Mass. legislators’ statement to FERC July 29 scoping session

 

Greenfield Recorder
Thursday, July 30, 2015
(Published in print: Friday, July 31, 2015)

“We are unable to attend this hearing tonight due to legislative sessions in Boston, but we wish to comment on the matter before FERC due to the critical importance of this regulatory process in evaluating the environmental impact of this proposed project on the communities that we represent.

“First and foremost, we believe that FERC should suspend the current environmental scoping process and withdraw the Notice of Intent that was issued on June 30, 2015.

“It was only five days ago, on Friday July 24, 2015, that the latest Resource Reports for the Northeast Energy Direct project were filed for public comment and review as part of this process. These documents are massive, with thousands of pages of highly technical and important environmental information about this project.

“Despite the lateness of the filing of these reports, they are incomplete, and omit critical information that is necessary for a thorough and accurate review of the impacts of this proposed project in our communities.

“In this short amount of time, it is simply impossible for citizens, organizations, and experts to properly analyze and comment on the environmental and economic impacts of this project.

“In order to have a credible and respected regulatory process, we believe that it is incumbent upon FERC to postpone this current scoping process. We believe that it should be re-started with the issuance of a new Notice of Intent, extending the public comment period for at least 60 days in light of the July 24th Resource Reports. A new schedule of scoping hearings should be issued to allow for meaningful public comment during this period.

“Without a re-starting of this process, we believe that our constituents who would be affected by this project will be unable to offer full and meaningful testimony and comments on a project which threatens the environmental health and quality of life in our region. We respectfully ask that you approve this request before proceeding further.

“Thank you.

Sen. Stan Rosenberg, Franklin, Hampshire & Worcester District

Sen. Benjamin Downing, Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire & Hampden District

Rep. Stephen Kulik, First Franklin District

Rep. Paul Mark, Second Berkshire District

Rep. Gailanne Cariddi, Fist Berkshire District

Rep. Susannah Whipps-Lee, Second Franklin District”