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Letters to the Editor March 10

March 9, 2016

Scare tactics

You don’t have to be for a gas compressor station to be against the fear-based tactics of SCRAM (Sullivan County Residents Against Milennium).

Such tactics include weak science, un-credentialed experts, phony pictures of children with bloody noses, and an attempt to link the hazards and fear of the fracking process to this compressor station like they have any relation other than the word “gas.”

Educating a community is admirable. Unnecessarily frightening them is despicable.

Chuck Petersheim
Eldred, NY

FERC action and inaction

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) control of Millennium’s newly proposed compressor stations includes some things that might not be expected. Historically, FERC favors gas companies that pay fees for FERC’s review, approval and monitoring construction of their projects. For example, FERC’s acceptance of non-compliant environmental work while gas companies built what they wanted, as fast as possible, is written in Docket CP14-17 for construction of new compressor and meter stations in Milford Township, Pike County, PA. There, FERC dismissed reasonable protections of residents and our natural environment requested by commenters, such as the use of electric-powered, non-polluting motors in a gas compressor station instead of gas-powered motors.

FERC actions include variances when work has not been performed according to specifications; grants of partial permission for work to proceed when some of a project’s required permits are still pending; issuance of blanket certificates of construction, which precludes public scrutiny of projects; classification of some work as critical infrastructure, which hides plans from public readers; defective reasoning to dismiss residents’ comments; use of outdated government regulations and/or methods for harmful amounts of toxic substances; and acceptance of inaccurate reports by third-party inspectors without requiring corrections.

FERC allows gas infrastructure construction to continue even when it’s been legally challenged in federal court. This means construction may be completed before the legal challenge is addressed. Our U.S. Congress created FERC. A few members of Congress have recently questioned FERC’s practices. Let’s hope the March 2, 2016-filed lawsuit by Delaware Riverkeeper Network against FERC for its biased financial structure proceeds expeditiously and successfully, so that FERC’s conflict of interest with gas companies is removed.