On May 31st, I attended my first Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) public scoping meeting, for the proposed Adelphia Gateway pipeline. Having been to many pipeline public meetings, I had a clear mental image of how it would go: chairs arranged in rows, one or two microphones, stoic officials behind a table, residents reciting the same concerns they had and would repeatedly voice. The scoping meeting was four hours long, with speaking registration open until the last hour. Meg, a fellow member of environmental justice group EDGE Philly, drove us down to Essington, volleying facts and questions to prepare our comments.
The scoping meeting was down a narrow hallway guarded by two police officers in bulletproof vests. The room had a series of tables and posters on easels with a few staff milling about. Residents who wanted to give oral testimony could do so privately in a separate room. At the sign-in desk, I noted that at almost three hours in, they’d had only three speakers.
Some of the technical, highly process-focused FERC literature available at the scoping meeting
Some background on the Adelphia Gateway Pipeline