The Eastern Panhandle Expansion Project, a proposed 3.5-mile natural gas pipeline underneath the Potomac River, has drawn the attention of the Potomac Riverkeeper Network. Members of the group are calling on the Maryland Department of the Environment and Governor Larry Hogan to reject the project, saying it would carry gas that is produced by “fracking.”
In March 2017, Maryland General Assembly approved a fracking ban, joining New York and Vermont. On Friday, the “kayaktivists” paddled the Potomac in protest of the project.In a statement, Maryland Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles said state officials are “taking a hard look” at the proposal, per The Baltimore Sun. A public hearing will be held within the next few months to allow the public to give their input on the project.
Calgary-based TransCanada currently operates 56,100 miles of pipeline that supplies over a quarter of the continent’s natural gas. The pipeline is vital to the economic growth in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, a spokesman for the company said.
The activists are having none of it, saying a small leak could threaten drinking water.