Tag Archives: public voice

WEBINAR—public voices, public witness PA IPL’s Town Hall Toolkit

As those on our email list know, PA IPL has adapted an expanded a PA IPL Town Hall Toolkit to help you

  • ask for Town Halls
  • register for Town Halls
  • attend Town Halls (whether or not you plan to speak)
  • create questions that build relationships – and put the legislator and the constituent on the same side of the desk, facing the problem.

There are even

  • prayers to use before and afterwards
  • questions for debriefing with other climate-focused attendees.

Join Chelsea Jackson, project coordinator, on this phone call to meet her, click through a few highlights of the Toolkit, and even brainstorm or practice.

Friday, August 25th, noon-1:00
OR
Monday, August 28th 7:00-8:00 PM

Use the links above to email Chelsea and let her know which call you’d like to be on.  She’ll send you information to connect via phone or computer.

We know which way the wind blows. Testimony on air quality

Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline
Air Quality Permit Application
statement to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
by William A Lochstet, Ph.D.
Board Member, Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light

Bill was Speaker 31 at the DEP hearing in Lancaster on August 14, 2017, and was quoted in Lancaster Online’s article about the hearing.

The Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company (Transco) is expecting to release 105.4 to 133.5 tons of NOx during the construction of the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline in Lancaster County. Since this is a non-attainment area for the ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), such emissions would exacerbate already excessive ozone concentrations. As a person of faith, I find that many traditions proclaim some form of the rule that we should all do unto others as we would like to be treated. And so, Transco is proposing to offset the impact of these emissions by transferring 106 tons of NOx Emission Reduction Credits (ERC) from Harford County MD.

Because of activity in Harford County, the air contains less NOx, and when it comes here, it can cancel the ozone creating effect of the emissions from the pipeline construction activity. This cleaner air is carried by the wind, whose average directions can be determined by a wind rose from Millersville University for Harrisburg International Airport (attached)[1]. This diagram divides the circle into 16 segments with 3 segments from the more or less proper southwest directions to bring air from Harford County to Lancaster County. Each of these segments represents about a 3% probability, so that we could expect the clean air to arrive about 9 or 10% of the time. Thus we would expect that of the 106 tons of ERC that only 11 tons would arrive in Lancaster County.

Another approach would be to examine the data in the Atlantic Sunrise Plan Approval Application[2]. Environmental Resources Management found 60 days for which the ozone concentrations at the Lancaster monitor exceeded NAAQS. They were able to identify 14 days for which the air quality at the Lancaster monitor was affected by air parcels that passed through the Baltimore area. Then the probability of air moving from Harford County to Lancaster County is 14/60, or 23%, so that we would expect 23% of 106 tons, or 25 tons of ERC to reach Lancaster County.

These calculations predict that Lancaster County will benefit from an offset of eleven (11) to twenty five (25) tons of the ECRs which would   not offset 105 tons of NOx. It does not meet the rule of “Do unto others as we would like to be treated.” A statement in the Air Quality Technical Report[3] is:

Transco’s approach to use ERCs to offset the complete, conservatively estimated                   amount of NOx emissions from Lancaster County will present a net benefit to air quality environment in the local area.

This statement cannot be true. Furthermore, the Code of Federal Regulations requires that the offset have the result “that there is no net increase in emissions of that pollutant.”[4] This requirement is not met. Thus this Air Quality Plan cannot be approved.

Notes
[1]. Available at: http://www.atmos.millersville.edu/~wic/climo/local_WindRose_MDT.jpg
[2]. Available at:     http://files.dep.state.pa.us/ProgramIntegration/PA%20Pipeline%20Portal/AtlanticSunrise/ASR%20GC%20Plan%20Approval%20Application%202017%200711.pdf
Appendix E; Memorandum from Mark Garrison, ERM, 6 December 2016.
[3]. Available at http://files.dep.state.pa.us/ProgramIntegration/PA%20Pipeline%20Portal/AtlanticSunrise/ASR%20GC%20Plan%20Approval%20Application%202017%200711.pdf
Attachment C; Atlantic Sunrise Air Quality Technical Report, P. 9, bottom of page
[4]. At 40 CFR § 93.158(a)(2), and also 40 CFR § 93.158(b)(2)

Shining a light— this Fiscal Code and other budget measures are unfair and sneaky.

Mighty Ruler who loves justice,
It was You who established equity. (Psalm 99:4)
The diverse faith traditions that work together through Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light have a wide variety of names and conceptions of the Divine.  Yet we all agree on this: the Divine calls on us to love justice and establish equity, just as the Psalmist poetically describes God doing.
We have signed a coalition letter opposing a variety of harmful anti-environment, anti-health, and anti-justice riders attached to Senate budget bills because it does the exact opposite— degrading equity instead of establishing it, throwing roadblocks in front of justice instead of pursuing it.  Everyone in Pennsylvania deserves a clean, healthy environment, and it is the duty of our state government to ensure that that is what everyone receives.  For the sake of this generation and generations to come, we ask citizens and the members of the Pennsylvania House to join with us in opposing these destructive provisions.
Click through to read the letter from numerous groups concerned about climate change, clean energy, and environmental justice in Pennsylvania.  (8/21 signed version)  Many thanks to author Matt Stepp at PennFuture for a clear and focused distillation of concerns.

SIGN a letter from individuals via our friends at the Pennsylvania Council of Churches.

monthly Policy Update call

Email for call info. 

These calls are scheduled monthly, and are a chance to develop and maintain a base of knowledge about current  and emerging climate policy and legislation, municipal through federal, with a focus on important issues and/or roles for Pennsylvanians and moral, ethical, and faith-rooted messages.  More.

The calls are open to people at any stage of advocacy and policy involvement.  We begin and end with a short meditation, reflection, prayer or centering breath, and include both reports and discussion.  We will identify and/or choose a limited number of key actions for each month.

The resources that support this call come from and through a variety of sources: IPL national, the Washington Inter-religious Staff Community and connected organizations, the US Climate Action Network, and PennFuture.

4th Thursdays, 12:30-1:30
Calls can be made from your phone or computer.  The only charges are your normal charges for call or internet service.  There are no additional charges.

remaining 2017 call dates:
September 28
October 26
November 16 (THIRD Thursday, due to Thanksgiving)
December: no meeting, state and federal legislators on recess

Making our Voices Heard— PA IPL’s Town Hall Toolkit

We recently introduced you to a new member of the PA IPL family: Chelsea Jackson.  Chelsea is with us for a short three months (August, September and October) to help make sure our elected officials hear loudly and clearly from communities and people of faith at congressional Town Halls about the importance of policies that protect public health.  

We want our Senators and Congressmen to know that protecting communities from the assaults on public health that would result from dismantling environmental safeguards —including the critical ‘Referees and Guardrails’ safeguards provided by the Environmental Protection Agency— is a moral imperative.  Chelsea is working with us as a Project Coordinator to provide messaging guidance and logistical support for members of faith communities to speak to decision makers.  Chelsea is well suited to her new role: she spent the past four years serving as an assistant pastor in a United Methodist Church, dedicated to service, social activism and environmental justice.

With Chelsea’s help and commitment, PA IPL has created a Town Hall Toolkit … and now a Beyond the Town Hall Toolkit to help with visit and calls.
In addition, keep an eye out for emails from Chelsea that share important information about Town Halls in your neighborhood.  Or – don’t wait! Chelsea welcomes your questions and ideas, so feel free to
reach out to her.

WEBINAR tour of the Toolkit and more!

monthly Policy Update call

Email for call info. 

These calls are scheduled monthly, and are a chance to develop and maintain a base of knowledge about current  and emerging climate policy and legislation, municipal through federal, with a focus on important issues and/or roles for Pennsylvanians and moral, ethical, and faith-rooted messages.  More.

The calls are open to people at any stage of advocacy and policy involvement.  We begin and end with a short meditation, reflection, prayer or centering breath, and include both reports and discussion.  We will identify and/or choose a limited number of key actions for each month.

The resources that support this call come from and through a variety of sources: IPL national, the Washington Inter-religious Staff Community and connected organizations, the US Climate Action Network, and PennFuture.

4th Thursdays, 12:30-1:30
Calls can be made from your phone or computer.  The only charges are your normal charges for call or internet service.  There are no additional charges.

remaining 2017 call dates:
August 24
September 28
October 26
November 16 (THIRD Thursday, due to Thanksgiving)
December: no meeting, state and federal legislators on recess