Energy companies are seeking approval to build a natural gas pipeline expansion project near Hartford. The plan has already aroused opposition from citizens and environmental organizations who oppose fracking and do not want more fossil fuels coming into Connecticut.
But there is another problem, too—the pipeline would cross nearly six miles of land belonging to the Metropolitan District, which provides drinking water to hundreds of thousands of residents in the greater Hartford area. This watershed land is protected under state law to ensure that our sources of drinking water remain unpolluted and safe to drink. Organizations and local activists have worked for years to protect these lands from proposed developments and other infrastructure projects in order to safeguard our drinking water. The lands are also valuable recreational areas for hiking, bird watching, and other recreation.
At a hearing last Wednesday in West Hartford, members of the public expressed concerns that the pipeline expansion project will threaten drinking water supplies. “There’s always alternative routes for gas pipelines but there’s no alternative to clean drinking water for the population in Hartford,” said Jack Looney, attorney for CFE/Save the Sound. Read more in the Courant.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is responsible for deciding whether to approve the pipeline expansion project, but the Metropolitan District plays a role too: they get to decide if they want the pipeline coming through these drinking water lands. CFE has submitted comments to FERC raising our concerns that the expansion project may negatively impact Connecticut’s drinking water and natural resources, but it’s important for FERC to hear from everyone who is worried about these potential damages.
If you share our concerns about the pipeline expansion project, please take a few minutes to submit a comment to FERC. You can see comments that people have already filed here. The deadline to submit comments is January 15.
Drinking water reservoirs need healthy lands around them to filter and protect the water our families use. Clear-cutting and digging a trench 90 feet wide, 5.5 feet deep, and 5.7 miles long through land that protects my drinking water and that of hundreds of thousands of my neighbors is a bad idea! Natural gas pipelines nationwide have suffered alarming failures that pollute water and soil, and put people at risk. Kinder Morgan should find another place for its pipeline—or better yet, invest in renewables and stop wasting money on outdated fossil fuel infrastructure.
How to submit your comments to FERC
These are instructions for submitting comments as an individual. The process for submitting as a representative of an organization is more complicated; if you wish to go that route please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you step-by-step instructions. (Thanks to Rivers Alliance of Connecticut for providing them!)
- Go to https://ferconline.ferc.gov/QuickComment.aspx and fill in the form and hit “Authorize.”
- You will receive an email with instructions. Click on the link in that email to open a webpage form populated with your information.
- Put PF14-22 in the “Docket Number” space and click “Search.”
- When a box listing that number and the name of the application shows up, click the “+” sign, then write or paste in your comment in the text box.
- Click on the button to submit your comment.