Disclaimer: The information below does not reflect a formal position of the Choose Clean Water Coalition, but the position of some of its members.
A natural gas pipeline is proposed to flow under the Potomac River. Read this blog to learn more about the potential negative impacts of this pipeline and how our members are working together to stop it through the No Potomac Pipeline Campaign.
Proposed Pipeline Could Effect Clean Drinking Water For Millions
The Potomac River is a source of water for six million people. TransCanada spilled nearly 17,000 gallons of oil onto rural land last year, and had two other leaking incidents in 2011. Many of our members believe that placing trust in TransCanada to safely build and maintain an oil pipeline under the Potomac would be putting clean drinking water for millions at risk.
Pipeline Would Run Through Karst Geology
Karst topography is a sensitive geology characterized by underground drainage systems with sinkholes and caves. Easily susceptible to the transmission of pollutants through connected underground aquifers, Karst allows for the easy migration of pollutants into aquifers that run into the Potomac River. Hydraulic directional drilling under streams in this geology may create pathways for water to drain down and dissolve the limestone around the pining. This drilling may create sinkholes that would put the pipeline at risk, and can cause subterranean ruptures and even explosions.
Campaign Says NO to the Potomac Pipeline
The #NoPotomacPipeline campaign, initiated by the Potomac Riverkeeper Network, is in full swing with the support of a few other organizations. Many of the same members of the "Don't Frack In Maryland" campaign — who saw victory in their efforts to ban fracking in Maryland though legislation and garnering support from Gov. Larry Hogan — are fighting to stop the construction of this pipeline.
Once again, Gov. Hogan holds great power in this situation, as he has the authority to approve or reject the Section 401 Water Quality Certification for this project under the Clean Water Act. A few weeks ago, hundreds of Marylanders and West Virginians united to demonstrate their resistance to the pipeline. Standing hand in hand on the James Rumsey Bridge, the "Hands Across the Potomac" demonstration was a reassuring display of unity against faceless corporations. We hope Hogan saw this demonstration and heard the voices of those who will be directly affected.
If you want to join the #NoPotomacPipeline movement, sign up for our partners' action alerts. The Chesapeake Climate Action Network and Waterkeepers Chesapeake are two organizations that are providing great resources to get dissenters of the pipeline involved.
On Monday, November 8th, those organizations will be hosting a meeting at the Washington County Free Library to discuss the pipeline and volunteering opportunities. Those who are interested can RSVP to the free event, which will take place from 6:30pm-8pm.
Joe DeWitt is a communications intern with the Choose Clean Water Coalition.
This blog was updated on May 9, 2018 by Chanté Coleman , director, Choose Clean Water Coalition.