Concerned about pipeline expansion

Published 7:07 pm Friday, April 1, 2022

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To the editor,

As the City of Suffolk plans for the future and the health and well-being of the community, I write to draw attention to a new project of both health and environmental concern.

TC Energy, in partnership with Columbia Gas, has announced a proposed pipeline expansion called the “Virginia Reliability Project.” The fracked-gas project would travel through Suffolk as part of its approximately 48-mile path and would include removing the existing 12-inch-in-diameter pipe and replacing it with a 24-inch pipe. The stated intention is to increase capacity in the pipe. But expanding on existing fossil fuel infrastructure should receive great scrutiny, as it always comes with costs to the people and ecosystems of the area.

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Consideration of the proposed project must include review of how construction would impact local water bodies and wetlands, historic districts and agricultural land. Some of the areas through which the construction would occur are areas with existing pollution, inadequate infrastructure or proper sewer storage.

The project will be reviewed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or ‘FERC.” The agency is now taking comments from the public to know what concerns you may have, and what it should focus on as it reviews potential impacts.

As a local resident, your voice is most important in this process. You can visit this, select ‘eLibrary’ and search for Docket# PF22-3-000. This comment “scoping” period lasts until April 6. You may submit a comment at this link:

Jessica Sims