September 7, 2016
Re: Transcontinental Pipeline Company, LLCNortheast Supply Enhancement ProjectDocket #: PF16-5-000
Dear Secretary Bose and FERC Commissioners,
We are writing to strongly oppose the FERC’s proposal to engage in a scoping hearing format to obtain public comment on the Northeast Supply Enhancement Project. We protest a hearing format that prevents us from hearing and learning from each other and for FERC to hear from all of us. A meeting where citizens have only three minutes to read their comments to a stenographer and FERC representative in a private room, instead of publicly sharing their concerns for the community to hear, completely strips away the very core of what a public hearing is – the opportunity to be heard by all attendees, including neighbors, key opinion leaders, media, and the meeting hosts, in this case, FERC representatives. Please put the ‘hear’ back in hearing! We are requesting that the FERC conduct a true, open public hearing instead of a ‘scoping’ format that completely suppresses public engagement.
We also vehemently disagree with the short, two-week notice the public was given to prepare comments and rearrange schedules to attend the hearings, as well as oppose the insufficient 30 days to submit written comments, both of which fall over a national holiday weekend. There are myriad issues with this proposed project that would seriously impact the health and welfare of our communities that we would like to adequately express in our public comments. We find this poorly timed, minimally allotted amount of preparation time to be highly inappropriate and irresponsible. It feels very much like a ‘rush job’ on FERC’s part to avoid hearing the important and knowledgeable voices of the many concerned citizens. Therefore, we ask that FERC extend the oral comment period to 45 days from the date of this letter, and allot 60 days for the written comment deadline.
A complex project the scale of Transco’s Northeast Supply Enhancement Project requires a robust and rigorous review, with full transparency in the light of day. That includes adequate time for public comment preparation, and participation in a truly public meeting, one that invites all concerned parties to be present to hear people’s comments. The public, which FERC is supposed to protect, should not and will not be relegated to a dark corner to give testimony. We implore you to let all of our voices receive the proper and deserved platform for all interested parties to hear.