Category Archives: water supplies

Baker: State preparing for ‘worst-case scenario’ drought / Task force to survey damage as 16 percent of state suffers from extreme conditions

[Comment from SAFE Co-Chair Jeffrey Barz-Snell: “…here is today’s front page article about the Governor’s visit to North Andover to tour the effects and damage from the drought.”]

From Salem News staff writer, Zoe Mathews:

NORTH ANDOVER — Just hours before Gov. Charlie Baker set foot on Smolak Farms, the U.S. Drought Monitor announced an unprecedented 16 percent of the state, including the North Shore, is considered in “extreme drought.”

Joined by state administrators from various economic and agricultural agencies, Baker stood in front of a field of stunted crops at Smolak Farms and outlined steps citizens and municipalities alike can take in order to weather the lack of storms.

“We are preparing for the worst-case scenario,” said Baker, who recommended residents take small, cumulative steps to reduce water consumption, such as limiting outdoor water use and shortening their shower times.

“You might have to get a haircut,” to meet those demands, he said, offering a moment of levity during a time that has many deeply concerned.

Read more.

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Amanda Sabga
AMANDA SABGA/Staff photos
Gov. Charlie Baker chats with Smolak Farms owner Michael Smolak, left, and Secretary Matthew Beaton of the office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Crops have been severely stunted by the extreme drought conditions that show no sign of ending soon.

As drought grows, towns need to cut water usage

[Comment from SAFE Co-Chair Jeffrey Barz-Snell: “The Ipswich River Watershed Assoc. is stepping up their efforts to engage communities in our area about water conservation. Salem and Beverly share a well designed water system but we do draw from the Ipswich River.”]

From a Boston Globe Editorial:

After five months of dry weather, the drought has grown from an inconvenience for gardeners to a looming public safety threat. The “drought index” indicating forest fire risk in Massachusetts is at the same level as it is in some parts of the Rockies. Some towns, including Concord, have raised alarms about the possible impact of low water levels on the ability of firefighters to pump enough water in emergencies. The state put all of central and northeastern Massachusetts under “drought warning” last week, the second-highest level of alert, one notch below a formal emergency. (Boston and close-in suburbs use the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, which operates vast reservoirs in central Massachsuetts [sic] and hasn’t suffered from the drought. But the MWRA is still urging homeowners to conserve water.)

Read more.

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Cracked earth and a hose in a dried-up pond that is usually used to irrigate crops at Siena Farms in Sudbury (JESSICA RINALDI/GLOBE STAFF).

SAFE’s video of “Gas Pipelines and Salem’s Water Supply” now on YouTube and SATV

The June 28th presentations by Wayne Castonguay, Erin Bennett, PhD, and Cathy Kristofferson can now be seen on YouTube here.

In Salem, the video will air on channel 3 on these dates and times:
Friday, July 15, 2016: 9:30 PM
Monday, July 18, 2016: 6:00 AM
(go to SATV’s online schedule for future airings)

“Avoiding Flint – Protecting the Climate”
For more info, email salemsafe@gmail.com
Part I (0 to 32 minute marker)
Introductions by Jeff Barz-Snell, Co-Chair of SAFE
“The Voice of the River,” by Wayne Castonguay (Executive Director of the Ipswich River Watershed Association)

Part II (32 minute marker to 1 hour and 44 minute marker)
“Glyphosate 101: What is this stuff & how does it behave in the environment?” by Erin Bennett, PhD (Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, University of Windsor)
“Update on Gas Pipelines,” by Cathy Kristofferson (Liasion for Stop Northeast Energy Direct: StopNED) and Paula Terrasi (also with StopNED)

SAFE’s YouTube channel

wayne castonguay

“Gas Pipelines and Salem’s Water Supply,” Parts I and II, are now on YouTube

Go to SAFE’s YouTube channel to watch the recording of the June 28th event.

Video published on Jul 9, 2016

Avoiding Flint – Protecting the Climate
Sponsored by SAFE

Part I (0 to 32 minute marker)
Introductions by Jeff Barz-Snell, Co-Chair of SAFE
“The Voice of the River,” by Wayne Castonguay (Executive Director of the Ipswich River Watershed Association)

Part II (32 minute marker to 1 hour and 44 minute marker)
“Glyphosate 101: What is this stuff & how does it behave in the environment?” by Erin Bennett, PhD, (Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, University of Windsor)
“Update on Gas Pipelines,” by Cathy Kristofferson (Liaison for Stop Northeast Energy Direct: StopNED) and Paula Terrasi (also with StopNED)

Ends with a question-and-answer period.

Go directly to “Gas Pipelines and Salem’s Water Supply,” Parts I and II.

for facebook gas pipelines and Salem's water supply
The Flint, Michigan water crisis

June 28 SAFE event: “Avoiding Flint – Protecting the Climate”

Gas pipelines and Salem’s water supply: the recent proposal to build a gas pipeline here on the North Shore could adversely affect the drinking water supplies of North Shore communities. Massive amounts of weed killer (herbicide) is sprayed on a regular basis around these pipelines to prevent plants from growing near them. These herbicides can then wash into our rivers and streams, and our water supplies. Panel discussions and presentations by: Wayne Castonguay, Executive Director of the Ipswich River Watershed Association; Dr. Erin Bennett, Salem Resident and Environmental Chemist; and Cathy Kristofferson, Stop Northeast Energy Direct. Sponsored by Salem Alliance for the Environment.

To be held Tuesday, June 28, 7:00 PM at First Church in Salem, UU, 316 Essex Street, Salem, MA. For more info, email salemsafe@gmail.com or visit the Salem SAFE Facebook page.

ipswich river watershed.png

Pipeline opponents plan to pack upcoming hearings

In Georgia, the citizens just defeated a Kinder Morgan pipeline from being installed; in Connecticut and Western Massachusetts, they’re currently fighting one; and WE ON THE NORTH SHORE need to fight the extension of it that they want to build right alongside the Ipswich River. It’s partly due to the fact that they’ll be tearing down fragile ecosystems in the Ipswich Watershed (part of our drinking water supply on the North Shore), but perhaps more urgently due to the fact that they’ll routinely and indefinitely have to spray very strong herbicides for 12 feet on either side of the pipeline to prevent tree roots from growing into it and damaging it. We can’t let them do that so close to our drinking water, nor in a protected ecosystem!

Furthermore, the Kinder Morgan pipeline will be carrying fracked gas. The process of fracking releases so much methane (a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2) into the atmosphere that it makes it a moot point that burning fracked gas releases less carbon dioxide than burning coal.

From Christian M. Wade, Statehouse Reporter, in the Eagle-Tribune on April 5, 2016:

State officials are planning six hearings over the next two weeks, including one Wednesday at Lynnfield Middle School and another at Andover High School on Thursday, April 14. Both begin at 7 p.m.

“We don’t want this company to run a destructive and potentially dangerous high-pressure, fracked gas pipeline across our community,” said Bob Croce, who heads an opposition group in Peabody. “And we certainly don’t want the state to give them permission to trample over property rights and conservation land for a pipeline project that wouldn’t benefit us at all.”

Kinder Morgan and its subsidiary want to pump gas from the Marcellus shale region across Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire.

Its pipeline would connect with other proposed and existing lines through Haverhill, Methuen and Andover. Smaller, lateral pipelines are proposed through Peabody, Danvers and Lynnfield…

Wayne Castonguay, executive director of the Ipswich River Watershed Association, said environmentalists are particularly concerned about a section of pipeline that would run along the Ipswich River — a drinking water source.

Besides the impact on wetlands and wildlife, he worries about the use of herbicides to clear the pipeline of brush.

“More than 300,000 people drink water from the Ipswich River every day,” Castonguay said. “There’s no way to mechanically clear the vegetation, so they have no choice but to use herbicides, which raises serious public health concerns….”

Project opponents — including Attorney General Maura Healey — contend that the demand for natural gas is exaggerated.

Read the whole article.

KMIs-Unparalleled-Asset-FootprintImage from marketrealist.com

Pipeline becomes issue in state rep race/Speliotis, Croce spar over money from lobbyist

The controversy over the proposed Kinder Morgan gas pipeline has entered into the Massachusetts State Representative race in the 13th Essex District. Bob Croce is running against incumbent State Representative Ted Speliotis (Danvers). Croce is pointing out that Speliotis accepted campaign donations from Kinder Morgan, and that it’s NOT coincidental that Speliotis doesn’t oppose the pipeline. Note in particular the last line of this clip from the article, especially in light of the fact that “fracked” gas will be running through the pipeline.

From Ethan Forman, Salem News Staff Writer, on Apr 5, 2016:

Bob Croce, a West Peabody resident…is also chairman of a citizens’ group opposing the pipeline plan in Peabody. Even before announcing his candidacy, Croce was attacking Speliotis for accepting campaign contributions from lobbyists representing Kinder Morgan…

“I would have not, absolutely, taken money from a lobbyist who was working for Kinder Morgan,” said Croce, chairman of Peabody Citizens United, a group opposed to the pipeline. “It’s up to others to judge if it’s right or wrong…”

The larger issue, he said, is what he calls Speliotis’ “lukewarm” opposition to the pipeline.

“He really seemed on the fence here,” Croce said.

A Democrat who is challenging Speliotis in the primary, Croce said he decided to run, “because, in general, the representative has never supported our opposition to the pipeline. In fact, he’s discouraged our efforts, saying several times that we can’t stop the project, so we might as well mitigate.”

A subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, Tennessee Gas Company, wants to install a natural gas pipeline through West Peabody, but the project has proven controversial because the route would tear up a section of the Peabody Independence Greenway, and skirt the Ipswich River, triggering concerns that herbicides meant to keep the route clear could contaminate the river, which is a source of drinking water.

Croce said other political leaders have lined up in opposition to the pipeline, but not Speliotis.

Speliotis said he has a different view of the pipeline. He would prefer to see it routed along existing rights of way for pipelines, and away from the Ipswich River, he said, though that is not what the company is proposing.

He sees the pipeline as a possible secondary gas supplier to Salem’s new natural gas power plant, which is now under construction. With a competitive source of gas for the power plant, this could help lower the region’s electric rates, he said.

Read more.

croce and speliotis

image credit croce speliotis