[texbirds] Urgent request to help protect the Big Bend

  • From: Teresa Cigarroa Keck <tckeck@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "texbirds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <texbirds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 26 Jun 2015 21:04:56 +0200

Dear Texas Birders,
There is a pressing issue that may be of concern to the birding community, as
we have an especially keen interest in the avifauna of the Trans-Pecos. As many
of you know, a project is currently underway for the construction of a
144-mile, 42-inch pipeline that would stretch across the Trans-Pecos, hook up
to a segment built under the Rio Grande, and ultimately deliver natural gas to
Mexico. This is a very large pipeline. To put it in perspective, the Keystone
pipeline is only 36 inches in diameter.

The construction, operation, and maintenance of the Trans-Pecos Pipeline poses
considerable risks to the natural and cultural resources of the Big Bend
region. Specifically, those in Brewster, Presidio, and Jeff Davis Counties, and
the adjacent portion of the Rio Grande.

The pipeline company, Energy Transfer Partners, now seeks authorization from
the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to build the approximately 1000-foot
pipeline segment across the Rio Grande. The company argues that the ONLY
relevant environmental considerations are those that pertain to the
cross-border area, and not to the entire 144-mile project.

The Big Bend Conservation Alliance, a non-profit organization committed to
opposing this pipeline, disagrees. The *entire* pipeline should be subject to
rigorous environmental scrutiny, not just a tiny piece. To that end, the
Alliance will intervene in the federal proceeding to request that: 1) the
Alliance be allowed to participate in the permit proceedings; 2) that a FULL
environmental impact survey be conducted on the ENTIRE length of the project;
and 3) that the public be given notice and opportunity to participate in the
environmental impact studies.

If you find the effort to protect the Big Bend region compelling, please submit
a comment to be Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. *Anyone* can comment, and
your input is critical. Comments reflecting your visits to the Trans-Pecos, the
importance of its habitats and avifauna, your interest and experiences in the
region, and any other matter you consider significant, can be submitted here:
https://ferconline.ferc.gov/QuickComment.aspx You will need to reference docket
number CP15-500-000. *****The deadline for comments is JUNE 30th at 5PM
EST.***** For a tutorial on how to submit a comment, click here:
http://www.notinourbigbend.com/blog/-ferc-e-comment-quick-comment-tutorial .

Please also consider joining the Big Bend Conservation Alliance. If a comment
is submitted, the $10 membership fee will be waived in consideration for your
participation. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the
scope of comments, Alliance membership, or to find out more about how you can
help protect the region.

Good birding,

Teresa Cigarroa Keck
Legal Counsel, Big Bend Conservation Alliance
San Antonio, Texas

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