ANNAPOLIS, MD — Today, the Maryland Department of Environment issued a state wetlands and waterways permit for TransCanada’s proposed Eastern Panhandle Expansion Project for fracked gas, known as the “Potomac Pipeline.” This decision comes one day after the deadline passed for the Administration to fully review the project under section 401 of the Clean Water Act, and two days after five mothers were arrested in an act of protest against Governor Hogan’s support for this highly controversial pipeline.
Statement from Anne Havemann, General Counsel at the Chesapeake Climate Action Network:
“The Hogan Administration has made a serious mistake in its regulatory approach to this pipeline with the potential of severe impacts to drinking water, public health, and the environment. It’s very disappointing that the Administration decided to issue this limited permit the day after it waived its right to fully review the project under section 401 of the Clean Water Act.
“We question whether the conditions under the state’s Wetlands and Waterways permit are even enforceable. We also question whether they are sufficient to protect the state’s waters, given the sensitive geology and the potential impacts to the treasured Potomac River.
“The state should have pursued a more powerful 401 certification under the Clean Water Act, which would have looked at the project holistically and would have put the burden on TransCanada to prove that the project won’t harm water quality. We believe that the Hogan Administration would have had no choice but to reject the proposal if it had done this more robust review.”
Anne Havemann, General Counsel, 202-997-2466, firstname.lastname@example.org
Denise Robbins, Communications Director, 608-620-8819, email@example.com
Mike Tidwell, Executive Director, 240-460-5838, firstname.lastname@example.org