Category Archives: Law

Clean water is a fundamental right –Delaware Riverkeeper Network vindicated in court

Courts in other states should affirm or institute the “sea-change” the Pennsylvania Supreme Court just upheld:

PEDF vs. Pennsylvania, J-35-2016 “…the people’s rights to clean water and air and the preservation of a healthy environment are on par with our other fundamental rights and freedoms…”

Delaware Riverkeeper Network, press release, 20 June 2017, Pennsylvania Supreme Court Upholds Constitutional Environmental Rights in Milestone Case,

Delaware Riverkeeper Network [logo]

For Immediate Release
June 20, 2017

Contact: Jordan Yeager, Attorney, Curtin and Heefner Law Firm, 267.898.0570
Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper, 215.369.1188 x 102

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Upholds Constitutional Environmental Rights in Milestone Case

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Florida may require licensing of paddle boats and boards

Here’s a bad idea that doesn’t seem to die: making people pay to register non-motorized boats in Florida.

Kevin Spear, Orlando Sentinel, 29 January 2017, Florida may require licensing for kayaks, canoes, paddle boards,

USCG Vessel ID Sticker
No registration or permit needed for this U.S. Coast Guard Vessel ID Sticker

A citizens panel assembled by state-boating authorities will meet in Orlando on Wednesday to explore what could become a path to adopting registration and fees for small boats powered by humans, wind and currents.

“That sounds like Continue reading

WWALS adds evidence, again asks FERC to stay Sabal Trail, revoke its permit, plus do a SEIS 2017-06-05

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 5, 2017, Hahira, GA — Citing the sea change of solar power overtaking natural gas in new U.S. electricity last year, and generational damage to the fields of farmers such as Randy Dowdy, WWALS Watershed Coalition today filed more evidence and reasons to stop the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline from going into service and to revoke its permit. WWALS filed the same Monday that Sabal Trail Friday asked FERC to authorize turning on the gas. Plus WWALS explicitly requested FERC do a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) to take into account LNG export from Sabal Trail, copious environmental permit violations, and especially new scientific evidence about the Floridan Aquifer.

Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman said: “Such irreparable harm outweighs a few billion dollars spent in error by a few companies.”


And that’s without even getting into risks to education, such as Sabal Trail only a mile from Clyattville Elementary School.

WWALS filed the document today with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The WWALS cover letter is included below in this message, and the FERC filing is available online.

WWALS wrote in Attachment 1:

“Solar power has actually more than doubled every two years since 2013. Yet FERC only counts utility-scale solar power. Adding rooftop and community solar panels, already a sea change has occurred.

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U.S. Chamber wants FERC nominees approved 2017-05-31

The key phrase is actually exactly why FERC nominees should not be approved: 170531 FERCNominations-PowellChatterjee Murkowski Cantwell-0001

“…but of increasingly vital importance, also oversees the permitting and construction of natural gas pipelines, gas storage projects, and liquefied natural gas terminals.”

Funny how the Chamber didn’t mention fracking or LNG export. We don’t need more pipelines taking people’s property and risking our water and lives for the profit of a few fossil fuel executives cashing out before their industry goes belly-up.

WWALS recommends a swift vote to deny these FERC nominees and any others who do not vow to “to develop the new energy infrastructure necessary to ensure future domestic energy security” by rapidly deploying sun and wind power with no more new pipelines. Please call your Senators or members of that Committee to recommend they get on with real renewable energy, not 20th century fossil fuel stranded assets.

U.S. Chamber letter to U.S. Senate Energy Committee

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Call U.S. Senate Energy Committee about Sabal Trail and FERC violations

Update 2017-06-15: On 6 June 2017 the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee forwarded two FERC nominees, but the full Senate has not voted on them, so you can lobby your Senators to vote no.

You can follow up after five people were arrested Thursday protesting confirmation hearings for FERC nominees in the U.S. Senate Energy Committee. The committee hasn’t made any decisions yet, so there’s still time to tell your Senator or members of that committee what FERC or its rubberstamped pipelines have done, so they can refuse to confirm any nominee who does not vow to turn FERC away from more pipelines and towards sun, wind, and a smart grid.


Photo: Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee considered the nominations of (left to right) Dan Brouillette to be deputy Energy secretary and Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson to fill vacancies on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

They’re also considering a nominee for deputy Secretary of the Department of Energy, which department’s Office of Fossil Energy rubberstamped half a dozen LNG export operations in Florida. You can tell the Senators that you don’t want him, either, unless he will turn to the sun.

You can ask the Senate Energy Committee to go beyond that: it can Continue reading

Sabal Trail slips its in-service request to June; FERC classifies WWALS shutdown request as motion 2017-05-26

They finally admit to FERC the Sabal Trail boondoggle is a month late! And FERC reclassifies the WWALS filing as a motion for all three SMPP pipelines.

Susan Salisbury, Palm Beach Post, 26 May 2017, Sabal Trail seeks new pipeline start date; group wants shutdown,

Sabal Trail Transmission on Friday asked federal regulators for an early June in-service date for its portion of the Alabama-to-Florida natural gas pipeline, a later date than it had requested earlier this month.

With segmented KMI FGT JEP to Jacksonville to Eagle LNG export:

On May 17 Houston-based Sabal Trail had asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for permission to start sending gas through the pipeline by today — May 26.

Also Friday, the Georgia-based WWALS Watershed Coalition asked FERC to deny all requests to place the pipeline into service, and said FERC should revoke the permit and shut it down.

The Sierra Club recently asked FERC to delay the pipeline’s operation until after pending litigation is resolved.

FERC has yet to act on either of Sabal Trail’s start-up date requests or on The Sierra Club’s request.

Maybe FERC staff have noticed Continue reading

WWALS asks FERC to deny Sabal Trail’s in-service request and to revoke its permit

Update: 2017-06-05: WWALS files with FERC against Sabal Trail again, about sea change from fossil fuels to sun and wind power.

Update 2017-05-27: Sabal Trail slips its in-service request to June; FERC classifies WWALS shutdown request as motion 2017-05-26.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, GA, May 26, 2017 — WWALS Watershed Coalition today asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to “stay, stop, or deny all requests to place any project facilities into service” for the Southeast Markets Pipeline Project (SMPP) including Sabal Trail. Further “WWALS as an intervenor formally requests FERC to revoke its Certificate of Convenience and Necessity for SMPP.”

In its thirteen-page filing (available online and in PDF), WWALS listed six reasons, each with its own attachment of details:

  1. The alleged need for this pipeline project, which has been refuted by its funding organization in FPL’s 2016 Ten Year Plan and by other evidence; and
  2. FERC has taken jurisdiction of at least one LNG export chain from Sabal Trail, despite FERC’s own assertion in its February 2016 Certificate; and
  3. Major Gas Pipelines Serving Jacksonville, Florida
    See Sabal Trail to export through Jacksonville, FL.

  4. Failure to assess risks to Floridan Aquifer, the primary water supply for the region; and
  5. Numerous permit violations during construction; and
  6. Failure to address especially egregious violations such as the destruction of Randy Dowdy’s world-record soybean fields; and
  7. The legal challenges recited in the Sierra Club letter of May 18, 2017, FERC Accession Number 20170519-5018, are all completely litigated.

WWALS president and Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman said, “It’s not too late for FERC to do its job and actually evaluate all the new evidence that has come to light. Even more, FERC should look at how the world has changed Continue reading