Monthly Archives: June 2013

A Hudson Valley Gas Pipeline?

“A Hudson Valley Gas Pipeline?”

Hot off the press!  Recently, I had a meeting at my home with some concerned and knowledgeable people about the Expansion of the Natural Gas Pipeline Infrastructure and hydrofracked gas-fueled power plants and, afterwards, I could not contain my feelings, so I sat down and wrote an “article” entitled “A Future Dependent on Hydrofracked ‘Natural’ Gas and its Pipeline Infrastructure.”  It was mostly an outpouring of my intuition, and I only shared it with a few people I believed to be “kindred spirits.”

On June 17, 2013, I attended the “NEW YORK CROSSROADS” Rally in Albany at the Capital advocating a “Ban on Fracking” and development of Renewable Energy Resources.  More than 1,000 demonstrators came from all over the state to demand that Governor Cuomo and the NY Legislature “Ban Fracking in New York Now!”  I felt so affirmed, encouraged and proud to stand with “forward thinking people, intelligent and informed brother and sister New Yorkers!”

While there, someone handed me a leaflet from Catskill Mountainkeeper entitled: “A Hudson Valley Gas Pipeline?”  When I read it, it was as if I was reading my own words!  I feel compelled to transcribe it for you here, especially for those of you who have received/read my previous work.  I want you all to know that the “word” is getting out.  Read on (italics are my comments):

“Is there a major, new gas pipeline in the works for Orange, Ulster & Dutchess Counties?” (Of note is that Columbia Gas Transmission Company has submitted an application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ‘FERC’ for a major expansion of pipelines and compressor stations in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey and New York!)

“In 2009, Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P., proposed a 3-foot diameter, 66-mile-long pipeline connector to span a gap in the distribution system of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale to New England and northeastern Canada to ‘serve the northeast market.”  Calling it the NYMarc Project, Iroquois’ website projects its completion for 2015.

While being transported through a welded pipeline, natural gas needs to be pressurized every 40 to 100 miles.  Football-field-sized compressor stations compress the gas using loud, diesel-fueled turbines, emitting hydrocarbon clouds 24 hours a day.

The NYMarc pipeline would connect the Tennessee Gas Pipeline in northern New Jersey to the Iroquois Gas Line, northeast of Poughkeepsie.  The Minisink compressor station in Orange County would boost the gas through Maybrook and East Walden in Orange County; through Shawangunk, Plattekill and Lloyd in Ulster County; under the Hudson River to the Walkway over the Hudson and through Dutchess County to Pleasant Valley.

PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT TO DECIDE!

Why might this happen?        

  • To move fracked gas to coastal terminals, where it will be converted to highly explosive liquefied natural gas (LNG) for export.
  • The glut of gas has lowered domestic prices to levels that are unacceptable for profitable resource extraction.
  • The worldwide market pays five to seven times more for each cubic foot of gas.  Worldwide marketing will increase domestic prices.
  • Governor Cuomo might soon permit the first of 80,000  (100,000 wells according to “The Solutions Project” study) projected wells, producing more gas than is needed in New York State.
  • Two new gas-fired electric power plants are planned for the Hudson Valley. (Competitive Power Ventures Valley Energy Center – CPV, to be located in the Town of Wawayanda, Orange County, and the Cricket Valley Energy Center to be located in Dover Plains).

Will they build it?

Should we prepare to resist?

  • The Minisink Compressor Station, an essential component of NYMarc gas transmission, is being built (is built) in Orange County.
  • The Tennessee Gas Pipeline in north Jersey, connector for the NYMarc, is being upgraded to a 36-inch-diameter pipe.
  • Cricket Valley Energy’s gas-fired power station in Dover Plains, recently approved by the NYS Department of Environmental Conversation (DEC), will need gas.
  • Another gas-fired power station is proposed for the Town of Wawayanda in Orange County. “ (The Wawayanda Planning Board approved the Site Plan and FEIS for this project in May 2013; CPV attorneys disregarded “all” of the testimony by local townspeople because the project review was conducted under a “Relaxed Standard of the Zoning Application!)
  • “Pending proposals for LNG storage on the Atlantic coast would enable export of Marcellus gas.
  • Imminent Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement gives global conglomerates free rein to export & import (www.stoptpp.org).

What concerns us?

Once this pipeline is approved, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has the power of eminent domain to seize private property.

Property values are lowered by pipeline proximity.

Pipelines enable and thus encourage adjacent hydraulic fracturing gas pads with optimum 16 wells to a pad.

The pipeline poses a great threat to the economy of the local communities, the breadbasket of New York, as locally grown produce gains in value.

The pipelines and compressor stations will transform a peaceful, scenic rural area into an industrial gas distribution zone, driving away new homeowners, farms, and tourists.

The project is a menace to our health:

Compressor stations generate air and noise pollution 24 hours a day.  Pipelines almost always leak due to the vibrations induced by the moving gas and unmaintained welds.

Pipelines leak!  In 1990, Earth Resources Research released a report indicating that leaks in natural gas pipelines contribute more to the greenhouse effect than the burning of fossil fuel.  (At a Mount Kisco Energy Forum this past spring, Dr. Mark Jacobson, a major co-author of “the Solutions Project” reported that 8.9% of the projected 100,000 new wells slated for New York State will develop leaks jeopardizing water resources based upon analysis of current well failures elsewhere in the U.S.).

Pipelines rupture and explode!  The U.S Department or Energy 2011 Year-in-Review, issued in April 2012, documented nine explosions and ruptures, including major explosions at the Tennessee Gas Pipeline, which stretches from the U.S Gulf Coast to the Northeast.

With only 15 staff members to oversee all the pipelines in NYS, we cannot count on the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to protect us!

Pipelines criss-cross ecosystems, disrupting precious wildlife habitats.

What can we do?

  • Assist the efforts of groups opposing other pipelines, such as Constitution, Keystone, & Spectra (and the Columbia Gas Transmission Company.)
  • Educate ourselves & others about the dangers of the NYMarc (Connector) proposal.
  • Ask municipal leaders in Orange, Ulster, and Dutchess counties to oppose the NYMarc proposal.
  • Elect local officials who oppose the NYMarc proposal.
  • Warn property owners in Orange, Ulster, and Dutchess counties not to allow surveys by pipeline companies on their land.
  • Assist Frack Free Catskills and Catskill Mountainkeeper in spreading the work.

Share this flyer (information) with your friends and neighbors.

Let (Catskill Mountainkeeper) know if you are approached by a pipeline company-anyone-about allowing a survey on your land.”

For more information, go to www.frackfreecatskills.org, www.facebook.com/frackfreecatskills, www.catskillmountainkeeper.org

~Randy Hurst

URGENT ACTION ALERT TO STOP CPV POWER PLANT-DEADLINE FRIDAY JUNE 14

Dear Friends,
Its been a long struggle since we began fighting against a compressor station in our once pristine rural residential community of Minisink, N.Y..  After two years we have learned that Minisink is just one part of a vast infrastructure network being built for the transportation, processing, and sale of Fracked gas in NY.
The next step in that build out is the 650 MW gas-fired power plant being built in our neighboring town of Wawayanda.  This facility will emit 2 million tons of green house gases annually in an agricultural district that serves as New York’s food and dairy shed.
This project is fast moving through the permitting process.  We must do everything possible to stop it.   The DEC is just now taking comments for the draft air permit for the facility and the deadline is June 14 by 4:30 pm.   We need your help and it will only take a few minutes of your time.
Two simple steps and 5 minutes can help us in our efforts to stop this project.
1) The DEC is accepting comments on a draft air permit for the project until Friday June 14 4:30 PM.  We need as many people as possible to submit comments. By clicking on the link below you can automatically generate a  prepared comment.  There is also an option to add your own comment.(which we urge you to do if you have the time).   If you do chose this option and you believe you are an impacted resident, landowner, or stakeholder you should add that you wish to become a party to the process. (Please know that anyone who lives in the Lower Hudson Valley or uses the area for recreational or economic activity can be considered a stakeholder)
2) Also please sign this new simple petition against the power plant which will be sent to all of our state elected officials.
If you are interested in more actively participating in the process the following is a link to the DEC notice on draft air permit.
Thank you for your support

CPV AND MINISINK COMPRESSORS PART OF VAST INFRASTRUCTURE NETWORK

NYMarcBrochure05-13-10