For over a year, through the cold and heat, the citizens of Orange County have held weekly pickets outside the construction site of a massive fracked gas power plant being built in their community.
The CPV fracked gas power plant will emit 700 tons of known carcinogens, neurotoxins and endocrine disruptors each year and will increase demand for fracking in neighboring Pennsylvania.
Scott Martens, a father of two young children from Middletown, saw folks protesting outside the construction site, stopped by and has been involved in the fight to stop CPV ever since. He says he’s been out there almost every Saturday for a year letting people know about the threats CPV poses to his community and the planet.
Now Millennium, the company building the Valley Lateral Pipeline (VLP), a 7.8 mile pipeline that will transport fracked gas to the CPV plant from the larger Millennium transmission line, is trying to silence Scott.
They filed a SLAPP suit (A Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.) against him claiming he caused irreparable harm when he filmed crews begin to clear trees for the VLP in early December. Scott was there because the tree clearing threatened the habitat of endangered bald eagles.
In a Facebook post before heading to his first court date Scott said:
“On December 1st of this year I viewed and video recorded a majestic Bald Eagle sitting in its nest in a pine tree 80 feet from the proposed Valley Lateral pipeline alignment. This is the pipeline that will bring fracked gas to the unfinished CPV power plant for the next 40 years. Since that morning I have felt a profound sense of responsibility to protect these Eagles and their habitat. At that moment I knew that the these Eagles are there to protect us and we will be there to protect them….