PIPELINES: The dangers of pipelines

 ‘Public Comment’ Period Ends, But Climate Activists Pledge Renewed KXL Resistance

Activists ready for next phase of fight against controversial tar sands pipeline

– Jon Queally, staff writer

Published on Monday, April 22, 2013 by Common Dreams


The coalition hopes that, “If tens of thousands of people stand up as President Obama mulls his final decision, and commit to participate in civil disobedience if necessary, we can convince the White House that it will be politically unfeasible to go forward. That is, our goal is not to get arrested. Our goal is to stop the Keystone XL pipeline — by showing enough opposition to Keystone XL that President Obama will reject it. But if he shows clear signs he that he is preparing to approve it, we will be ready.”


The pledge itself reads:


It is time for us to pledge to resist. That is, we are asking you to commit – should it be necessary to stop Keystone XL — to engage in serious, dignified, peaceful civil disobedience that could get you arrested.


Will you join us in pledging resistance to the Keystone XL pipeline, including – if necessary – pledging to participate in peaceful, dignified civil disobedience?


Following is a summary of 2012-2013 pipeline-related news as of 4/22/13

NOTE: There are numerous articles, websites, and news items listed below.  All are related to anti-fracking/anti-pipeline issues and organizations.  

WARNING! The links are NOT activated! To sign petitions or follow links go to the appropriate websites. 


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The Community Speaks

Slowing the march of the Constitution Pipeline
January 18, 2013
Constitution Pipeline Application to be Delayed
Fracktivists Overwhelm 2013 State of the State in Albany, NY
January 13, 2013
Fracktivists Overwhelm 2013 State of the State in Albany, NY
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo holds his annual State of the State  and Fracktivists line the concourse at the Office Building with one of the largest crowds on record. The Conference, held on Wednesday January 9, 2013,  turned into an Anti-Fracking rally from start to finish, and Frachtivisits outnumbered the pro Drilling crowd by 1600- 120,…..Wow!!W VA gasline inferno

December 12, 2012
Federal and state agencies are now investigating what caused the explosion in the 20-inch transmission line owned by NiSource Inc., parent company of Columbia Gas. The gas flow was shut off, but residents who lived within 1,000 feet of the fire zone were evacuated as a precaution. 
December 12, 2012
Promised LandEveryone knows that fracking poisons the air and water. We wanted to show how it tears apart local communities and subverts democracies and corrupts political leaders and eviscerates all the things that Americans value.  — Matt Damon

Kanawha natural gas explosion (WVA)
December 11, 2012
Natural Gas Explosion In Kanawha County West Virginia
SISSONVILLE (AP) – At least five homes went up in flames Tuesday afternoon and a badly burned section of Interstate 77 in West Virginia was closed after a natural gas line exploded in an hour-long inferno.
Kanawha County Commissioner Kent Carper says a powerful explosion has rocked an area of Kanawha County near Sissonville this afternoon.  The blast shook the area around 12:40 and sent flames high into the area and across Interstate 77.

Recent News and Press


March 1, 2013
At a meeting on February 21, 2013, in Deposit NY the pipeline company told landowners: We will make a one time payment based on the “fair market value” of the land within the easement.HOW THEY CACLULATE THAT “FAIR MARKET VALUE” OF LAND WITHIN AN EASEMENT: 
Bans and New Rules Make Gas Drilling’s Future Uncertain in New York
January 4, 2013
FERC does not look well on projects that have too large a proportion of properties obtained by eminent domain.  And home rule was the uniting factor in building an anti-fracking/pipeline coalition in Schoharie County, NY.  Perhaps more than anything else The NY Times has published about fracking, this article should inspire us to keep up the resistance.“Why should I put money in the ground if any one of the towns can say no at the next town meeting?” said Mr. Holko, the president of Lenape Resources in western New York. “The issue of home rule is the demise of the industry.”
October 16, 2012
PACE ENVIRONMENTAL LITIGATION CLINIC TO REPRESENT STOP-THE-PIPELINEStop the Pipeline (STP) is a grass roots organization of landowners and citizens who are opposed to the 120-mile long Constitution Pipeline, which would run through pristine territory, from Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania to Schoharie County, New York. STP recently retained Pace University School of Law’s Environmental Litigation Clinic as its legal counsel.Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. founded the Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic in 1987, and still operates it with his two law partners, Professors Karl S. Coplan and Daniel E. Estrin, and a team of ten eager third-year law students. “It is not possible to sit back,” says Kennedy, “and watch corporations and government agencies violate the public trust. We must do everything possible to take back our democracy and protect the air, water and soil on which we all depend.”

According to the law school’s website, “The Environmental Litigation Clinic represents public interest environmental groups bringing citizen enforcement actions in state and federal courts on a variety of environmental and land use issues.” The Clinic has won numerous precedent-setting cases on behalf of its clients, prosecuting corporations for violating environmental laws and regulations, and governmental entities for acts or omissions that violate their statutory and regulatory mandates. The Clinic has prevailed against some of the largest corporations in the world, and has successfully challenged illegal regulations and permits issued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.

Anne Marie Garti, a Delhi native and resident of East Meredith, New York, is a Legal Intern at Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic. She learned of the proposed Constitution Pipeline last spring, and is one of the founding members of STP. “I am extremely offended that private corporations think they can take peoples’ property through eminent domain, pretending they’re acting in the public’s interest, when their main goal is to increase their profits,” says Ms. Garti. “I intend to do everything possible to stop them.” She approached the Clinic about representing Stop the Pipeline. Ms. Garti noted, “The Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic will be a valuable ally for the people in the Susquehanna and Schoharie Watersheds.”

“We were so impressed by how quickly these citizens organized themselves to protect their homes, land and natural resources,” said Professor Daniel Estrin. “They demonstrated through their actions the passion and courage that can ultimately lead to success, and we decided to do what we can to help them achieve that success.”

Real estate prices drop due to (un) Natural Gas drilling in the Catskills 
September 28, 2012
The New York Times is reporting that the threat, just the threat, of pipelines, fracking and gas drilling has depressed real-estate prices in the Catskills.DELAWARE RIVERKEEPER NETWORK STATISTICS
Records maintained by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection show that drilling of wells in the Marcellus Shale increased by nearly 400 percent between 2008 and 2009, from 195 wells to 768 wells.1 The increased development is not limited to the drilling of wells. FERC has reported that 5.6 billion cubic feet per day of pipeline capacity was constructed in the Northeast in 2008 and 2009, and an additional 1.2 billion cubic feet per day will have been constructed in the region by January 2011.2 According to FERC, “[m]uch of the new pipeline capacity in the area is targeted at improving the access of shale gas to markets.”3 Thus, the proposed Project is both a product of the development of the Marcellus Shale and a likely catalyst for further gas development. The impacts of the Project cannot be understood apart from the totality of the past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions associated with Marcellus Shale development.FERC must require a full Environmental Impact Statement that analyzes the extensive and egregious impacts the Project threatens on water resources, forest ecosystems, habitats, air quality, and parks and open space. The NEPA document must assess cumulative and secondary impacts. To do so, the analysis must be thorough and objective.\THE DELAWARE-OTSEGO AUDUBON SOCIETY

There is also evidence that pipeline construction and operation could significantly impact habitat for the highly endangered Indiana Bat. Bat populations in our region have plummeted as a result of White Nose Syndrome and the pipeline will pass near and through some of the few remaining areas where this endangered species exists. ….Elsewhere we have seen pipeline rights-of-way impacted and eroded by all-terrain vehicle (ATV) use. Illegal trespass by ATV users is epidemic in our region. Our organization’s wildlife sanctuary has suffered from these high impact machines. The pipeline corridor will invite more illegal ATV use in our area by providing easy access to private land. The impacts from this activity must be considered.
The Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society’s position on the process of high volume, slick water
hydrofracking is to ban this dangerous polluting technology, which does not benefit the greater good,
but promotes corporate profit. The proposed construction of the Constitution Pipeline through local
regions of the Marcellus Shale will provide the infrastructure necessary to support this invasive
technology in the New York counties it would cross.DOAS further believes that the construction, maintenance and other activities associated with the
Constitution pipeline on the preferred route and the alternative M route will have an irreversible
negative impact upon deciduous and mixed forests, wetlands such as bogs, marshes, swamps,
moving and standing water including rivers, streams, and woodland ponds or vernal pools –
considered the “coral reefs” of the Northeast Forests.NEW YORK STATE PARKS, RECREATION AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION

Three state parks will be impacted by the proposed alternative routes of the Constitution Pipeline Project.Max V. Shaul State parkMine Kill State Park

Robert V. Riddell State Park


We find that insufficient evidence has been provided to support a determination of public need for this project…. the proposed pipeline route, and attendant infrastructure, would very likely disturb or negatively impact significant historic, cultural and archaeological resources related to the early settlement of our country and the westward expansion of the American frontier. While Otsego County is arguably one of the most documented counties in New York State with regard to historic and cultural structures, sites and landscapes, it still has only about 20% of its historic resources documented….Whether or not the applicant acknowledges it as an objective, hydraulic fracturing is a reasonably foreseeable result of permitting a new pipeline corridor within this region of upstate New York underlain by the Marcellus and Utica shale layers.

Given the proximity of the oroject to known critical rattlesnake habitat, we recommend that a timber rattlesnake habitat assessment be conducted in the project area, in the project segment skirting Taylor Hill (NE of Susquahanna) between Canawacta Creek and Starucca Creek, by a PFBC recognized/qualified timber rattlesnake surveyor.
Trout Unlimited
Trout Unlimited strongly urges the Commission to include the direct, indirect and cumulative impacts of the proposed Constitution Pipeline project on coldwater resources, in the list of environmental issues for consideration in the scope of the EIS.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
We recommend a thorough analysis of environmental impacts for ALL viable alternatives, including upgrades to existing pipeline facilities…For each alternative, we recommenf that wildlife habitat be adequately mapped so that impacts to the various cover types can be assessed…. We note the the bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is known to occur aloing the Susquehanna River and nearby areas…we recommend that surveys for this species be coordinated with the Service. 

In summary, we recommend FERC and the applicatant provide a RIGOROUS environmental review of the Constitution Pipeline Project prior to project approval.