Wednesday, August 12, 2015

CPV Valley Energy Center-- Missing Docs from DEC website???

I'm not sure what to make of this, so I'm just going to report the facts.

I've been looking into CPV Valley Energy Center, which is a massive 720 MW
proposed gas to electric generating station in Orange County NY.
Would produce over 2 MILLION TONS PER YEAR in GHG emissions.

When I checked the DEC website, I found all of the documents have been purged. Missing. Nothing there. And the project is still under various reviews and has not been constructed yet. (e.g., there is a FERC sited connection to Millennium pipeline still under review. PF15-23

I was able to obtain the missing docs from the DEC via a FOIL request. Published to Scribd (you can download if you register. If you have problems, email me and I will send them to you).

https://www.scribd.com/doc/274310970/CPV-Valley-Energy-Center-Missing-Documents-from-DEC-website

Looks to me like someone is trying to hide something,
so would be great if we could get some eyes on these.

Thanks!

--
--
May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Massive Corrosion found in section of NEW KXL pipeline attributed to Stray DC current and Bacteria

Pipeline fighters, be sure to check out this new piece by Julie Dermansky of DeSmogBlog.

Very interesting report about massive corrosion found on a section of the existing KXL pipeline.
Follow the links to read the report.

I am still studying it, so don't have much to say yet, except: "Fascinating".

Basically this is analysis of corrosion anomalies found in the Cushing to Patoka section of the KXL.

They are saying the root cause is a combination of stray DC currents
(but strangely do not speculate a possible source) in combination with metal munching bacteria.

This section of pipe was just 4 years old! 
Essentially a BRAND NEW PIPELINE.


The "Cathodic Protection" system which is supposed to prevent or slow corrosion-- did not help.

Notice that while they admitted that stray AC current in the range of 20amps / m3 (big current)
can cause corrosion (this admission is a big deal IMO), they specifically ruled out AC stray current
in the case.

The reason why the AC/DC thing is important is because there are THOUSANDS of miles of
natural gas, crude oil, and refined products pipelines which are co-located with
high-tension electric transmission lines, which are generally (but not always) AC.
So IF it was AC stray currents in this case, it could mean that we could have
a problem of staggering proportion on our hands.

We STILL might, if we cannot find the source of the stray DC in this section.
I have attached some maps I've made of the general area of where the corrosion was found,
near the St. Paul Pumping station just west of Patoka Illinois.









Friday, July 17, 2015

Great idea and photo-op!



Inverted Ensign = International symbol of distress

Great idea and photo-op!!

A landowner in Delaware County, NY has come up with a unique way to fight a pipeline. They placed an upside-down American Flag (international symbol of distress) in the pipeline Right-of-Way, along with this sign. 

(in the Kinder-Morgan NED ROW)

So IF it is approved, pipeline crews will have to tear town a US Ensign, in the distress position
.

Please share this with your pipeline networks....

--
--
May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

Saturday, July 11, 2015

How to perform an impossible task (e.g., miracles)



Friends, here is an amazing lesson from Metaphysics for activists facing an IMPOSSIBLE task:

OK, so it's impossible!
Big deal.
Suggest you forget about it entirely.
Put the impossible task out of your mind.

Instead, think in terms of "baby steps".
Formulate a small goal which is achievable and moves you,
even infinitesimally, closer to your goal.

And sometimes very smart people will say,
 "But what's the point of that?
Why make baby steps where there is only the impossible goal looming? 
It's a waste of time!"
And so these very smart people become motivated-- 
through a completely rational process-- into paralysis. 

Yet, what I have seen,
over and over in the anti-fracking fight in NY is this:
if you win a series of little goals, baby steps,
*sometimes* it turns into winning the ballgame.

So, this is the way to achieve the impossible.

It happens all the time!
You might call it a miracle.

They way to get these to happen
is through a mental process only.

I learned it in Yoga,
but you can find it other places too.

My yoga teacher says "it is 100% pure technique".
 Means, anyone can learn it,
and anyone can achieve skill through practice.

The technique is called "Mindfullness" by Buddhists,
or sometimes "Insight" (looking inwardly).

The bottom line is this:
I suggest that you not by dismayed 
by the burden of an impossible task, 
or even a dozen!

I have found, through Mindfulness,
the difficult is made easy.
The Impossible takes a little more time.
Here is one of the best into videos
explaining the technique,
which Sri Goenkaji calls "Vipassana".



If you want more details about Mindfulness for Activists
or "How to achieve impossible tasks"
feel free to email me and I will try to help:  
WilliamAHuston@gmail.com

When will Catskill Mountainkeeper issue a correction? (and provide REAL HELP to communities suffering threats from infrastructure?)

When will Catskill Mountainkeeper issue a correction?
(and provide REAL HELP to communities suffering threats from infrastructure?)

Yesterday, Friday Jul 10, 2015 at 10:17 AM

Catskill Mountainkeeper issued an alert with TWO serious errors.

Subject : Help stop the gas pipeline invasion

Error #1: First is the call to action:

 QUOTE: "It's critical that we send a large contingent
to this hearing to tell FERC ..... (stuff)".

Oh really? The implication is that attending a hearing
and "telling FERC" stuff is likely get "help stop the pipeline invasion?"
What is the evidence for that?

What I have seen over the last 3 years, by studying the Constitution Pipeline
and dozens of other FERC Dockets is that FERC is a rogue agency,
a Rubber Stamp Machine, funded by the very industry it is supposed to
regulate, and operating outside and in defiance to our system of laws.
They approve every project and DO NOT listen to our concerns.

The actions of the FERC commissioners are putting many human lives
in great risk of harm unnecessarily.

So it's GREAT that Catskill Mountainkeeper wants to help!!!
But participating only in the proscribed process is pretty-much
GUARANTEED to get us a pipeline.

Error #2: EVEN WORSE: they published the WRONG DATE for Schoharie and Oneonta!

I became aware of the problem at 10PM and issued my own alert at 10:24 PM,
informing Catskill Mountainkeeper (CMK) via multiple channels.

At 9am I received this message via Facebook:

Hi, William, we are figuring out what to do about the mistake in
the alert and passing your suggestion on to program staff. Linda


It is now 6:30pm Saturday. The WRONG date CMK told people to attend
is now just 3 days away. Many people do not check their email every day.

The longer CMK waits, the more chance that people will come ON THE WRONG
DAY, some possibly driving many miles.

I know Wes reads this list, but has never sent me a personal email that I
can recall.

If someone on this list has connections to CMK or Wes Gillingham,
can you please inform them how critical it is that they issue
a correction ASAP?

PS: How about CMK offering to host NVDA trainings?
THIS IS WHAT IS NEEDED NOW, not sending people to a corrupt FERC hearing.

We have TWO big pipeline projects in NY now which have
already been approved by FERC and there is NO PLAN IN PLACE
for any kind of on-the-ground strategy. We are at war and about
to have some beautiful parts of NY DESTROYED which CMK
is chartered to protect.

There has been great success in the past using
Delaware Riverkeeper Networks "Legal Observer Training"
documenting safety and compliance issues, and this is
100% LEGAL! It is NOT Civil Disobediance.

How about it CMK? WE NEED HELP HERE!

Thanks.
BH


--
--
May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)
 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Catskill Mountainkeeper: WRONG DATE for KM-TGP-NED FERC hearings!!!

First issue:

Earlier today, Catskill Mountainkeeper issued an alert
with the subject "Help stop the gas pipeline invasion"
with the advice, that

"It's critical that we send a large contingent to this hearing
 to tell FERC ... (some stuff)"

So my first question to Wes Gillingham is,
What evidence exists that attending a FERC scoping
hearing can "help stop the gas pipeline invasion"?

I have seen a ton of evidence that
this is a complete waste of time.


(Yes I am going to record as many as I can)

BUT EVEN WORSE is that they put the WRONG DATE for
Schoharie and Oneonta!

It is THURSDAY, NOT TUESDAY.

Below are all the hearings, with the correct dates,
and a link to the authoritative documentation
so you can verify.

VERY DISAPPOINTING ALL AROUND FROM CMK.
We really need much better from you during this critical time.

How about organizing NVDA trainings?

I believe the Delaware Riverkeeper "Legal Safety/Compliance Observer"
training shows a lot of promise and it is 100% LEGAL (it is not
Civil Disobedience).

We are in a critical phase for 2 projects in NY and many more
on the horizon.

We have to do MUCH better than give people FALSE HOPE
that attending a FERC hearing can make a difference.

That's Bullshit.


Thanks,
BH



Here is the authoritative document:
http://elibrary.ferc.gov/idmws/file_list.asp?accession_num=20150630-3044

FERC Public Scoping Meetings
Date and Time Location Location

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

7:00 pm

  • Towanda Jr./Sr. High School
1 High School Drive
Towanda, PA 18848
(570) 265-2101

  • Birch Hill Catering
1 Celebration Way
Castleton-on-Hudson, NY 12033
(518) 732-4444

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

6:30 pm

  • VFW
386 Main St.
Great Bend, PA 18848
(570) 879-4420

  • Birch Hill Catering
1 Celebration Way
Castleton-on-Hudson, NY 12033
(518) 732-4444

Thursday, July 16, 2015
7:00 pm

  • Foothills Performing Arts Center
24 Market St.
Oneonta, NY 13820
(607) 431-2080

  • Days Inn
160 Holiday Way
Schoharie, NY 12157
(518) 295-6088

Tuesday, July 28, 2015
7:00 pm

  • Taconic High School
96 Valentine Rd
Pittsfield, MA 01201
(413) 448-9600

Wednesday, July 29, 2015
6:30 pm

  • Nashua Radisson
11 Tara Blvd.
Nashua, NH 03062
(603) 888-9970

  • Greenfield Middle School
141 Davis St.
Greenfield, MA 01301
(413) 772-1360

Thursday, July30, 2015
6:30 pm

  • Milford Town Hall Town Hall,
One Union Square
Milford, NH 03055
(603) 249-0600

  • Central Connecticut State University
1615 Stanley St.
New Britain, CT 06050
(860) 832-3200

Tuesday, August 11, 2015
7:00 pm


  • Dracut Senior High School
1540 Lakeview Ave.
Dracut, MA 01826
(978)-957-1500

Wednesday, August 12, 2015
7:00 pm


  • Lunenburg High School
1079 Massachusetts Ave.
Lunenburg, MA 01462
(978) 582-4115



--
--
May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Tioga Propane Fracking another JLCNY Publicity Stunt?



The JLCNY are famous for baiting the press with publicity stunts which have no basis in fact.
  • Remember they baited the press for a year with a story they were going to sue the DEC for a "takings", when they didn't even have a client?
  • Remember all the recent press about town seceding from NY to join PA?  (If the press did any basic fact checking, they would find that the legal maneuvers necessary for that are like doing a triple lutz while wearing a winged bat-suit, and the town supervisors discussing such are violating their oath of office, perhaps criminally).
So here comes the story: 

Just after NY's ban on HVHF gets cemented into place, a story in all the local media outlets about propane fracking in Tioga.

REAL? Or Publicity Stunt?

Evidence that it is a stunt:

1: There is NO horizontal spacing unit permit app as required by ECL § 23-0501:
Check for yourself:


2: Conflicting reports about the type of permit and date filed.

From the article:

http://www.ithacajournal.com/story/news/local/2015/07/08/fracking-propane-proposed-tioga-county-ny/29863383/

Snyder Farm Group spokesman Kevin "Cub" Frisbie said an application was filed Tuesday with the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Sorry. Karen Edelstein checked the queue. The permit app was actually filed in MAY and is vertical into Utica.

Go here: http://www.dec.ny.gov/cfmx/extapps/GasOil/search/wells/index.cfm

Plug in COUNTY like Tioga and TOWN like Barton
And you will see that it was filed in MAY and for a vertical (not horiz) well. 

Here's the info: (warning, this is a wide table)

31107300000000 
View Map the preceeding link opens in a new window N/A
View
N/A
30000  Snyder E 1   Tioga Energy Partners, LLC   Not Listed  App to Drill/Plug/Convert  Utica  Not Applicable  Tioga  Barton  Spencer  H  Not Applicable  6/5/2015  5/19/2015              Application Received or Permit Issued  1  Vertical  7    9530  -76.454102  42.144879  -76.454102  42.144879  9530  9530  0  9530  Stratigraphic  Exempt - not an oil or gas well    No integration order required    6/25/2015

Tuesday was July 7. The DEC's page is normally updated nightly.

3: The E+P company "Tioga Energy Partners, LLC " is a shell (fake?)

http://www.dec.ny.gov/cfmx/extapps/GasOil/search/wells/company_details.cfm?OPNO=2794

Company Name Status Address 1 Address 2 City State Zip Zip2 Phone Fax Operator Plugger Driller Financial Security Provider
Tioga Energy Partners, LLC   P.O. Box 22222     Albany  NY  12201  5184264600  5184260376  Yes  No  No  No 


This is the address for an Albany law firm,
Couch White, LLP, P.O. Box 22222, Albany, New York 12201-2222

"We are outside of the state's ban," Tioga Energy Partners, LLC legal counsel Adam Schultz said. "The state banned high-volume hydraulic fracturing, but that's not what we're doing."

They filed with the Department of State in Dec 2013, but there is no record of them online until now.


Selected Entity Name: TIOGA ENERGY PARTNERS, LLC
Selected Entity Status Information
Current Entity Name: TIOGA ENERGY PARTNERS, LLC
DOS ID #: 4506550
Initial DOS Filing Date: DECEMBER 30, 2013
County: ALBANY
Jurisdiction: NEW YORK
Entity Type: DOMESTIC LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY
Current Entity Status: ACTIVE

Selected Entity Address Information DOS Process (Address to which DOS will mail process if accepted on behalf of the entity) COUCH WHITE, LLP
540 BROADWAY
P.O. BOX 22222
ALBANY, NEW YORK, 12201-2222 Registered Agent NONE


4: As Chip Northrup has reported often on the NFW Blog, the one company doing any propane fracking has 2 major accidents in Canada
and declared bankruptcy in Jan 2015:

5: The 1992 O+G GEIS did not contemplate extreme Frankin-tech like fracking with Napalm (gelled propane is essentially napalm... it sticks to your skin while it burns).

This means that this site would either
a) have to go through a site-specific EIS under SEQR (and face a lot of scrutiny), or else
b) the DEC would have to do a revised GEIS for Napalm fracking.... 
After what happened the last 5 years with the GEIS for HVHF, how do you think that's gonna work out?

CONCLUSION:
This smells like another JLCNY publicity stunt.
You would think that the press people would do some basic fact checking?

Chip has even more at NFW:http://www.nofrackingway.us/2015/07/09/unable-to-frack-with-water-locals-propose-napalm-pipe-bomb-frack/


--
--
May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

Yoko Ono's Stop the Pipeline ad in the Times today!


Thank you, Yoko Ono!!


Share on Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/ola7jsk

PLEASE SIGN!!: www.StopUnconstitutionalPipeline.org

And this too? http://dec.stopthepipeline.org/write-to-nys-dec/hey-joe-say-no-before-you-go/

Dear President Obama,
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commision (FERC),
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Governor Cuomo-

By now the whole world knows that Fracking is bad for your health! It is bad for communities and it is bad for the climate. That is why I am so glad that New York State and Governor Andrew Cuomo banned fracking.

But now we are facing the gas industry who are still trying to Frack New York. The fracked gas industry wants to build a pipeline that would cut across New York state like a scar that never heals. It goes by the ridiculous and Orwellian name "The Constitution Pipeline". How dare they!

We cannot allow another poisonous plan for our beautiful state that we all love.

We must stop fracking, which means we must not transport fracked gas across our state where it is headed for foreign export markets. The danger to our homes, is also the danger to the rest of the world, as we continue to harm the climate. The world is watching us.

President Obama, you have two beautiful daughters. Do you want their health, environment and futures to be irreversibly destroyed by fracking, like the suffering children of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio?

We say no! We won't have our loved ones and communities suffer in this way.

We say yes to renewable energy and to a positive future.

Please find out more about the "Constitution Pipeline" by visiting:
www.stopunconstitutionalpipeline.org

IMAGINE THERE IS NO FRACKING!
IMAGINE A BETTER WORLD FOR ALL OF US!
IMAGINE PEACE!


Love,
Yoko Ono


Co-signers: Josh Fox, Stop the Pipeline, Compressor Free Franklin, Ommegang Brewery, Otsego 2000, Friends of Otsego, Sustainable Otsego, Mohawk Valley Keepers, Sane Energy Project, The Mothers Project, Goldman Prize winner Hellen Slottje, Frack Action, Solutions Grassroots, Food and Water Watch




--
--
May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Why Civil Disobedience? Isn't that extreme?

This information is unrestricted.
Please feel free to share this information on any list.



When we were down in DC for Stop the #FERCus / #BXE
I had the opportunity to interview Steve Norris, as he
laid on the ground blocking a gate,
while two or three big cops towered over him.
I asked him, and others there,
(rhetorically--- for the camera),

Why block entrance to a building?
Doesn't that seem a little bit extreme?

Steve answered,
"No. THEY are the ones who are extreme."
He glanced over at the FERC building. 


I asked Gerri Wiley,
"Why not make substantive comments on the Docket?
Why not write a letter to your Congressman?"

She just laughed at me!

(as I expected :) )
Gerri has been one of the core crew of NY Fractivists. I have seen her at many events over these last 5 years. Of course I knew she any many others have written dozens of letters.

Steve Norris, Gerri Wiley, Wes Ernsberger, and Sydney Grange being arrested on Witness Wednesday at Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, during "Stop the #FERCus", May 2015, part of #BXE Beyond Extreme Energy's ongoing civil disobedience campaign at FERC.

This graphic illustrates one of the most horrific problems
I have found in 4 years researching pipelines:

This is what I call the "API Loophole":

You have to blow this up big to see all the detail.
May not render well on tiny screens:

The American Petroleum Institute is not only Above the Laws of this nation,
they actually WRITE THE REGULATIONS their industry is bound to.
FERC gave away control of this critical definition
to the very industry they are supposed to regulate!

Even Dick Cheney gets a good chuckle over the genius of this!



The shocking thing is:
I have a dozen other examples like this.

People often ask, "Why #BXE?"
Why Beyond Extreme Energy #BXE?

People say, "why resort to Civil Disobedience?
Why blockade a building?"
Isn't that a bit extreme?

ANSWER: This is why.

While 99% of the American People have no idea how bad FERC is,
 those of us who have looked into it realize this may be THE MOST CORRUPT
quasi-governmental organization ever.

FERC is really responsible for killing vast areas of forested land, which we URGENTLY NEED for carbon sequestration.

And PS: A forest should
be allowed to exist: JUST BECAUSE.
A forest is beyond a single living organism, it is a COLONY of living things, 10,000 different species, and millions of individual living things.


The FERC Commissioners are responsible for the slaughter of uncountable living creatures who live in these forests.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission are putting many human lives in grave jeopardy.
Literally, 30 million people at risk--- JUST IN ONE PROJECT!(The Algonquin AIM).
There are decisions being made by FERC
which can only be described as 
"Epic Stupidity"

There is NO CHOICE but to #ShutItDown,

HOPEFULLY, while maintaining the highest standards of conduct
and unshakeable resolve to follow the principles of non-violence.

Bill Huston
Binghamton NY

--
--
May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

Monday, July 6, 2015

HOT STUFF: Schoharie BOS Chair Letter to Cuomo re: Infrastructure

Link to this: TinyURL.com/SchoharieCoBOSLetterToCuomo


Friends, I think this is extremely important.


I spoke to at least 3 people on the phone today discussing how we can connect all of our infrastructure  battles into a single one.

Then, this hit my inbox!
(Sometimes miracles happen quickly)
SEE:
  1. LETTER from the Schoharie Board of Supervisors Chairman to Gov. Cuomo asking for an "IMMEDIATE FREEZE" on new air+water quality permits on gas infrastructure projects!!

    PDF: https://www.scribd.com/doc/270746510/Schoharie-Board-of-Supervisors-Chair-Letter-to-Goiverner-Cuomo-on-Health-Impacts-of-Fracked-Gas-Infrastructure
  2. Note from Glenn Saunders about letter's distribution
  3. Related Press articles.
Please share widely if you think this is important, especially with elected officials, as per Glenn Saunders request.

BH

Related Links:

THE LETTER:

Plain text of letter:



Schoharie County Board Of Supervisors
P.O. Box 429, County Office Building
Schoharie, NY 12157
Phone: (518) 295-8347 Fax: (518) 295-8482

June 11, 2015

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor Cuomo:

In April of this year, the Medical Society of the State ofNew York passed a Resolution calling for  "governmental assessment of the health and environmental risks that are associated with natural  gas pipelines." The Schoharie County Board of Supervisors then passed a Resolution calling for all  NY County governing bodies to support the MSSNY request.

Just this week, the American Medical Association passed a Resolution at their Annual Meeting in Chicago "that our AMA recognize the potential impact on human health associated with natural  gas infrastructure; and be it further

Resolved, that our AMA support legislation that would require a Comprehensive Health Impact  Assessment regarding the health risks that may be associated with natural gas pipelines."

I encourage you to look into the detailed 'Whereas' sections of these Resolutions. There is a strong parallel between the rationale for the physicians' concerns about natural gas infrastructure and delivery systems, and the concerns expressed by Commissioner Zucker last December about health impacts of  unconventional shale gas wells.

In the interests of a consistent and proactive policy of protecting public health and safety, I would hope that you take the following steps in response to the MSNNY and AMA Resolutions:
  1. Ask the NY DEC to institute an immediate freeze on new air and water quality permits for all natural gas infrastructure project applications;
  2. Ask the NY DOH to gather and review all research available which is relevant to the concerns expressed in the Resolutions described above; and
  3. Follow the same steps and rationale in assessing the public health and safety impacts of gas pipelines and related infrastructure as were developed in the case of unconventional shale gas wells.
Thank you very much for your consideration of this request.

Best Regards,

(signed)


Richard Lape, Chairman
Schoharie County Board of Supervisors



Letter from Glenn Saunders:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Glenn Saunders
Date: Mon, Jul 6, 2015 at 9:06 PM
Subject: Re: Lape letter to Cuomo?
To: William Huston <williamahuston@gmail.com>


Hi Bill –

The attached letter was sent to every County Clerk in the state with a request for consideration and consultation. So far, zero responses. If you know people who are county legislators, or who know county legislators, please encourage them to bring this letter to the attention of their executives or chairs, and to ask for some action on it. Feel free to spread this effort as far and wide as possible. And if any legislators want to speak with one of the originators in Schoharie, please have them contact:

Gene Milone
Supervisor, Town of Schoharie
Also, of course, feel free to give me feedback as desired.
Thanks!! Glenn
Sent: Monday, July 06, 2015 6:36 PM
Subject: Lape letter to Cuomo?


Hi Glenn, do you have a copy of the June Lape letter to Cuomo you could send me, mentioned in these articles? Thanks!!


PRESS



  • http://www.dailygazette.com/news/2015/jul/01/0701_gasline/?print
    The Daily Gazette
    Wednesday, July 1, 2015

    Report says dangers are equivalent to fracking
    By Kyle Adams
    Schoharie County officials ask new studies on gas lines
    Photo of
    Easement area of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline, near the Iroquois Pipeline Operating Company, in the Town of Wright, on Westfall Rd. in Schoharie County.
    SCHOHARIE COUNTY — While the state Department of Environmental Conservation officially banned hydrofracking this week, some Schoharie County officials have been leading a push for the same kind of scrutiny to be applied to natural gas pipelines and compressor stations.
    Four county supervisors joined environmental and medical groups in Albany in April to call on the state to undertake a comprehensive health impact assessment before granting new permits, and now they're working to get other counties on board.

    "A lot of people who were working on the fracking issue now want the governor and the DEC and the [Department of Health] to take the same consistent, proactive approach with gas pipeline infrastructure as they did with gas development," said Glenn Sanders, a Schoharie resident heavily involved in the movement. "The regulatory regime for reviewing these projects and issuing permits is fundamentally inadequate from a medical standpoint, from a public health professional standpoint."

    Medical professionals and others are concerned about the harmful effects of compressor stations in particular, which David Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany and one of the researchers in the state's fracking study, called "among the worst of all the fracking infrastructure."

    In the study, which included five states in which fracking is allowed, he said more than 40 percent of air samples from compressor stations exceeded federal regulations for certain chemicals like benzene, formaldehyde, methane, and hydrogen sulfide. The result, he said, was that people near the stations suffered noticeable health effects, like nose-bleeds, sore throats, and respiratory problems.

    "The air was being very contaminated, and the compressor stations were the worst of all," he said. "Everyone thought we won the battle when fracking was prevented, but this is just now sneaking in the back door."

    The fracking battle, however, set the stage for this fight in more ways than one. Not only are the activist networks established and armed with information, but the DEC's findings, released Monday, noted that the infrastructure associated with fracking "has the potential to create adverse impacts" on the environment and human health.

    "The finding statement lays the groundwork for this consistent, proactive approach that we're advocating," Sanders said.

    As the home of the Wright Compressor Station, Schoharie County is positioned to be a hub for the transport of natural gas from Pennsylvania and North Dakota to markets in the Northeast and overseas. Already, two new pipelines are proposed to cross the county, along with an upgrade at the Wright Compressor Station and the construction of two new compressor stations in the town of Schoharie.

    The more advanced of those two pipelines, the Constitution Pipeline, is currently waiting only on a few final water-related permits from the DEC. The second, the Northeast Energy Direct Project, has not yet received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee.

    Schoharie County leaders are also reaching out directly to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
    In a letter to Cuomo dated June 11, Schoharie County Board of Supervisors Chairman Richard Lape called for an "immediate freeze" on new air and water quality permits for natural gas infrastructure projects — which, notably, would halt the Constitution project— as well as a review of all research concerning the health effects of pipelines and compressor stations and the application of the "same steps and rationale" in assessing natural gas infrastructure as were applied to fracking.

    While the pipelines would carry natural gas from hydrofracking operations in Pennsylvania to markets well beyond Schoharie County, there are some promised local benefits: hundreds of good-paying union jobs for about 18 months during construction, and, in the case of Constitution, some local natural gas connections.

    But town of Schoharie Supervisor Gene Milone, who attended the rally in Albany in April, said he'd be happy to forgo those benefits in the name of public safety.

    "That far supersedes what happens to business, as far as I'm concerned," he said. "There's just no excuse for us not to protect the health and safety of the people we represent."

  • http://wamc.org/post/officials-nys-take-second-look-pipelines#stream/0

    Officials To NYS: Take A Second Look At Pipelines
    By Dave Lucas • 

    Credit © Copyright K A and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
    Now that New York state's Department of Environmental Conservation has officially banned hydrofracking, officials in Schoharie County would like the state to take a closer look at natural gas pipelines and compressor stations.

    Although there won't be any fracking in New York, products of the process will move from Pennsylvania across the Empire State via pipelines which run through compressor stations. Natural gas, when transported through a pipeline, must be constantly pressurized at intervals of 40 to 100 miles.

    Pipeline plans call for the Wright Compressor Station in Schoharie County to be joined by two others, being built in the town of Schoharie.  Richmondville Town Supervisor Richard Lape:  "The new ones are for the most part, carry the hydrofracking gas that's coming through our communities."

    The two stations each will uniquely service two pipelines awaiting federal approval, the Constitution and one to be built by the Northeast Energy Direct Project. "We already have two, maybe more than two in our county. One of course at the Westfall Road site in the town of Wright, and a large compression station at Route 20 in the town of Calisle."

    Lape, who chairs the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors, dashed a letter off to Governor Andrew Cuomo in early June, asking that an "immediate freeze" be placed on new air and water quality permits for natural gas infrastructure projects, and that all research concerning the health effects of pipelines and compressor stations be reviewed.    "If you read, if you note the letter, I think the concerns are due to possible emissions into the atmosphere."

    Studies of air in the vicinity of compressor stations have revealed alarmingly high numbers of certain chemicals and people living near the stations have experienced symptoms including nosebleeds and respiratory difficulties.
    Director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany David Carpenter, who participated as a researcher in the DEC's fracking study, calls compressor stations among the worst of all the fracking infrastructure.  "Our previous studies showed that some of the most serious air pollution came from the compressor stations. There needs to be a statewide analysis of the health of the population of New York from these compressor stations, and my recommendation is that this be done through the local health departments."

    Carpenter notes a DEC study that included five states where fracking is allowed, showed more than 40 percent of air samples from compressor stations exceeded federal regulations for certain chemicals like methane, benzene and hydrogen sulfide.

    The clock may be ticking, but Lape and other Schoharie County officials are hoping to see the "same steps and rationale" taken in assessing natural gas infrastructure as the state applied to fracking. "The building doesn't actually start - we've been updated at our town board meeting recently  - until the earliest would be this fall, but they don't even believe themselves it'll start until March of 2016."

    Pipeline company officials did not respond to requests for comment.
  • http://www.dailygazette.com/news/2015/jul/05/pipes/?print
    The Daily Gazette
    Sunday, July 5, 2015

    Conduct more research on gas compression stations


    They seem kind of benign, right?

    They're pipes. They just sit there. What harm could they do?

    But the kind of pipes that carry natural gas are hardly benign, as gas that flows through them has to be repeatedly compressed and repressurized in order to keep it flowing over hundreds of miles.
    And it's that process, along with the facilities located along the pipelines where it takes place, that has health professionals and government leaders in Schoharie County worried about the impact on the surrounding air and on the people who breathe it.

    And it's that concern that has officials calling on the state to lend the same scrutiny it employed in deciding to prohibit hydrofracking to the issue of gas discharges from natural gas pipelines.

    Given the potential health issues, it would be irresponsible of the state not to take action.

    Schoharie County is the proposed home of two major pipelines that will carry natural gas from Pennsylvania and the Dakotas where it is produced to markets throughout the Northeast. Attached to the pipelines are so-called "compressor stations."

    The natural gas that enters the pipeline system on the production end loses pressure as it wends through pipes along the countryside. Therefore, every so often, about 40-70 miles or so, the gas has to be repressurized in order to keep it flowing. Without these compression stations, the gas wouldn't get to its final destination.
    The problem is that these compression stations discharge toxic chemicals into the air, chemicals like benzene, formaldehyde, methane and hydrogen sulfide — a poisonous, explosive, corrosive gas. Depending on when the chemicals are discharged, in what amounts, and in what proximity to people, they can cause serious health issues, including cancer, respiratory problems and other ailments.

    A recent study on hydrofracking in five states found numerous instances in which the amount of these chemicals in the air exceeded federal standards. A separate study dated Feb. 25 of this year, conducted by the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project on the health impacts of compression stations, found that discharges often vary in duration and amount. Sometimes, scientists found, the compression stations discharged relatively little toxic gas into the air. At other times, they discharged quite a lot.

    For instance, two compression stations in Pennsylvania discharged 19 different chemicals. A study of two Texas stations found that discharges of 14 chemicals in air samples exceeded that state's environmental standards. Those are just two examples from the 23-page study.

    The discharges occur during regular operations, as well as through leaks and accidents. So-called "fugitive emissions" through valves, connectors and other parts tend to increase as equipment ages and breaks down, the report stated. During scheduled or accidental "blowdowns," gases can be discharged 100 to 200 feet into the air as part of a process that can last as long as three hours.

    Those living near the stations have experienced such health problems as respiratory and throat irritation, weakness, fatigue, body aches and sleeplessness.

    While there's still a lot more research to be done on the potential health impacts, it's clear that the experiences so far warrant further investigation.

    This isn't a phony problem contrived by pipeline opponents as a last-ditch attempt to kill the projects. Their concerns, as evidenced by the experiences on existing pipelines and compression stations, are legitimate and should be taken as seriously as the state took health concerns about the fracking process itself.

    The state departments of Health and Environmental Conservation need to heed the evidence and conduct comprehensive health assessments of these pipeline projects before granting any new permits.
    The pipelines will be there for a long time. And so will the adverse health impacts they create.

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