Date: 1/29/19 8:40 am From: Kate StJohn <0000000f59b962a9-dmarc-request...> Subject: Sad update on Independence Marsh, Beaver
This is not a bird sighting so please ignore if it's not of interest. Please reply Privately!(I am sending this to PABIRDS because the "AudubonPA" listserve seems to be defunct.)
In November I posted news that the Falcon Pipeline was proposed to run right through Independence Marsh, linking Washington County gas wells to the new Shell cracker plant in Beaver, PA. Just before Christmas DEP approved the pipeline path. It will indeed wipe out the wetland. Here is recent news, 28 Jan 2019, from FracTracker.org (<info...>).
"Yes unfortunately the path has been approved. There are a number of issues concerning birds with the pipeline route at Independence Marsh- this is a registered "Important Bird Area," and as such, Shell should have been in contact with the local Audubon Society which they were not. Shell also stated that the only area water body large enough to support waterfowl in this section of the route would be Independence Marsh, but that this area would be drained to make it more into a wetland. This statement has a number of people in the community concerned. The testimony of a birder would be important for groups challenging the route on the Beaver County Conservation District's property."
PABIRDers, if you are interested in providing testimony please email me privately. I don't yet know where/when or even to whom the testimony would be given.
p.s. I *think* the reason they will drain the lake and make it a wetland is because they will completely wipe out the wetland upstream of the lake and since the wetland is a mitigation, they probably need to provide one of comparable size. So there we are.
Kate St. John, Pittsburgh
Visit my bird/nature blog at birdsOutsideMyWindow.org