Delaware Riverkeeper Urges Action to Protect Emerging Amphibians from Pipeline Debacle
According to a letter sent by the Delaware Riverkeeper Network to multiple regulatory agencies, the delays by the Tennessee Gas Pipeline to implement mandated restoration for their 300 Pipeline project has resulted in increased pollution during the time of the delay, and now threatens to decimate
emerging amphibian populations in a number of wetland areas already damaged by the pipeline company. The Delaware Riverkeeper Network is therefore urging swift intervention by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and other regulatory agencies to consider and address the implementation of the long-overdue wetlands activities in light of new information about impacts to amphibians. The agencies received a letter from the Delaware Riverkeeper Network explaining the situation and urging swift intervention to have the intensive construction activities that are part of the restoration delayed until the amphibians were mature enough to leave the site. According to the letter, Tennessee Gas Pipeline has had months to implement the overdue restoration, the pipeline went into service in November, and they should not now be allowed to inflict additional harm.
“Had the Tennessee Gas Pipeline company honored the requirements of their state issued permits the pipeline would have gone in and associated environmental restoration would already be complete, allowing us to avoid sediment and other pollution to local streams and wetlands that has taken place over the past several months, and avoiding the new catastrophic threat faced by hundreds, if not thousands, of emerging amphibians in the process of procreating and developing in the still disturbed wetlands around the pipeline site,” said Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper. “Tennessee Gas Pipeline has been irresponsible with how they have pursued this project, it was their procrastination that has put us all in this situation. To allow them to now add insult to injury by finally undertaking their overdue restoration work but at a time when it will ensure maximum harm to the very ecosystems and species it was supposed to help would be reprehensible, counterintuitive and counterproductive,” adds van Rossum.
The Delaware Riverkeeper Network’s Monitoring Director, Faith Zerbe, discovered the wetlands teaming with wood frogs, American toads and red spotted newts on a site visit to monitor the ongoing failure of restoration by TGP earlier this week. “We didn’t do a full herpetological survey,” Zerbe said, “but we didn’t have to immediately know the dramatic level of harm TGP would be inflicting if they finally began their restoration work in this area during this critical period of reproduction for the amphibians.”
“As soon as we realized the situation, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network took immediate action to try to secure protective action by the agencies,” van Rossum adds.
Also according to van Rossum, “this is sadly more of the same from Tennessee Gas Pipeline.” According to a letter sent by the Delaware Riverkeeper Network to regulatory agencies earlier this year: During the 300 Line Extension Project, in 28 out of 38 “Environmental Compliance Monitoring Program Weekly Summary Report[s]” that were provided on FERC’s website, at least one recorded incident was reported where an activity did not come into “compliance with Project specifications, mitigation measures, and applicable FERC-approved Project plans.” Out of 16 inspections conducted by the Wayne County Conservation District during the 300 Line Extension Project, violations were found in no less than 15 of the inspections. The Pike County Conservation District cited numerous violations during the 300 Line Extension Project including, but not limited to: 17 instances of dirt and sediment being discharged into water bodies, 7 violations for worksite conditions, and 21 instances of failure to properly institute Best Management Practices for erosion and sediment control.
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California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Wednesday that would ban the sale of new cars in California that run only on gasoline by the year 2035. The bid to reduce emissions and combat the climate crisis would make California the first state to ban the sale of new cars with internal combustion engines, according to POLITICO.
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By Harry Kretchmer
By 2030, almost a third of all the energy consumed in the European Union must come from renewable sources, according to binding targets agreed in 2018. Sweden is helping lead the way.
Sweden is a world leader in renewable energy consumption. Swedish Institute/World Bank
Naturally Warm<p>54% of Sweden's power comes from renewables, and is helped by its geography. With plenty of moving water and 63% forest cover, it's no surprise the <a href="https://sweden.se/nature/energy-use-in-sweden/#" target="_blank">two largest renewable power sources</a> are hydropower and biomass. And that biomass is helping support a local energy boom.</p><p>Heating is a key use of energy in a cold country like Sweden. In recent decades, as fuel oil taxes have increased, the country's power companies have turned to renewables, like biomass, to fuel local 'district heating' plants.</p><p>In Sweden these trace their <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank">origins back to 1948</a>, when a power station's excess heat was first used to heat nearby buildings: steam is <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/district-heating-system" target="_blank">forced along a network of pipes</a> to wherever it's needed. Today, there are around 500 district heating systems across the country, from major cities to small villages, providing heat to homes and businesses.</p><p>District heating used to be fueled mainly from the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140" target="_blank">by-products of power plants</a>, waste-to-energy plants and industrial processes. These days, however, Sweden is bringing more renewable sources into the mix. And as a result of competition, this localized form of power is now the country's<a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> home-heating market leader.</a></p>
Sweden is using smart grids to turn buildings into energy producers. Huang et al/Elsevier
Energy ‘Prosumers’<p>But Sweden doesn't stop at village-level heating solutions. Its new breed of energy-generation takes hyper-local to the next level.</p><p>One example is in the city of Ludivika where 1970s flats <a href="https://www.buildup.eu/sites/default/files/content/transforming-a-residential-building-cluster-into-electricity-prosumers-in-sweden.pdf" target="_blank">have recently been retrofitted with the latest smart energy technology</a>.</p><p>48 family apartments spread across 3 buildings have been given photovoltaic solar panels, thermal energy storage and heat pump systems. A micro energy grid connects it all, and helps charge electric cars overnight.</p><p>The result is a cluster of 'prosumer' buildings, producing rather than consuming enough power for 77% of residents' needs. With <a href="http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1232060/FULLTEXT01.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">high levels of smart meter usage</a>, it's a model that looks set to spread across Sweden.</p>
<div id="d7bf9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8757b138d5570bec9d6aad18074a429a"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1273556364263071744" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Read more about Western Harbour and book a visit: https://t.co/ujSmVs9rNK 🏡🌳🌊 https://t.co/C5PuPziqIM</div> — Smart City Sweden (@Smart City Sweden)<a href="https://twitter.com/SmartCitySweden/statuses/1273556364263071744">1592474473.0</a></blockquote></div>
Scaling Up<p>A recent development by E.ON in Hyllie, a district on the outskirts of Malmö, southern Sweden, <a href="https://www.eonenergy.com/blog/2019/February/sweden-smart-city" target="_blank">has scaled up the smart grid principle</a>. Energy generation comes from local wind, solar, biomass and waste sources.</p><p>Smart grids then balance the power, react to the weather, deploying extra power when it's colder or putting excess into battery storage when it's warm. The system is not only more efficient, but bills have fallen.</p><p>Smart energy developments like those in Hyllie, Ludivika, and renewable-driven district heating, offer a radical alternative to the centralized energy systems many countries rely on today.</p><p>The EU's leaders have a challenge: how to generate 32% of energy from renewables by 2030. Sweden offers a vision of how technology and local solutions can turn a goal into a reality.</p>
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