Pipelines and fault lines don’t mix

I didn’t know we have earthquakes in NJ, but apparently we do. Laura from Milford, NJ writes:

I am opposed to the PennEast Pipeline on the grounds that its route is directly over the largest fault line in NJ, the Ramapo fault, where there have been four recorded earthquakes in the last decade.

The strongest of these, on August 26, 2003, at magnitude 3.8, “was felt by residents with high intensity,” according Won-Young Kim, senior research scientist at Columbia University – http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/LCSN

The pipeline industry has made no real progress in improving pipeline safety in the event of an earthquake. A recent article in the Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, entitled, “Seismic vulnerability of gas and liquid buried pipelines” reported:

“In the past, pipelines have been shown to suffer heavy damages when loaded by seismic actions. And yet, despite the evolution in the anti- seismic techniques and the progress in the seismic design, relevant damages to pipelines are still being observed.”

This bodes ill for land and water quality in the vicinity of the proposed pipeline.

Her FERC submission is here:

Laura from Milford – FERC Generated PDF

Laura from Milford – FERC Generated PDF Alternate Site

South Hunterdon School District Opposes the pipeline route

Does it make sense to have a billion cubic feet of natural gas flowing a few hundred feet away from a school?

Guess what – the South Hunterdon School district doesn’t think it’s such a hot idea either:

South Hunterdon School District – FERC Generated PDF

South Hunterdon School District – FERC Generated PDF Alternate Site

Attached is a resolution that the South Hunterdon Regional School District Board of Education passed at its meeting on December 22, 2014; Please take notice, the Board of Education opposes the proposed route of the Penn East Pipeline, or any alternate route that would place any of the facilities of the South Hunterdon Regional School District (listed below) or its busing routes, within the pipeline’s Potential Impact Radius”

There’s good news and bad news here. The good news is that the pipeline was originally slated to pass within 630 feet of the high school, but with the alternate route published in January 2015 that increased to over 9,000 feet.

The bad news is that it’s only 1,500 feet from West Amwell Elementary school.  Here’s a google earth view of the pipeline corridor near the school:

1,500 feet from the school!

As a bonus the ESC school is right across the street from West Amwell Elementary.

So there’s the good and bad.  And now here’s the ugly:

138 feet from Hewitt Park!

As the snapshot shows the pipeline survey corridor is less than 150 feet from the entrance of Hewitt Park!  This is a park that’s used in the spring, summer, and fall for baseball and soccer games by elementary schools in the area.

 

Runoff issues

When I lived in NYC I never gave any real thought to rain. It happened, I took an umbrella to work, and that was it. It wasn’t until I moved out to the country that I found out all complexities rain can bring to life – drainage ditches, runoff, water contamination, floods, you name it!

Jane in Easton PA focuses on this and other issues in her FERC submission.

Jane in Easton – FERC Generated PDF

Jane in Easton – FERC Generated PDF Alterate Site

I oppose the proposed Penn East pipeline specifically in the area of mile markers 71.5 to 72.5 due to first hand knowledge of runoff. In the area of mile marker 71.5 and the entire 400-foot area to be considered, the runoff has been so extensive as to cause a ditch along the road, which has to have stones added occasionally. Otherwise, there would be a very deep drop off immediately adjacent to the road. The removal of hundreds or thousands of trees just west of that area will most definitely add to this problem.

According to americanforests.org, a 5% increase in tree cover can offer a 2% decrease in runoff. It can only presumed that a 100% decrease in trees will drastically increase the runoff. Additionally, 1 tree is able to absorb 48 pounds of carbon dioxide and supply oxygen for 2 people, according to that same site. We need to keep every single tree that we possible can in order to absorb the pollution that we already have since the increase in pollution will be exacerbating the climate change.

It is then proposed to cross preserved farmland and through Fry’s Run, which is a High Quality Cold Water Fishery and Migratory Fishery. A Lancaster County farmer indicated in an article on Lancaster Online that his crops growth is stunted over the pipeline compared to an area 10 feet away from the right of way, and this is 24 years after that particular pipeline was installed. This preserved farmland will be subjected to that lose of productivity.

Think of Mr. Butterfoos!

Marie in Stockton is hoping that the rule of law is still in effect here in the U.S., and that corporations can’t do an end run around it by invoking eminent domain. Do we have a Right to Farm or don’t we?

Marie’s comments – FERC generated PDF

Marie’s comments – FERC generated PDF Alternate Site

Please be advised that the above-described Land, namely Parcel 1:10007-33-4i,s already established within the confines and commitments of 8 Farmland Preservation Easement held by the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, the United States ofAmerica and the County of Hunterdon, dated 10/30/2009.

My land has been secured for the perpetuity of”the Right to Farm” and as such, has been monitored for the past five years accordingly and successfully. I have enjoyed my walk and talks with my formidable partners and their representatives and have never felt pressure to defend and/or regret Green Land Restrictions until the PennEast Pipeline (and other’s like it) seemingly force a re-evaluation of “need” vs. “greed” and the distinctions between them.

Later on in the same submission she describes her property and what the pipeline is going to do to it – and we learn that no only is Marie’s farm in jeopardy, but a Mr. Butterfoos actual body as well….

I am the owner of a farm located in Hunterdon County, Delaware Township, Stockton, New Jersey, 08559, referred to as Block 33, Lot 4, encompassing 38 acres.

On a revised right away shown on the latest PennEast alternate drawing, the Proposed Pipeline is shown cutting right through the center of my farm. Five years ago, I placed my farm in the Farmland Preservation Program. I did this because of my desire to let future generations enjoy the beauty of this farm as has my family and in essence and with appreciation, many others — from those
who marveled at its great green, fertile fields, its radiant glowing water supply (our pond) apples, pears, peaches, cherries, strawberries and yes, natural shoe-stain to keep our boots abundantly “in order” and at the ready for the cow-stanchion in the great German tradition of”milking and storing the liquid gold” we call cow’s milk. To those who have loved its open spaces, long walks and even, longer talks; to those who came to visit —once again, the homestead of their Delaware Township families —from restored head boards with secret “initials” and “best buddy markings,” and yes — to visit once again – so as never to forget – the man who’s tombstone still graces this Farm, Mr. Ent Butterfoos!

The stewardship of this Farm —Lot 33-Block 4—-PennEast docket number: PF15-1-000 is inconsistent with its numerical value and its PipelineMonetaryPossibility. This farm supports life and your plan Pipelines to no future except to The Banks That Still Fail, destmys many more. (We may one day, learn to res—tore ruined crop fields; we will never learn to restore life to those we have taken life from no matter how many death-kills you so designate and worse, “march these victims off in the name of capitalism, socialism, communism and/or profit.”

Safety Concerns

A big point of contention between public opinion and the PennEast people is on the topic of safety.  People in the path of this pipeline are worried about this thing. It’s a 3 foot wide high pressure pipeline buried just a couple of feet under the surface of the ground, carrying a billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.  PennEast assures us this pipeline is “safe”, or at least as safe as they can make it.

But all things are relative, and safety is not an absolute but a continuum.  It’s not just a question of how statistically likely a breach or explosion of the pipeline is; it’s also about the damage that would be caused if the unthinkable did happen.  I grew up with natural gas in my family home, and my family accepted the risk of small 2″ gas pipelines coming into our home for the convenience and relative cheapness of it.  But 2″ is one thing.  A three foot pipeline carrying a billion cubic feet of natural gas PER DAY is another thing entirely.  I don’t want such a beast near my house.  And neither does Cara from Stockton.

I am an extremely concerned citizen from Delaware Township,NJ and am writing to express my strong opposition to the PennEast pipeline. My concerns are numerous. I am not sure what more that I can say that has not ALREADY been said here over and over, not only by other concerned citizens but by respected scientists and educators who understand the damage that this pipeline will do to our environment a lot better than I.

My greatest opposition to this pipeline is our safety and our health. The news has been more than alarming. A pipeline in West Virginia exploded this past Monday making it the fourth accident this month! I live on a property adjacent to my Mother’s. The alternate route that PennEast has proposed would run directly through her property, land that has been in our family for several generations. What can you do to assure us that she will be protected from one of these explosions? She is a two time cancer survivor and has chronic asthma which I saw on the EPA website can be exacerbated by gas emissions. Please tell me that she did not survive stage 4-lung cancer to now be subjected to possible explosions and contaminated water in our wells from a pipeline that we do NOT want or need?

The pipeline would also be approximately 2 miles from Delaware Township School, our local Elementary and Middle School. Our community does not have adequate emergency responders or resources should there be an evacuation or large-scale emergency. In addition, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA) only has 135 inspectors to oversee the 2.6 million miles of pipeline. It is strikingly evident that they cannot maintain what is already in existence!

Read her complete comments here:

Cara from Stockton – FERC Generated PDF

Ava gets right to the point

Ava from Stockton uses both barrels to blow a hole through the PennEast proposal:

http://elibrary.ferc.gov/idmws/common/opennat.asp?fileID=13758338

I am a 19 year old resident of Stockton, New Jersey and am writing to express my opposition to the PennEast pipeline which is threatening to destroy not only our community but my family’s property. I have had the privilege to grow up in this community, on a beautiful family farm that belonged to my Great Grandmother, Jane Henderson.

I am extremely upset that a company can come in and endanger our land and all the natural resources that come with it. If you drive through our community, you will the signs everywhere opposing this pipeline. The Delaware River,which is one of our biggest resources for water and tourism, is at risk as well as the land that we live on.

PLEASE SAY NO TO PENNEAST AND OTHER PIPELINE COMPANIES AND STOP THE DESTRUCTION OF OUR COMMUNITY! THIS IS OUR HOME!