Quantcast

Residents Fight Gas Company over Seized Property for Gas Pipeline

Energy

Earthjustice

Residents are suing to halt tree-cutting along the route of a controversial gas pipeline through the Endless Mountains region of Northeast Pennsylvania. Represented by the nonprofit environmental law firm Earthjustice, members of Pennsylvania Chapter of the Sierra Club, Damascus Citizens for Sustainability, and the Coalition for Responsible Growth and Resource Conservation filed an emergency motion this week challenging a decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). FERC denied an earlier motion for rehearing by the groups, prompting this week’s legal action. Feb. 16 is the deadline for FERC to respond to the groups’ motion.

FERC authorized Central New York Oil and Gas Company (CNYOG) to begin cutting trees before the company had fulfilled all necessary pre-construction requirements.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated the project would result in the destruction of more than 200,000 mature trees. The 39-mile industrial gas pipeline, which would tear up 600 acres of land and cross more than 100 waterways, has drawn criticism from EPA officials, 35 state representatives, and more than 22,000 members of the public.

The pipeline project cuts through land owned by more than 100 property owners. FERC granted CNYOG the power to seize private property for the pipeline on Nov. 14. Within a matter of days, the company began condemnation proceedings against nearly half of the property owners along the pipeline's route. View a map of the proposed pipeline route by clicking here.

The following is a statement from Earthjustice attorney Deborah Goldberg:

“We are seeing a very troubling pattern at work. At every turn, the Central New York Oil & Gas Company has pressured FERC regulators to fast-track this project. FERC is bowing to this pressure, even to the point of bending its own rules.

“We’ve been watching and we’ve seen property owners mistreated. We’ve seen the failure to disclose how dangerously close this pipeline runs to an elementary school. What we have not seen is the thorough review of this project’s environmental and public health impacts that the law clearly requires. This is why we are taking legal action. To remind regulators of their duty—to watch out for the people and places that will be impacted by this project.

“Furthermore, given the gas industry’s current financial woes, now is not the time to be rushing a project in a previously undeveloped area. A hastily approved and constructed pipeline is the last thing this region needs.”

For more information, click here.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

With well over a billion cars worldwide, electric vehicles are still only a small percentage. An economist from the University of Michigan Energy Institute says that is likely to change. Maskot / Getty Images

In 2018, there were about 5 million electric cars on the road globally. It sounds like a large number, but with well over a billion cars worldwide, electric vehicles are still only a small percentage.

Read More
Nestlé is accelerating its efforts to bring functional, safe and environmentally friendly packaging solutions to the market and to address the global challenge of plastic packaging waste. Nestlé / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Nestlé, the world's largest food company, said it will invest up to $2 billion to address the plastic waste crisis that it is largely responsible for.

Read More
Sponsored
Determining the effects of media on people's lives requires knowledge of what people are actually seeing and doing on those screens. Vertigo3d / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Byron Reeves, Nilam Ram and Thomas N. Robinson

There's a lot of talk about digital media. Increasing screen time has created worries about media's impacts on democracy, addiction, depression, relationships, learning, health, privacy and much more. The effects are frequently assumed to be huge, even apocalyptic.

Read More
Indigenous people of various ethnic groups protest calling for demarcation of lands during the closing of the 'Red January - Indigenous Blood', in Paulista Avenue, in São Paulo, Brazil, Jan. 31, 2019. Cris Faga / NurPhoto / Getty Images

By Raphael Tsavkko Garcia

Rarely has something so precious fallen into such unsafe hands. Since Jair Bolsonaro took the Brazilian presidency in 2019, the Amazon, which makes up 10 percent of our planet's biodiversity and absorbs an estimated 5 percent of global carbon emissions, has been hit with a record number of fires and unprecedented deforestation.

Read More
Microsoft's main campus in Redmond, Washington on May 12, 2017. GLENN CHAPMAN / AFP via Getty Images

Microsoft announced ambitious new plans to become carbon negative by 2030 and then go one step further and remove by 2050 all the carbon it has emitted since the company was founded in 1975, according to a company press release.

Read More