Preparing for Release of FERC’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS)
We have been asking for a suspension of FERC’s Environmental Impact Study. BUT… we need to be prepared in the event that a DEIS does come out sooner rather than later. While there have been many delays due to PennEast’s lack of substantive and accurate information in it’s resource reports to FERC, FERC has been continuing to work on the DEIS.
We will, of course, keep you informed and let you know of upcoming ‘hands on’ workshops that will be held after the DEIS drops to help you draft your comments. If you are an intervenor, this is especially important.
Read below the comments of WCAP’s MIke Spille about the possible upcoming DEIS from his Cost of the Pipeline website.
What is the DEIS?
The DEIS is a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) document that FERC is required to create by law. What this document is supposed to do is to show all of the potential damage the the project could cause, and all of the things that are proposed to mitigate those damages, and then indicate whether this is creating an unacceptable amount of damage to the human environment, or not.
– This is the “draft” version, so this is FERC’s initial cut.
– We don’t know exactly when the DEIS is going to be released.
– Once it does, we only have 45 days to comment.
– And the DEIS forms the legal record for objections to the project.
Here’s how the timeline works:
• Sept 2015: Company files their application.
• ??? 2016: FERC publishes their DEIS (could be anytime in the next 0-3 months).
• ??? 2016 + 45 days: End of DEIS comment period.
• Dec 2016: FERC states they’ll publish their Final EIS (FEIS).
• Jan-Mar 2017: FERC could publish their final order approving or rejecting the schedule.
So here’s what everyone has to do: start considering what you want to say in objection to PennEast. Get your list together. Start talking to your friends and neighbors and family. Get ready. Think about your property, your neighborhood, your job, and all the potential impacts. Think about the small country roads we travel. School bus schedules. Where your well and septic system are. Tourism impacts, historical districts. Runoff, endangered species. Any potential impact needs to get documented, and we need as many people as possible doing it.
And meanwhile…you can’t file them yet. They have to be filed AFTER the DEIS comes out to be part of the legal record.
It’s like the army – hurry up and wait!
But this is really important people. FERC is required to answer every single objection to the DEIS that is filed on the docket. And any lawsuits against PennEast or FERC have to be based on information in those docket comments. So this is our one shot – these 45 days will be critical.
Keep an eye on this website for upcoming meetings about this, and, when the DEIS drops for real, be prepared to hit the ground running and get those comments in.
TOGETHER WE WILL WIN!