (MBSS) www.dnr.state.md.us/streams/mbss/).  Most importantly, this stream is part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and has potential to impact the Bay.

b. A stream runs through the southwest corner of the proposed site, and under Gene Hemp Rd.   The source of this stream needs to be verified, and the impacts of the proposed facility on the stream need to be determined.

3.) Impacts on existing land uses

a. This is the second inappropriate agricultural/residential location DTI has chosen for their site.  Industrial site options do exist in close proximity to the existing gas pipeline.  DTI should be made to pursue Industrial site options only.

b. FERC states that DTI would STILL have to follow and go through the zoning regulations for the county.  Please reference http://www.ferc.gov/industries/gas/indus-act/blank- cert/blanketcert.pdf.  Also reference Questions and Answers in the Citizens guide http://www.ferc.gov/for-citizens/citizen-guides/citz-guide-gas.pdf.  By allowing rezoning of this land to Industrial, and allowing this industrial facility into a completely agricultural/residential area, it is opening the door to further industrialization of our area.

c. Also, this is in direct opposition Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Program and the “Ag Zoning Text Amendment” passed by the Frederick County Commissioners in December 2007.  The purpose of that text amendment was to further protect the fragmentation of farmland and to protect existing farmland.  Two farms in the Agricultural Preservations Program are within 400 meters of the proposed site, and a third parcel is within 900 meters.

4.) Effect on wildlife and farm animals regarding noise, air pollution, and contamination Please reference: http://www.earthworksaction.org/noiseresources.cfm

5.) View-shed issues (the visual impact of the aboveground facility on surrounding areas)

The building of this facility would seriously detract from the current bucolic view of Jefferson, including the South Mountains and the Harpers Ferry Gap.  This facility will also affect the view-shed from Crampton’s pass, a major turning point of the Civil War, Gathland State Park, and National War Correspondent Memorial.

6.) Impacts on cultural (historical) resources Jefferson had its own place in the Civil War.  We may not have the Rural Legacy or Civil War Battlefields, but there is historical significance to our area.

a. Rt 180 is a civil war marker trail for the Gettysburg Union Trail.

Refer to  http://map.mapnetwork.com/destination/frederick/regional/

b. Also encampments were common during the Civil war all along Rt 180.

Refer to  http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=2100 3

7.) Public safety and potential hazards associated with the transport of natural gas and the proposed compressor facility

As with the Middletown location there is an increased risk of accidents from gas leaks, explosion, and terrorist attacks.  We also only have a volunteer fire department in place and do not currently have the emergency resources available to handle the above situations.

However there is one major distinction between the proposed Middletown site and the proposed Jefferson site.  The Jefferson site is located directly between the US highway RT 340 and the one main road for Jefferson RT 180.  The implications of a potential closure of RT340 or RT180 for any length of time short or long would impact not only Jefferson, but surrounding areas near and far.   Both routes are well traveled.  They both have high traffic volumes for commuters, trucks, vacationers, and those that simply need to get from point A to point B.  Over the past twelve years there have been five significant wind events in the area of the proposed Jefferson site, three being tornadoes and two downbursts.  A tornado was the cause of the explosion at a gas compressor station in Tennessee.

8.) Impacts on ground water

a. Well contamination:   According to DTI this will be an unmanned station.    So, the chance of a leak from the turbine engine coolant or other sources being caught in a timely fashion before any real damage is done is highly questionable.

b.  Livestock and Crop Contamination:   Any contamination to the soil could easily leach into local wells and the neighboring farms causing contamination of the crops and animals, which in turn could harm the public.  Hemps is one of the major working farms in immediate proximity of the site.  They have had their business in Jefferson for over 150 years.  Their beef products are a mainstay in the diet of not only the Jefferson community, but many other surrounding communities both near and far.  First and second hand contamination in the products sold by Hemps and other farms could occur.

9.) Impacts on local air and noise quality associated with construction and operation

a. RT 180 is the main road that runs through the town of Jefferson.  Access to the site during the construction phase needs to be determined. Either way to the site deals with narrow spots on RT 180, and leaves little room to maneuver.  Additionally there is an older bridge that needs to be evaluated for load capacity and structural integrity.

b. There is a very strong probability for more then one construction site at a time when Smith Farm Single Home Family Community begins construction and the Streetscape Project begins. The citizens of Jefferson and all the construction sites would be in the midst of a traffic nightmare.  It would not only be a mess with the dust and noise levels, but would cause commuter delays, school bus delays, and delays in general for traveling RT 180.

c. The tunnel on Gene Hemp Rd can intensify sound and may retain heat and/or pollutants.4

10.) Environmental Justice

Jefferson is a small rural community and is being looked to bear an unfair burden of industrial operations that could negatively affect the environment.  The Maryland Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities defines Environmental justice as,”……seeks equal protection from environmental and public health hazards for all people ……..additionally,  environmental justice means that no group of people including racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic groups should bear a disproportionate share of negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, land-use planning and zoning, municipal and commercial operations or the execution of federal, state, local and municipal program and policies.”

Jefferson is already hosting a gas pipeline, gas measuring facility, 230kv electrical lines, highway maintenance barns, and salt domes for the county.  Adding a compressor station forces Jefferson to carry more of the load for the surrounding communities. The citizens of Jefferson will not gain any benefit from the facility.

Dominion has a history of industrial incidents.  They recently paid fines of $850,000 Dominion for several incidents at other compressor stations in Potter County, Pennsylvania (Genesee and Stewardson Townships) for soil and ground water contamination. This past performance should be considered when placing a facility in a residential/agricultural area.

In closing, the above points are just a sampling of the concerns for the proposed Jefferson site. It doesn’t take an expert to understand that this type of facility does not belong in a residential area, with a high concentration of farmland; an Elementary School and large Childcare center within _ of a mile on either side of the facility; and one, soon to be two, major housing developments within a mile of the facility.  Industrial needs to remain in Industrial.  For all the above reasons specified and more, Jefferson should not be considered the optimum site by either DTI or FERC.

We would like to request your support in the opposition to the building of this facility at the proposed Jefferson site.  In show of that support, we kindly request that you file a letter with FERC before the deadline of June 23rd, 2008 to express your concerns regarding docket PF07-12.  You are invited to attend both the Site Visit and Scope Meeting on June 19th, 2008.  The Site Visit is at 12pm at the corner of RT180 and Gene Hemp Rd.  Later that evening the Scope Meeting will be at the Jefferson Ruritan Center at 7pm.  We thank you in advance for your time and prompt consideration of the above concerns, and we look forward to your continued support on this important issue facing the Jefferson Community.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Booth

Chairwoman JMDCA

Cc: Lori Henry, Committee Member JMDCA

Ron Kaltenbaugh, Committee Member JMDCA

Aaron Henry, Committee Member JMDCA

Gary Stone, Committee Member JMDCA

Local governments oppose construction of natural gas facility in Frederick County

See <a href=’http://friendsoffrederickcounty.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/citizens-press-release-208.doc’ title=’this press release’>this press release</a> from Citizens for the Preservation of Middletown Valley and links to:

Frederick County Board of Commissioner response to the FERC at http://www.tellmetoday.com/dominion/20080219105619312.pdf

The Burgess and Commissioners of Middletown, Maryland response to the FERC: http://www.middletown.md.us/