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Pike County Court Orders Protesters to Stay Away from Tennessee Pipeline

Jolie Defies

A court has ordered protesters to keep off the Tennessee Gas pipeline work site.

The Pocono Record reports the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company successfully got an injunction in Pike County Court this week to keep protesters off of its work site:

Protesters are opposed to the construction of the company’s Northeast Upgrade Project, 40 miles of a natural gas pipeline, including 10.5 miles through Pike County.

The pipeline must be operational by Nov. 1 because the company has an agreement to provide gas capacity to two companies by then.

Some protesters have publicly stated their intention to slow or stop the project.

They became more active as the company cleared trees from its federally approved right-of-way, through mostly privately owned forest land, according to testimony Monday.

At least three protesters were arrested in Westfall for climbing and sitting in trees that were slated for clearing, causing the company to work around those sites.

In February, StateImpact covered two protesters who had handcuffed themselves to a gate in the Delaware State Forest for two days, in order to block access to tree felling crews:

The protests follow a series of failed legal efforts to halt the project. Environmental activists say the expanded pipeline will scar the landscape, and cause irreparable harm to sensitive watersheds. The upgrade project includes loops around existing pipelines, traveling through wooded forests and across wetlands.

“The result is runoff and more pollution,” says Maya van Rossum with the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, a grassroots environmental group formed 25 years ago to protect the Delaware watershed. “But also a greater volume of water will be coming into our streams and causing downstream erosion.”

Van Rossum says drilling in the Marcellus Shale has led to at least 14 new pipeline projects completed or planned for the Delaware River watershed.

“The cumulative effect is very dramatic,” she says. “The pipeline companies tend to target open spaces that we all fought so hard to protect.”

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