Pipeline Background Information

What Do Pipelines Portend?

Pipelines = Fracking.  The new federal fracking guidelines include an provision for no venting or flaring of gas at drilling, so pipes have to be in place before wells are drilled.  This lays the infrastructure for expanding the extraction of methane to more communities.
Pipelines = Eminent Domain.  A taking of your land “for the public good”.   Learn about what this means.
Pipelines = Danger.  From the PHMSA Pipeline Haz. Materials and Safety Administration – last decade 5600 fires and explosions and almost 400 deaths in the US alone from ‘significant’ pipelines incidents.  This does not count leaky pipes and ‘minor’ breaks resulting in dangerous incidents.
Pipelines = Compressors  Compressor stations are required every few dozen miles, and compressor stations outgas toxic gasses continually and have proven to be more dangerous to live near than wellpads.  This 24″ (at least) line would require large compressors to push the gas through, running 24/7 and outgassing known carcinogenic volatile organics that airborne, ultimately end up in the water, soil and our food.
We have to get on top of the convoluted and segmented permitting process, to gather a voice against the further investment in unconventional gas and oil development.  
We need all hands on deck for this.   There is work to be done so this ‘proposal’ does not become a reality. 
Learn about the permitting process, easements, ramifications of eminent domain and restrictions on landowner rights re easements.   Learn how to become involved in the process.  Learn about the history of the old pipeline along the same route, and some of the geology of the route, and meet your neighbors and friends to stop this pipeline from bringing fracked gas t

Millennium Announcement of “Open Season”  https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.millenniumpipeline.com%2Fdocuments%2FOpenSeasonAnnouncementFinal.pdf

Natural gas shipper proposes new pipeline from Binghamton to Syracuse area | syracuse.com.  5/15/13

Pipeline Brochures:

CDOG PIPELINES

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Municipal Involvement

Video

Gas Pipelines: What Municipalities Need to Know (Video from 2012 Ithaca meeting)

Streaming Video (Playlist):
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL03DAC2669C97191A

Downloads (Media RSS Video & Audio):
http://blip.tv/rss/bookmarks/255459

iTunes (Video):
itpc://blip.tv/rss/bookmarks/255459

Gas Pipelines: What Municipalities Need to Know
May 17, 2012. Ithaca, NY. Free Twenty interstate natural gas pipeline systems crisscross the region from West Virginia to Maine. As gas drilling operations expand, thousands of miles of new pipelines will be needed to connect existing pipelines to gas wells. Learn the difference between gathering, transmission, and distribution lines; what agencies have jurisdiction over the various types of lines; how pipelines are permitted, regulated, and monitored; and how municipalities can prepare for an increase in pipeline networks.

Presenters: Sharon Anderson, Environmental Program Leader, Cornell Cooperative Extension Tompkins County; Jim Austin, Environmental Certification and Compliance, State of New York Department of Public Service; Deborah Goldberg, Managing Attorney, Earthjustice Northeast Regional Office; Meghan Thoreau, Planner, Southern Tier Central Regional Planning and Development Board.

Co-sponsored by Cornell Cooperative Extension Tompkins County and Tompkins County Council of Governments.

Local Governments Should Officially Intervene in FERC Process http://wp.me/pJm45-2Xk

General information on gas infrastructure

Pipelines, Compressors, Storage, Metering Stations — Siteing, Regulation, Public Input, Safety

Note: I have used this. It is clunky and clumsy but the only thing I have encountered that let me find with some precision some lines that run within 4 mi west of me between the Tenessee line and the Millenium line. This is of considerable importance because those Rights of Way will very likely become major conduits and regions where compressors will pop up. One of the lines I was able to trace as far north as Cortland before I lost interest and tracing was getting hard.   There is a glitch when trying to trace over a state line, but there is a workaround by just tracing up to the border and then doing another run starting on the other side of the border.  Stan Scobie, Binghamton, NY, 607-669-4683

Storage and Transport Infrastructure

Finger Lakes Gas Storage and Infrastructure Project.  Salt Caverns,  Watkins Glen, NY Even if no fracking occurs in NY, Inergy intends to turn our region into the gas storage and transportation hub of the Northeastern United states- the salt caverns are empty and waiting, the railways are in place, and we’re not paying enough attention to this!

Inergy: Making Marcellus Happen (Watch the video)

Inergy, LP (Finger Lakes LPG Storage, LLC) based in Kansas City is a pipeline and natural gas storage company with approximately 3,000 employees and annual sales of about $1.8 billion.
In 2008, Inergy purchased the U.S. Salt plant on the west side of Seneca Lake approximately 2 miles north of Watkins Glen to “build an integrated gas storage and transportation hub in the Northeast.”

Details of the Inergy proposal include:

  • Construct and operate a new underground LPG storage facility for the storage and distribution of propane and butane on a portion of a 576 acre site near the intersection of Rts. 14 and 14A in the Town of Reading.
  • Proposed storage capacity of 2.10 million barrels (88.20 million gallons)
  • Construction of a 14 acre brine pond located on a steep slope just above Seneca Lake with a capacity of 91.8 million gallons.
  • Construction of a new rail and truck LPG transfer facility consisting of:  A 6 track rail siding capable of allowing loading/unloading of 24 rail cars every 12 hours 24/7/365.  A truck loading station capable of loading 4 trucks per hour (with the possibility to expand) 24/7/365.
  • Construction also to include surface works consisting of truck and rail loading terminals, LPG storage tanks, offices and other distribution facilities and stormwater control structures.

Please refer to the “Resources” page for more detailed information on the project and its potentially devastating environmental consequences.

To stay informed please join the Gas Free Seneca Listserv.

  • Inergy CEO Statement on Making Marcellus Happen:
    Even if no fracking occurs in NY, Inergy intends to turn our region into the gas storage and transportation hub of the Northeastern United states- the salt caverns are empty and waiting, the railways are in place, and we’re not paying enough attention to this!

Eminent Domain:

Spectra Energy Watch–Property Rights Eminent Domain

  • Is a Gas Company a Utility? One of the things the Tioga County Landowners group has discussed in public meetings is the importance of making sure landowners have good pipeline leases – even if they don’t have drilling. The idea, I believe, is that by offering a way to get gas from well to major transmission line, the gas companies won’t be tempted to gain status as a utility which would allow them powers of eminent domain for the gathering lines.  Well, here’s how Chief Oil & Gas got around that little hurdle in Susquehanna County, PA – they got permission to use state highway ROW. Not a good precedent for those who would like to lease pipeline routes, and for those who want to have no pipelines across their property.
  • Report of Laser Hearings in Windsor 10-20-10

I was one of about 65 people in the auditorium of Windsor High School as officials of the Public Service Commission and Laser Northeast Gathering Company first gave their information presentations and then answered questions and listened to statements from the public.

A 5 member Commission body, under Administrative Law Judge Howard Jack, will, at some point in the future, make a determination to either deny, grant with conditions, or approve the application to construct a 16 inch pipeline capable of carrying up to 170 million cu ft of gas per day. (Asked if the pipeline was being planned to serve more than the 18 wells stated in the application, Laser reps answered with the flow volume, and admitted that it could serve hundreds of wells. At the same time they said that the wells in PA that are now producing are not producing gas at a high rate.) Because the application is for a line that is less than 10 miles in length the PSC is not required under Article VII <www.dps.state.ny.us/articlevii.htm>  to give the application its “full review”. Article VII was created in 1970 and actions under this law are not subject to SEQR (created at a later date). Neither does an Art VII certificate grant eminent domain or property rights.

We were told that Laser has been working for a year with not only the Town of Windsor but with the 1700 member Windsor Landowner Pipeline Coalition to put the pieces in place for this project. Windsor has enacted road protection and noise ordinances <http://tinyurl.com/2fc3hau>. The landowners have negotiated contracts. Laser owns the 40 acre parcel for the compressor station.

The audience asked questions about compressor station maintenance and noise, about emergency planning, odorizing the gas in the lines, depth under roads and rivers, and environmental protections during the construction phase.

I asked several questions about maintenance and gas leak monitoring. The Laser reps told me that the station will be monitored closely and that they have the capacity to “count gas molecules entering and leaving the station”. They did Not say that the incoming and outgoing volume is balanced but said instead that it is “reconciled”. And no, they have never considered using infra-red technology to look for leaks. And No, the gas “is not required to be” odorized.

There are 80 residences on the perimeter of the 40 acre parcel that will hold the compressor station. Several people asked questions about noise. The PSC standard is 40 decibels at any residence. The Windsor ordinance states: maximum noise levels  “During daytime hours: ambient noise levels plus five (5) dBA. During nighttime hours: ambient noise levels plus three (3) dBA. Additionally, until demonstrated by the applicant or by the Town, ambient noise or sound levels within the Town of Windsor shall be assumed to be 35 dBA.

Using the “Teacher’s Resource Guide” <http://tinyurl.com/c9zxdx > I find that they rate 40 decibels the noise level in a library.

I asked if compliance with the Windsor ordinance is required under the Art. VII certificate and was told that “it could be”.

During the public comment part of the evening, there were 7 presentations. Of those 7, 5 people lauded the Laser company for the wonderful job they have done in bringing this opportunity to the people of Windsor. Two people (one of them Deborah Goldberg) spoke for full review, no pipelines before SGEIS approval, cumulative impact study, and for tighter environmental protections.
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If you have gotten this far in reading you understand that the landowner coalitions did a good job of getting their members out to this hearing. The company reps did their usual job of talking slick. The PSC administrators need to hear from lots more people who want a full review (this pipeline will be much more than 10 miles in length when they get any of the laterals in place).  Visit  http://tinyurl.com/2bbbzby , and scroll down to the comment section.

Pipelines are coming to your neighborhood folks! Do you want to live next to a compressor station with its attendant noise and air pollution? We need to make a larger stink than they plan to make or these things will be rubber stamped into place. Remember, they need pipelines to put the gas into before they drill. If the pipelines are here the drillers will come.

Request full review. Request infra-red monitoring and odorizing of the gas. Request environmental protections and full cumulative study.
Marie McRae
Dryden Resource Awareness Coalition.  Wednesday, July 7, 2010

  • Pa. to Corning gas line gets OK: “…Corning, N.Y. — A proposed $43 million gas pipeline from the Pennsylvania border up to Corning has received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, clearing the way for construction next summer. Empire Pipeline’s new 15-mile-long, 24-inch pipeline will carry Marcellus Shale gas produced in Pennsylvania north to Corning, where it will connect with the Millennium Pipeline…The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, based in Washington, D.C., determined the project would not have a significant environmental impact. The agency’s assessment was detailed in a 119-page report sent to The Leader last week. The report is posted online at http://www.ferc.gov . Several other local, state and federal agencies were involved in the review…FERC’s approval gives Empire Pipeline the right to use eminent domain, although company officials say that’s a last resort. They have already been negotiating compensation deals with landowners. About 50 area residents attended a presentation and public hearing in Corning back in late April, but no one voiced opposition…” ” (Corning Leader) (NY & PA)- http://www.the-leader.com/topstories/x1145377423/Pa-to-Corning-gas-line-gets-OK

Accidents, Spills, Explosions of Pipelines and other Gas installations: 

Aging Pipelines

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