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Town of Dryden Dominion New Market Pipeline Campaign Update/Nothing Has Yet Been Resolved/We Are Moving Political Mountains But We Must Keep Pushing Hard

Greetings Fractivists,

I am immensely grateful to each and every person who is helping to persuade Town of Dryden Board Members to take action to make sure that the proposed Dominion New Market Pipeline cannot proceed. I write to update you on our efforts.

In the last week, we have moved political mountains, but we must keep pushing because this highly complex matter has yet to be resolved. Please keep smiling, dialing and emailing.

Last Wednesday, I and local pipeline activists, Ms. Kathleen Quinn-Jacobs and Ms. Lizzy Evett, met with the Town of Dryden Supervisor, Jason Leifer. Supervisor Leifer provided us with more than an hour of his time during an exceedingly busy day. Ms. Quinn-Jacobs worked long and hard to set up the meeting. I would like to express my appreciation to everyone involved with that important meeting.

See pics: Meeting with Jason Leifer, Town of Dryden Supervisor (3-1-17)

I walked Supervisor Leifer through Toxics Targeting's detailed technical findings regarding:

a) contamination at the Borger Compressor Station facility that has never been fully investigated or cleaned up to state standards;

b) Dominion's request to FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) for wetland/waterbody protection variances and a Notice to Proceed;

c) documented inadequacies of Dominion's Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan; and

d) the "blanket authorization" Section 401 Water Quality Certification improperly issued by the Cuomo administration for the proposed pipeline project.

Given these concerns, I requested that the Town of Dryden Board take action to:

1. Suspend or withdraw all local approvals for the proposed expansion of Dominion's toxic-contaminated Borger Compressor Station;

2. Suspend or withdraw Dominion New Market's Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan as well as a reported Special Use Permit associated with the Borger Compressor Station because it does not comport with the Town's comprehensive land-use plan;

3. Request that Dominion New Market not be allowed to receive any local, state or federal approvals to proceed until the Town requires all toxic pollution at the Borger facility to be fully investigated and remediated in strict compliance with applicable clean up standards. This is essential in order to safeguard Cascadilla Creek, a major tributary to Cayuga Lake, prior to any expansion of the existing compressor station; and

4. Write immediately to FERC and Governor Cuomo to communicate the Town's concerns and to underscore Assemblywoman Lifton's requests: Letter to FERC re: Borger Compressor Station wetland variance request and letter to Gov. Cuomo re: Dominion's SPPP

Keep Calling and Emailing Town of Dryden Supervisor, Jason Leifer, and Other Town Board Members to Echo These Respectful Requests

Anyone can call (607) 844-8888. Press 6 for the Town Supervisor. Please be respectful and well-informed.

See contact info for Town Board members at:

Please read this letter very carefully and check the references: Letter to Town of Dryden re: Dominion's wetland variance request for Borger Compressor Station

Your Advocacy Efforts Are Entirely Appropriate and Essential

This is a highly complex matter to say the least. Please allow me to explain a couple of key issues in order to try to avoid misunderstandings.

FERC has authority to permit the proposed Dominion New Market Pipeline and to decide whether to grant the requested wetland/waterbody protection variances as well as the Notice to Proceed. That is why we have been pushing FERC very hard to DENY both these requests.

DEC exercises authority over issuing various approvals and permits required for the proposed pipeline, notably the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan and the Section 401 Water Quality Certification. This is our rationale for focusing intense pressure on Governor Cuomo to REVOKE the SPPP and RESCIND the "blanket authorization" Section 401 WQC.

Even though the Town of Dryden does NOT have authority over these regulatory approvals, it has an important role to play in resolving the concerns we documented. It has considerable local authority that it can exercise to make sure that the proposed pipeline does not proceed. With that understanding, we are respectfully asking the Town of Dryden to fulfill our detailed requests.

I wish to emphasize that it is entirely permissible and appropriate for citizens to express their concerns to members of the Town of Dryden Board. I request that you do so respectfully. I also ask that Fractivists do their best to know what they are talking about in order to act as effective advocates, particularly with regard to Town of Dryden policies and practices.

Major Questions About The Special Use Permit (SUP) Granted to the Borger Compressor Station at 219 Ellis Hollow Creek Road

We are trying to obtain a copy of the SUP reportedly granted by the Town of Dryden for the Borger Compressor Station in 1984. The SUP is required to make sure that the "proposed activity" will "not adversely affect the neighborhood..."

With all respect, I believe that the Town of Dryden will have to address major questions regarding why the SUP was originally granted and continues to be allowed for a large contaminated industrial facility which adjoins wetlands and waterways on three sides, a protected land preserve on two sides and residential homes.

It is my understanding that no SUP can be granted unless the Town Board considers onerous standards, including:

"Compatibility of the proposed use with the other permitted uses in the district and the purposes of the district set forth in this Law;"

"Compatibility of the proposed use with adjoining properties and with the natural and manmade environment;"

"The overall impact on the site and its surroundings considering the environmental, social and economic impacts of traffic, noise, dust, odors, release of harmful substances, solid waste disposal, glare, or any other nuisances;" and

"Restrictions and/or conditions on design of Structures or operation of the use (including hours of operation) necessary either to ensure compatibility with the surrounding uses or to protect the natural or scenic resources of the Town;"

See: Article XII: Special Use Permits, PDF page 71: Town Zoning Law Adopted 2-19-15

According to Town of Dryden Comprehensive Plan, the Borger Compressor Station is located in the "rugged terrain of the Allegheny Plateau portion of the town and land uses in the area should be limited to farming and recreation or conservation-oriented uses."

See: PDF page 6: (10.6 MB PDF)

I believe that a powerful argument can be made to rescind or revise the Borger SUP given the problems that Toxics Targeting documented at the facility. The SUP obviously failed to prevent or require the clean up of toxic contamination at the compressor station site in compliance with state standards. Unless and until that concern has been resolved, it makes no sense for the Town to allow the facility to be expanded as part of the proposed Dominion New Market Pipeline project.


The Town of Dryden is renowned for undertaking landmark "home rule" legal action to prohibit shale fracking within its jurisdiction even though it had no authority to grant or deny regulatory permits authorizing high-volume hydraulic fracking. This is a excellent example of proving that "where there is a will, there is a way."

With that thought in mind, thank you for all your knowledgeable and sophisticated advocacy efforts. Keep making good arguments to stop the proposed Dominion New Market Pipeline from proceeding.

Onward and upward. Go Hard. Do not stop until you drop. Keep your fingers crossed while you are at it.

Very gratefully yours,


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