Strong Resistance in Connecticut to Pipeline Proposals
Photo credit: Daniel Myers, 1900feet.org
Over the past few months the resistance to two major fracked-gas pipeline expansions proposed for Connecticut has been growing. Now all eyes are on Governor Ned Lamont and DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes to see how they’ll respond.
Stop the Brookfield Compressor Station Expansion
For years residents of Brookfield, CT have been fighting to shut down a toxic pipeline compressor station in the town, and organizing is picking up once again. The compressor station is located just 1900 feet from a middle school, and burns fracked-gas via massive turbines to create pressure along the pipeline route. Berkshire Hathaway and TC Energy are now trying to double the size of the facility.
Residents have been hosting regular meetings at the town's library, putting up large campaign signs up across town, and are pressuring local leaders to oppose the project. This work has paid off, and in December the newly elected First Selectman and both the town's State Rep and Senator have stated their opposition to the project.
DEEP has the final say on the expansion project, and they were planning to make a preliminary decision on the permit in December. In response, Sierra Club coordinated a mass call-in to the Governor's office, and the office of DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes. In total 250 calls were made to each office, urging them to reject the compressor station permit application.
On December 2, the EPA announced new methane regulations, including stricter regulations for compressor stations. Sierra Club crafted a very strong letter that was delivered to DEEP, letting them know that these new regulations need to be taken into account for the compressor station expansion in Brookfield. DEEP confirmed that the permit application does in fact need to be updated, delaying the permitting process for at least 3-4 months. With this added time, we plan on continuing to ramp up our organizing efforts in Brookfield, and pressure DEEP and the Governor.
Stop Project Maple
Last year Enbridge proposed a massive expansion to their pipeline system across the Northeast. Details haven’t been released yet, but it will likely involve expanding compressor stations, adding miles of expanded pipelines, and potentially building LNG storage facilities. It’s likely that most of the expansion will take place in Connecticut.
While Project Maple is years away from moving forward, activists in Connecticut and across the region are moving fast to build momentum against it. In December, 90 groups across the Northeast signed on to a letter expressing their united opposition to Project Maple. This letter was delivered to the Governors of each state that would be impacted by the pipeline expansion. There was also a week of action where protests and rallies were held in New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts against Project Maple. There has also been a slew of media coverage, including a recent Hartford Courant article, and this letter to the editor.
Much more is needed to stop both Project Maple and the compressor station expansion proposed for Brookfield. One simple, yet critically important action you can take today is contacting Governor Ned Lamont and DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes, and urge them to stop the fracked-gas build out in Connecticut by rejecting the air permit for the Brookfield compressor station and publicly announce their opposition to Project Maple:
Governor Ned Lamont: 860-566-4840, firstname.lastname@example.org
Commissioner Katie Dykes: 860-424-3571, email@example.com
Thank you for your advocacy! Together we can stop these dangerous new fracked gas pipeline expansion projects.
Nick Katkevich is Northeast Field Organizer at the Sierra Club