Goldman & Braunstein, a law firm that represents property owners affected by pipeline projects, encourages members of Congress to vote no on H.R. 161, legislation that will put public safety and the environment at risk.
The firm recently sent a letter and a petition signed by more than 200 Ohio property owners to members of Congress in an effort to raise awareness of the dangers of this legislation.
"Pipeline failures have become all too familiar," says Michael Braunstein, Managing Partner at Goldman & Braunstein and Professor Emeritus at The Ohio State University. "H.R. 161 will shorten the length and extent of review of pipeline projects by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which evaluates potential safety and environmental hazards. The FERC's thorough review is critical and should not be undermined for the sake of corporate profit."
FERC is an independent federal agency that regulates and oversees the siting, construction and environmental review of interstate oil and natural gas pipeline projects. Several large FERC pipeline projects proposed in Ohio include E.T. Rover, NEXUS and Leach XPress.
It is imperative that FERC conduct a thorough and independent review of these projects to ensure the public safety, limit the negative environmental impacts and protect the productivity of Ohio farmland from being damaged by these large construction projects.
H.R. 161, which has already been sent to the Senate for approval, will impose mandatory deadlines on FERC's review as well as grant automatic approvals in the event an agency reporting to FERC takes ‘too long’. These agencies include the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and the US Environmental Protection Agency.