Route I 81 Corridor Pipeline: proposed for Cortland, Broome, and Onondaga Counties

Do you know about the proposed new pipeline?  

The real name is“Millennium Phase-1 North-South Upstate Pipeline Connector” … but we call it the “I-81 Pipeline”.

It would affect the following towns:

ONONDAGA COUNTY: Onondaga,Otisco Lafayette.Tully

CORTLAND COUNTY: Preble, Homer, Cortlandville, Virgil, Lapeer

BROOME COUNTY: Lisle, Nanticoke, Maine, Union

Check the map to see if you live nearby…

Local Events:

Public Information Session on I81 Pipeline Joe Heath, Craig Stevens, Tues., Nov. 19th 6:30 pm at Lafayette High School, Lafayette, NY

Informational Meeting on I-81 Pipeline held Sept. 23 at Center for the Arts, Homer NY

Video Coverage

 SUNY Downtown, 9 Main St. Cortland.

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We need volunteers to help fight this invasion of our communities:

Technical experts in geology, ecology, hydrology, energy policy, GIS, mapping, education, communication, social media,  PowerPoint and other presentation skills, research, writing testimony for regulatory agencies as well as people who can help inform local communities, landowners and government officials of the implications of a pipeline.  If you have concerns, there is a place for you in this endeavor!

Contact us at: gdacc.cortland@gmail.com

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Additional Information Sources

Facebook Page: 

Like this new Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/StopThe I81Pipeline

StoptheI81Pipeline.wordpress.com 

Stopthepipeline.org

(Excellent and comprehensive information from group fighting the Constitution Pipeline)  

SANE ENERGY PROJECT Website

Several key projects are hitting all at once: The Constitution Pipeline, the Liberty LNG Port, and the Minisink compressor station all face mid-month deadlines. These are but three of the 24 gas infrastructure projects currently planned for New York State. The LNG port alone could change the landscape for New York and the tristate area by opening up the potential for a local export facility.

SUMMARY OF NORTHEAST GAS INFRASTRUCTURE EXPANSION PROJECTS

Details of Northeast Gas Infrastructure Expansion Projects

 

Industry Announcements of the I-81 Project

Maps

Natural Resources Along the Pipeline Route

Geology

Biology

Social & Cultural Resources

Aerial photos of Pipeline Construction

Background Information on Pipelines:

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: 

Ageing Pipelines

Regulations/Oversight

 

Various Pipeline Maps

Bill Huston’s Blog (Binghamton NY): Various Pipeline Maps.

Bill Huston’s Blog (Binghamton NY): NY PA Watersheds Map

http://williamahuston.blogspot.com/p/ny-pa-watersheds-map.html

New York State Oil and Gas Searchable Database

New York State Oil and Gas Searchable Database.

Unplugged and Abandoned Gas/Oil Wells Map Alert

http://www.toxicstargeting.com/MarcellusShale/alerts/2012/11/01/unplugged

Unplugged and Abandoned Gas/Oil Wells Map Alert

Current High Volume Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing Drilling Bans and Moratoria in NY State

Current High Volume Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing Drilling Bans and Moratoria in NY State.

Constitution Pipeline Presentation/maps

By Brian Brock, geologist. Taped 5-24-12. At Sidney Library, Sidney, NY.. Discussing Pipeline construction and the Constitution Pipeline coming in from Susquehanna County,
Pa. into Schoharie County, NY..  Published on May 25, 2012 by

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yj-JMT-8MtE&feature=em-share_video_user

For those who just wanted a link to the FERC site where docket number
PF12-9  for the Constitiution pipeline, here it is:

http://elibrary.ferc.gov/idmws/docket_sheet.asp
or
if there is a problem enter PF12-9 into the Docket number field and
hit submit.

Project over view map
http://elibrary.ferc.gov/idmws/common/OpenNat.asp?fileID=12989420

Project maps on 7.5 minute maps.
http://elibrary.ferc.gov/idmws/common/OpenNat.asp?fileID=12989421
http://elibrary.ferc.gov/idmws/common/OpenNat.asp?fileID=12989422

Project over view alternitive route map.
http://elibrary.ferc.gov/idmws/common/OpenNat.asp?fileID=12989424

Project alternitive routes on 7.5 minute maps.
http://elibrary.ferc.gov/idmws/common/OpenNat.asp?fileID=12989425
http://elibrary.ferc.gov/idmws/common/OpenNat.asp?fileID=12989426

Note: the route through the NYC reservior water sheds is still an
option.

For those of you that can not wait to oppose something, people have
already sent letters opposing this line and you can read them on
the site.  Remember you will be joining with people that do not what
this in their back yards and may have a different view of drilling
than you, but now went NIMBLY on us or OMDB which I think is a more
accurate observation.

Animated map of NY Industrialization Bans and Moratoria

Lansing resident Roger Hopkins just put together this nice animation of the ban and moratorium maps I’ve been updating for the past year. You can really see how the home rule movement (absent of a real statewide ban) has kicked in.


FracTracker collecting hikers’ concerns about drilling’s outdoor effects

FracTracker collecting hikers’ concerns about drilling’s outdoor effects.

PA Pre-Drilling Water Quality Maps

PA Pre-Drilling Water Quality Maps

ArcGIS Explorer Online.

Mechanics of site:   Upper left there’s three icons.  One is layers.  Tab one on, then wells with that result come on map, then hit bottom icon which gives  you the legend for that ‘layer’.  Or tab them all and get the legend for all of them but then the map doesn’t make sense, too many colors.    

dunno what the point is of right-hand icons. and yeah, where’s before and after?  and summary/findings, this must be written up I’ve not been to site yet.
CLARIFICATION:
Dear colleagues and friends,
It appears that there has been some serious and unfortunate mis-communication about the water quality maps that I sent yesterday.  Some important clarifications need to be made so that misinformation
or misleading interpretations of these maps do not continue to circulate.

First, and very important, clarification is that these maps in no way link groundwater problems with gas drilling. I sent an email correcting someone on this fact earlier today and  somehow that email
has now re-circulated with the wording changed to say “it does” show a link. IT DOES NOT SHOW A LINK! I want to repeat here for everyone to see and know what I said– these maps DO NOT show evidence of a link between groundwater problems and contamination by shale gas drilling.  Here’s how you know that– when you click on the dots for barium, chloride, or TDS you will notice that there is a Sample Date. That is important. Some of the samples with the highest concentrations have a Sample Date in the 1980’s. The majority of samples that are mapped are “pre-drilling.” That means this data shows concentrations of these constituents in water wells BEFORE shale gas wells were drilled in the immediate area. It is spelled out clearly in the title of the map, “NE Pennsylvania Pre-Drilling Water Quality.” Yes, the gas wells are displayed alongside the results, (which could lead one to think they are somehow associated with the water tests), but notice that the black dots have no information associated with them, such as date drilled or permitted or even the name of the facility, so we don’t know exactly what this information means and we cannot draw ANY conclusions about the relationship between the black dots (wells) and the water wells. Period.

The second point of clarification is that I do not work for Appalachia Consulting and did not collect any of this data. I was simply forwarding information that is now on their website that I hoped would be useful and interesting to others.I am to blame, perhaps, as I did not explicitly spell out what this data shows, and it is evident from emails I am receiving that there are serious misinterpretations and that there is not a clear understanding of what pre-drilling or baseline sampling means or how to read a map such as this. It is in everyone’s best interest to get educated on baseline water testing and what it means if you are looking to show a link between shale gas drilling and water contamination. You must have baseline water testing to prove such contamination.

And, that leads me to the third clarification, this pre-drilling data is extremely important to academic researchers, citizens, decision-makers, lawmakers, and anyone who has an interest in making sure that shale gas drilling does not contaminate groundwater or do harm, and that when it does there is enough evidence to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that contamination has in fact occurred. Without pre-drilling, baseline data there will not be proof that contamination has occurred.  Jumping to conclusions about what these maps mean is putting this evidence in jeopardy.

And, fourth and finally, this is baseline data collected by a reputable, honest, and scientifically rigorous consulting firm and from private homeowners who have agreed to have their pre-drill testing data  displayed for informational purposes only. The consulting firm uses stringent chain of custody and quality assurance and quality control practices to ensure that their test results are indisputable. Please respect them both, the consulting firm and the homeowners. Is it interesting and important information? Yes. Is it useful for understanding how water wells could be impacted by drilling? Yes. Does it show that water wells are being impacted by drilling? Not yet.
Warmest regards,
Simona
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~~
Simona L. Perry, PhD
Research Scientist
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Science & Technology Studies
110 8th St.
Russell Sage Laboratory
Troy, New York 12180
perrys5@rpi.edu
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