Pipelines and Compressor Stations

Pipelines and Compressor Stations

Controversial Natural Gas (in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village) Pipeline Gets Federal Approval to Start Pumping

Mathew Katz

By Mathew Katz on October 21, 2013 6:51am | Updated on October 21, 2013 6:51am


Spectra Pipeline Gets Federal Approval
Spectra Pipeline Gets Federal Approval

CHELSEA — A pipeline under the West Village and Chelsea has won federal government approval to start pumping natural gas, prompting an outcry fromresidents and opponents who fear the project could cause an explosion and environmental contamination.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted permission Thursday for the pipeline, built by Texas-based Spectra Energy, to be put into service on Nov. 1, according to a letter from commission director Lauren O’Donnell.

The companies behind the pipeline have “adequately stabilized areas disturbed by construction” and “restoration is proceeding satisfactorily,” O’Donnell wrote.

However, residents have raised safety concerns about the pipeline, which will pump about 800 million cubic feet of Marcellus Shale natural gas into the city each day. The pipeline stretches from New Jersey under the Hudson River and enters Manhattan at 10th Avenue and Gansevoort Street, stretching up to 15th Street.

“It’s so disappointing,” Bill Borock, president of the Council of Chelsea Block Associations. “The gas companies say don’t worry, but we don’t have any assurances when big weather and flooding happens.”

Residents and advocates said they are particularly worried that an explosion could occur if the pipeline, running beneath a densely populated area, is damaged.

The Sane Energy Project, an opposition group, slammed the pipeline’s opening, citing fears of radon, a chemical element found in Marcellus Shale gas that can cause lung cancer.

“As supplies of gas from other sources runs out, a larger and larger percentage of the gas supplied to NYC will come from Marcellus sources,” the organization wrote in an email to members.

The group held a rally outside Chelsea Piers on Saturday, in the hopes of convincing officials to shut down the project.

Marylee Hanley, a Spectra spokeswoman, said locals have little to worry about.

“Spectra Energy has been operating safely in the region for more than 60 years,” she said. “The New York-New Jersey Expansion Project was built to meet or exceed all federal safety requirements and regulations.”

The gas, which will travel 20 miles from a plant in Linden, N.J. into the city, will provide enough energy to heat about 2 million homes, Hanley said.

Con Edison, which will be distributing the gas to its Manhattan customers, directed questions about the pipeline to Spectra.

For Borock, the danger was not just immediate — he also pointed out that West Chelsea could see millions of square feet of new development.

With Hudson River Park set to sell its air rights, the area immediately around the pipeline could see increased development in the coming years — leaving more people vulnerable to a potential explosion, Borock said.

“You’ll have more people living there, and God forbid something happens,” he said.


“Throwing Stones At Goliath”



Plans suspended for 120-mile gas pipeline in Pennsylvania

The Associated Press
Posted: Thursday, 04/18/13 10:57 am
WEST CHESTER, Pa. (AP) — The developers of a planned 120-mile natural gas pipeline in eastern Pennsylvania say the project is being suspended indefinitely.

The proposed Commonwealth Pipeline would carry natural gas from a deposit in the Marcellus Shale in Lycoming County. It would travel through Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Schuylkill and Berks counties on its way to Chester County.

The groups behind the project have announced on their website that the project is being suspended. No reason is being given, but the group says it will provide updates at a later time. The pipeline was supported by three major partners: Inergy Midstream LP, UGI Energy Services Inc., and WGL Holdings Inc.

The developers had said they hoped to have the pipeline in service by 2015.

David Fights Goliath in the Suburbs

Three videos (below) feature three episodes in the battle between local residents and the federally-supported gas pipeline project.  The videos focus on the concerns and protests of rural and suburban residents (many of them families of 9/11 first responders) who express concerns and fears about nearby construction of gas pipelines and a compressor station.

Following is a response to Oxford Visionaries from a proponent of pipelines — but not of fracking — in New York State.

“I am very much in favor of extending the natural gas line to [our] area. We need this more efficient clean burning energy resource to replace the less efficient fuel oil we are using now. Seeing as how alternative energy is not developed to the point where it is both economical and commercially available, we need the cheaper natural gas to buy us time to develop the alternative resources for the future. Why our area was bypassed many years ago when natural gas was made available to [other nearby areas] I don’t know, but I do strongly feel that we should not be bypassed again.

Natural gas is safe, clean and available to be used. While I am not in favor of the current process of hydro fracturing and feel it should not be used in our state at this time until we get the report from the DEC and NYS Health Dept determining its safe use, I am in favor of shipping the natural gas by pipeline that has been processed in PA to our state (NY) to use.”

Would you trust this company to construct a gas pipeline or compressor nearby in a responsible manner to ensure the health and safety of you, your family, and your neighbors?

 Feds order nearly $200K in penalty violations
Penalties ordered against NiSource Gas and Columbia Gas

Beth Brelje
By Beth Brelje
Pocono Record Writer
January 21, 2013

NiSource Gas Transmission & Storage Co. and its subsidiary, Columbia Gas Transmission Co., were ordered last month to pay a penalty of $197,900 to the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration for violations on its Millennium Pipeline in New York.

The Millennium natural gas pipeline, put in service in 2008, spans 182 miles of New York’s Southern Tier region and the lower Hudson Valley. The administration has an agreement allowing the New York Public Service Commission to inspect the state’s pipelines.

In Pennsylvania, pipeline inspections are done by the federal safety administration. An inspection of the company’s so-called 1278 pipeline in Pike County is now under way.

The inspection of the facilities and records for the Millennium line took place between July 12, 2008, and August 12, 2010, at Binghamton, N.Y., and at the Port Jervis Operating Center.

According to a final order written by the administration in December:

The company did not complete the installation of a system to protect its pipeline against external corrosion within one year after completion of construction. At the time of the inspection, the system had only been partially installed, with missing test stations and rectifiers.

Those findings are relevant in Pike because extensive external corrosion was blamed for a 2008 pipe failure on the company’s 1278 pipeline in Pike. Then, a section of pipe broke into four pieces in a rural area between Weber Road and Millrift.

In another violation discovered in the Millennium inspection, the company failed to equip three temporary compressor units at its Sparrowbush, N.Y., compressor station to automatically shut off the fuel to the compressor engines and vent the engine during normal engine shutdowns.

The company acknowledged that during normal shutdowns, when the fuel to the compressor unit engines was shut off, the ignition system remained on for several seconds to allow the engine to burn the remaining fuel in the engine.

The company also failed, in six instances, to inspect its pipeline during construction to ensure that it met the requirements for installation of pipe in a ditch; and twice failed to have visual welding inspections by a qualified individual for two pipeline repairs.

The company was ordered to have a protection system designed, installed and placed in full operation for the entire length of the Millennium Pipeline.

In Pennsylvania, the administration completed the field inspection of the 1278 pipeline, which runs from Maryland to the Pennsylvania/New York border.

The inspection of the 1278 line, examining records, repairs and replacements, took place between January and October 2012, according to administration spokesman Damon Hill. The report for the 1278 line could take nine months to a year to complete, Hill said.

In recent years, the company replaced some 17 miles of old 14-inch diameter pipes that had been installed in 1948, with new 20-inch diameter pipes in Pike County.
EPISODE 1: Throwing Stones at Goliath


EPISODE 2: Minisink Moms say NO

Episode 3: Whose Town? Our Town!