DEC Comment: Contaminants and Sediments

The Williams NESE fracked gas pipeline would endanger local communities and the environment, while further locking our state into dependence on fossil fuels at a time when we must be shifting as quickly as possible to 100 percent renewable energy.

When the DEC denied Williams a WQC on May 15, 2019, a major reason it gave for the denial was that “[m]ost notably . . . water quality standards for both mercury and copper are projected to be exceeded in certain areas in New York State waters.” The DEC also noted “significant water quality impacts from the resuspension of sediments.”

When Williams re-applied on May 17, 2019, it responded that at points along the construction path where mercury and copper would be particularly prevalent, it would slow the dredging and, with regards to mercury, also halt it completely for 1 hour at each ‘slack-tide’ period (i.e, the high tide and low tide intervals).  Williams claimed that this would resolve the DEC’s concerns about mercury and copper. Williams also offered new information that asserted that the total suspended solids generated by filling in the trench at certain spots would be significant only close to the sea floor.

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has decision making power to stop this pipeline. They have very specific, legal criteria that gives them the power to deny Williams’ application, and we’ve made easy-to-access, online prompts that helps you write your letter. We will continue to add a new subjects in the coming days.