Flammable gas pipelines and quarries – a match made in heaven, am I right?

Stephen from Stockton NJ tells us about the Trap-Rock quarry in Delaware Township. The pipeline will be running within a few thousand feet of it…where they routinely use blasting. And where, as many have pointed out, the ground is predominantly diabase, a very hard rock that transmits vibrations (e.g. like those from blasting) surprisingly long distances.

I am opposed to the obviously short-sighted reliance and expansion of our dependence on the climate-changing fossil fuels transported by the proposed Penn-East pipeline (PF-15.1). The safety issue raised by putting this pipeline so close to the active Trap-Rock quarry in Delaware Township NJ must be seriously addressed before the committee can consider accepting the plan. Both the original route and the newly presented alternate route come within a few thousand feet of the quarry, where blasting of the bedrock occurs. The blasts create seismic vibrations along the diabase bedrock that extends well into the proposed pipeline routes near the quarry. the harder the bedrock, the greater the transport of the seismic energy.

Surprisingly, the alternate route remains closer to the blast site for an even longer distance than the original route. Both routes are unacceptable, as is the whole short-sighted pipeline concept. Peak particle velocities (PPV) are high enough that residences along this bedrock within a few thousand feet from the quarry blast sites are significantly shaken by the blasts. The proposed pipeline routes are at a similarly close distance to the quarry and on the same bedrock formation.

Within a few years, these seismic vibrations will create local stresses and strains on the pipeline and welds, allowing for formation of defects that will enhance subsequent corrosion. Obviously, this will significantly increase the probability of cataclysmic rupture of the pipeline.

The developers of this project ignore this problem but realize that the probability of pipeline failure is significant enough to become an LLC so as to protect themselves. Who will protect the other Americans along these routes, or are some just ‘collateral damage’? Co-locating the pipeline near blast sites is a ridiculously short sighted endeavor. We have seen no indication of real-time surveillance of pipeline integrity during pipeline usage.

How has the committee assessed the problem of the co-location of the pipeline near a blast site? Are there specific seismic measurements along the route near the quarry? How does the planned expansion of the quarry fit into the future safety of the pipeline? Is there an assessment regarding multiple years of seismic activity caused by the blasts on the integrity of the pipes and welds? The land in the area of the pipeline near the quarry, between Brookville Hollow road and Lambertville-Headquarters road, is diabase and a poor drainage area. What is the effect of long term water exposure in the wet soil on pipeline and weld durability, especially after damage caused by the seismic quarry-initiated vibrations? What is the shut-off time if a rupture occurs? Will it be similar to 1.5 hours seen in the San Bruno explosion? Has the committee done its due diligence in protecting the public and ensuring the long-time viability of this precarious venture?

I know this quarry! You can see it on the D&R Canal tow path between Stockton and Lambertville, my wife and I take our dogs walking on their regularly.

Here it is on Google Earth in relation to the pipeline survey corridor:

As you can see Stephen is correct, the pipeline passes within 3,500 feet of the pipeline.

There’s another active quarry near me where the pipeline also will be passing – the one by Baldpate mountain:

This one is 3,100 feet from the pipeline route.

Why would you place a pipeline that close to blasting sites? And then double down by putting the pipeline into hard bedrock that’s going to transmit those blasts highly efficiently right to your pipeline welds?

Stephene’s submission is below:

Stephen from Stockton – original submitted text

Stephen from Stockton – original submitted text Alternate Site

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Mike Spille

I'm a thinker, an analyzer, a synthesizer. Maybe not in that order. I live in West Amwell NJ with my wife Kristina, our two kids Day and Z, our two dogs Fern and Cinna, and two cats Ponce de Leon and Xavier.

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