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Request That U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Rescind Authorization for Dominion New Market Pipeline

Mr. Steven Metivier
U. S. Army Corps of Engineers
Buffalo District Regulatory Branch
1776 Niagara Street
Buffalo, NY 14207


Thank you for taking the time to speak with me regarding my request that the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers rescind the Section 401 "blanket authorization" Water Quality Certification for the 200-mile, $159 million Dominion New Market Pipeline expansion project. I also request that the matter not be considered pursuant to Nationwide Permit 12.

With all due respect, you apparently are unfamiliar with the specifics of this complex project and simply accepted the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) NWP 12 recommendation.

That is why I write today to request that you review this matter on a comprehensive basis and rescind the authorization for the massive proposed project because it clearly fails to fulfill U. S. Army Corps and DEC regulatory requirements.

Review Pursuant to NWP 12 is Inappropriate for the Dominion New Market Pipeline Expansion Project

The Dominion New Market Pipeline never should have been reviewed pursuant to Nationwide Permit 12 because:

"NWPs are a type of general permit designed to authorize certain activities that have minimal individual and cumulative adverse effects on the aquatic environment and generally comply with the related laws cited in 33 CFR 320.3. Activities that result in more than minimal individual and cumulative adverse effects on the aquatic environment cannot be authorized by NWPs (emphasis added)."

Existing Dominion Pipeline Toxic Hazards That Exceed State Remediation Standards

Last August I compiled extensive DEC information that widespread toxic contamination caused by the existing Dominion Pipeline had never been cleaned up to state standards at multiple sites along the pipeline alignment.

Many of these pollution hazards violated water quality standards: Dominion Pipeline (earlier known as CNG) spills

I subsequently obtained additional detailed information documenting that the Borger Compressor station that is proposed to be expanded as part of the New Market Project had contaminated an area adjoining a regulated wetland in Ithaca, NY that drains into Cascadilla Creek, a major tributary to Cayuga Lake. More than 30,000 residents drink water supplied from that lake.

This documentation refutes Dominion's assertion that the proposed project would have "minimal impacts" or that "No permanent loss or permanent impacts to wetlands or waterbodies will result from the project." This has obviously already occurred and the compressor station's toxic dumping was never remediated.

See: Additional Dominion New Market Pipeline Project Documents

These findings reinforce the concerns that I wrote to your agency about on September 11, 2016: Letter to U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Which Requests That the Section 401 Water Quality "Blanket Authorization" Be Rescinded For Proposed Dominion New Market Pipeline Expansion Project

DEC Violated its Own NWP 12 Requirements

Finally, DEC violated its own NWP 12 "General Conditions" because the agency has already failed to fulfill its "'Non-contamination of Waters' requirements:

- All necessary precautions shall be taken to preclude contamination of any wetland or waterway by suspended solids, resins, sediments, fuels, solvents, lubricants, epoxy coatings, paints, concrete, leachate or any other environmentally deleterious materials associated with the project (bold is emphasis added)."

DEC's own spill incidents data clearly document that both the construction as well as operation of the existing Dominion Pipeline caused multiple violations of water quality standards that were never cleaned up to state standards. Uncontrolled pollution releases involved "unknown petroleum," "waste oil/used oil," "natural gas," "natural gas distillates," "#2 fuel oil," "#4 fuel oil," "#6 fuel oil," "blacktop," and "auto waste fluids."


For all these well-documented reasons, I respectfully request that your agency fulfill my above-referenced request and respond in writing as soon as convenient.

I urge your immediate action because DEC recently granted the air discharge permits required for the Dominion New Market Pipeline Expansion Project to proceed. Time is of the essence.

Very truly yours,

Walter Hang

cc: Honorable Barbara S. Lifton
Honorable Steven Englebright
Honorable Thomas F. O'Mara
Honorable Charles E. Schumer
Honorable Kirsten Gillibrand
Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Honorable Basil Seggos
Honorable Region 2 Administrator, USEPA