Quantcast
Energy

Battle Over Minisink Compressor Station Heats Up

Stop the Minisink Compressor Station

An impacted landowner from Minisink, NY has taken the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to the State Supreme Court over the highly contested Minisink Compressor Station currently under construction by Millennium Pipeline, a subsidiary of NiSource Inc.

Community organizer, landowner and petitioner in the case, Pramilla Malick has alleged that DEC violated both state and federal law when it issued two permits for the project that will be located in the middle of a residential community with 200 homes within a half mile. Malick alleges that there will be health and safety risks imposed on the community from the project. Both DEC and Millennium Pipeline have filed motions to dismiss and the judge is expected to issue a decision any day.

M.U.S.T.—Mothers United for Sustainable Technologies—co-founder, Tanyette Colon has been following the 16-month Minisink compressor station battle and has produced two videos to highlight the struggle of community members in Minisink, NY. In Episode I: Throwing Stones at Goliath, it shows how Minisink is the projected hub for larger gas infrastructure. In Episode II (see below), it shows the struggle of this community as they fight this Goliath project that when built will be a potential health threat to the community.

“The DEC has become a rubber stamping agency and there is no one protecting New Yorkers," said Malick, who was forced to file the case pro-se because of the large expense in filing suit. “It is an unfair burden on a resident and a community.”

The New York State Attorney General’s office which also at times represents New York residents and communities against wrong doing is in this case obligated by law to defend the DEC. 

A technical report released last Friday, is expected to be a major wrench in Millennium Pipeline’s plans to expand its natural gas infrastructure in New York’s Southern Tier. Richard Kuprewicz, a prominent engineer for national pipeline issues, and president of Accufacts, Inc., indicates that Millennium’s intention to postpone the upgrade to the 7-mile stretch known as the Neversink Segment would threaten the safety of residents all along the pipeline segment.

This report throws into critical doubt the viability of Millennium’s highly contentious $43 million compressor station project in Minisink, NY. Minisink residents, represented by the D.C.-based attorney Carolyn Elefant, have accordingly filed a motion for a reopening of the docket, as well as a stay of construction in light of the new data bearing directly on the case.

According to Kuprewicz, “The velocities on the 24-inch Neversink segment clearly exceed prudent design standards and safety margins establishing much lower actual gas velocities on pipelines that are intended to avoid gas transmission pipeline rupture. Such high actual gas velocities for a natural gas transmission pipeline raise serious questions as to the adequacy or completeness of any previous hydraulic studies or decisions that may have been used to justify approval of the Minisink Compressor Project. The Minisink Compressor Project is a very poor proposal and should be rejected.”

The controversial project has been strongly opposed by the Minisink community in a battle that has already lasted nearly a year and a half. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the project by an unprecedented slim margin—a 3 to 2 vote by commissioners. A rehearing is currently being considered by FERC, and if it’s denied Minisink can move on to federal court however residents are prevented from doing so by a FERC-issued tolling order. In the meantime, Millennium is fully underway with the project, despite intense local opposition and lack of a final legal determination. However, Kuprewicz’s report now directly confirms many of the communities’ concerns as solidly based in technical fact.

Minisink residents, as well as those in neighboring towns along the Neversink stretch of Millenniunm Pipeline, are concerned about the possibility of a major pipeline disaster occurring similar to the deadly explosion in San Bruno, California in 2010. As is currently the case in Minisink, residents in San Bruno were concerned about the safety of the gas line for years, and experts warned about the serious risks involved in stress to an aging pipeline system. Eight people died in the gas fires, and dozens of homes and structures were destroyed. Kuprewicz was involved in that case as well, pleading for those responsible to prevent such grave risks to a host community.

Minisink residents continue to be active in the campaign for a safer alternative plan—the community backed Wagoner Alternative. Only one more of the five commissioners need be swayed to overturn this historic decision.

Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING and PIPELINES pages for more related news on this topic.

 

Show Comments ()
Sponsored
Roderick Eime / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

New Evidence Suggests Ancient Egypt Was Brought Down By Volcanoes and Climate Change

Ancient Egypt is often described as an exotic place—pyramids, hieroglyphics, lavishly worshipped kings and queens.

But in many ways, it has a lot of parallels to modern life. It was an economically diverse, culturally vibrant and unequal place.

The millenniums-old society also struggled with a phenomenon that people today know all too well: climate change. And it may have ultimately led to the civilization's demise, according to a new paper by a team of researchers at Yale University.

The team of researchers studied the tail-end of ancient Egypt during the Ptolemaic dynasty between 305-30 BCE.

Keep reading... Show less
Portuguese youth plaintiffs, from left to right: Simão and Leonor; Cláudia, Martim and Mariana; André and Sofia. Global Legal Action Network

Kids Harmed by Portugal Fires Reach Key Crowdfunding Goal for Climate Lawsuit

As Portugal reels from its worst wildfires on record, seven Portuguese children have met an important crowdfunding goal for their major climate lawsuit against 47 European nations.

More than £20,000 ($26,400) was pledged by 589 people, allowing the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN)—the nonprofit coordinating the lawsuit—to identify and compile evidence to present to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. GLAN now has a new stretch target of £100,000.

Keep reading... Show less
Flying insects such as bees are important pollinators. Flickr / M I T C H Ǝ L L

German Nature Reserves Have Lost More Than 75% of Flying Insects

A new study published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE adds more evidence that insect populations around the globe are in perilous decline.

For the study, researchers from Radboud University in the Netherlands, alongside their German and English colleagues, measured the biomass of trapped flying insects at 63 nature preserves in Germany since 1989. They were shocked to discover that the total biomass decreased dramatically over the 27 years of the study, with a seasonal decline of 76 percent and mid-summer decline of 82 percent, when insect numbers tend to peak.

Keep reading... Show less
Politics

Pushing Toxic Chemicals and Climate Denial: The Dark Money-Funded Independent Women’s Forum

By Stacy Malkan

The Independent Women's Forum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that has taken money from tobacco and oil companies, partners with Monsanto, defends toxic chemicals in food and consumer products, denies climate science and argues against laws that would curb the power of corporations.

IWF began in 1991 as an effort to defend now Supreme Court Justice (and former Monsanto attorney) Clarence Thomas as he faced sexual harassment charges. The group now says it seeks to "improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty."

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Mladen Kostic / iStock

Toxic Toys? After Nine Years, a Ban on Harmful Chemicals Becomes Official

Phthalates are a particularly harmful type of chemical, used, among a range of other ways, to soften plastic in children's toys and products like pacifiers and teething rings. In response to mounting concern about the serious health impacts of phthalates—most notably, interference with hormone production and reproductive development in young children—Congress voted overwhelmingly in 2008 to outlaw the use of a few phthalates in these products and ordered the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to assess the use of other types of the chemical in these products. After much delay, the CPSC voted 3–2 Wednesday to ban five additional types of phthalates in kids' toys and childcare products.

Keep reading... Show less
Wikipedia

Oil Spills Pose Dire Threats to Marine Life

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says oil pipelines have no place in BC's Great Bear Rainforest. Opponents of the approved Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion to the West Coast and the cancelled Energy East pipeline to the East Coast argue pipelines and tankers don't belong in any coastal areas. Research led by the Raincoast Conservation Foundation confirms the threat to marine mammals in BC waters from a seven-fold increase in tanker traffic is considerable.

After examining potential impacts of a 15,000-cubic-meter oil spill in BC waters on 21 marine mammals, researchers concluded most individuals would be at risk and a few local populations wouldn't survive. Baleen whales, for example, are highly susceptible to ingesting oil because they breathe through blowholes, filter and eat food from the ocean surface and rely on invertebrate prey. Oil residue can stick to the baleen, restricting the amount of food they consume.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Shutterstock

September 2017: Earth's 4th Warmest September on Record

By Dr. Jeff Masters

September 2017 was the planet's fourth warmest September since record keeping began in 1880, said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) and NASA this week. The only warmer Septembers came during 2015, 2016 and 2014. Minor differences can occur between the NASA and NOAA rankings because of their different techniques for analyzing data-sparse regions such as the Arctic.

Keep reading... Show less
Animals

Shocking Photo of Dehorned Black Rhino Wins Top Award

Africa loses an average of three rhinos a day to the ongoing poaching crisis and the illegal rhino horn trade. In 2016 alone, 1,054 rhinos were reported killed in South Africa, representing a loss in rhinos of approximately six percent. That's close to the birth rate, meaning the population remains perilously close to the tipping point.

This year, the Natural History Museum in London awarded photographer Brent Stirton the 2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year grand title for his grisly image of a black rhino with its two horns hacked off in South Africa's Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

Get EcoWatch in your inbox