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Tue Dec 19, 2017, 05:50 AM

Proposed fracked gas pipeline under C&O Canal, Potomac River at Hancock (opinion)


Proposed fracked gas pipeline under C&O Canal, Potomac River at Hancock

Paul Walker, Middletown

TransCanada, a large Canadian energy company, has applied for a permit from the Maryland Department of the Environment and Gov. Larry Hogan to build a fracked gas pipeline under the Potomac River and C&O Canal at Hancock. TransCanada made national news most recently in November when it leaked 210,000 gallons of gas from its XL pipeline in South Dakota.

The stated mission of the Department of the Environment’s Water and Science Administration (MDE WSA) is to “restore and maintain quality of the State’s ground and surface waters, and plan and supervise development and conservation of the State’s waters.” Key words here: “maintain quality” and “conservation” of our water. MDE is conducting a public hearing on the project Tuesday, Dec. 19, at 6 p.m. at Hancock High School. Public comment is encouraged.

The Maryland Legislature and Hogan banned fracking this year, a decision that protects the state’s water and encourages development of energy from renewable sources rather than fossil fuels. The proposed pipeline offers no economic benefit to Maryland residents, but does threaten our water by carrying fracked gas from Pennsylvania to West Virginia.

Gov. Hogan has the authority to say no to this project and its risks. He can direct the Maryland Department of the Environment to deny a special water-quality certification under the Clean Water Act.

What citizens can do: Contact Gov. Hogan by phone (800-811-8336 or 410-974-3901), by email (governor.mail@maryland.gov) or mail (Gov. Hogan, 100 State Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401); or attend the hearing and state your opposition.

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