Stop the Algonquin Pipeline Expansion (SAPE) Safe Energy Rights Group (SEnRG) ResistSpectra
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SAPEURGENT ACTION ALERT
CALL GOVERNOR CUOMO NOW: 518-474-8390

Tell Governor Cuomo: WHERE IS THE RISK ASSESSMENT? Gas pipelines and power plants do not belong at or near the Indian Point nuclear plant site. Closing Indian Point does not solve the radioactive threat to 20 million New Yorkers who live and work within 50 miles of the plant. A gas pipeline explosion adjacent to 45 years of highly radioactive nuclear waste permanently stored on site could make this region uninhabitable for millennia. We strongly urge you to exercise the power of your office to ensure that independent pipeline safety, nuclear and disaster preparedness experts are fully engaged in the plant’s decommissioning plans and that prompt steps are taken to halt the unprecedented location of gas infrastructure this close to the Indian Point facility.

GIANT HIGH PRESSURE GAS PIPELINES AT INDIAN POINT….
WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?

New York State made a huge mistake by issuing the permits for the AIM and Atlantic Bridge pipelines. Governor Cuomo must listen to independent safety experts’ warnings about the permanent disastrous risks to 20 million New Yorkers and the U.S. economy posed by the giant Spectra AIM gas pipeline, the first phase of the impermissibly segmented Algonquin pipeline expansion, which was constructed only 105 feet from critical safety infrastructure at the Indian Point nuclear plant in northern Westchester located next to two major earthquake fault lines. Even with the closure of Indian Point, a multi-year decommissioning process, the potential explosion of high pressure gas transmission pipelines intensifies the clear and present dangers of the more than 45 years of vulnerable and highly radioactive spent fuel permanently stored there. As if that dangerous scenario were not reckless enough, proposals for the construction of a gas power plant at that location have been reported which would escalate the risks and exacerbate hazardous air pollution already prevalent in the region.
For more background information, please visit www.SAPE2016.org

IndianPointBlooee

More background:

Despite repeated warnings from numerous leading national pipeline, nuclear and disaster preparedness experts, Spectra Energy received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to expand their Algonquin pipeline based on a flawed analysis by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The first phase of that expansion – the 42-inch diameter, high pressure Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) gas pipeline was completed and became operational in January 2017. It is sited adjacent to critical safety infrastructure at the deteriorating Indian Point nuclear plant. The experts repeatedly warned that a pipeline rupture at Indian Point could result in a nuclear disaster worse than Fukushima threatening more than 20 million people who live in the New York tri-state area. Indian Point’s closure does not resolve the disastrous risks to millions of New Yorkers posed by a pipeline rupture in very close proximity to years of highly radioactive nuclear waste permanently stored on site. The potential explosion from a pipeline rupture at that location could encompass the entire Indian Point site, according to independent experts. Moreover, pipelines and their infrastructure pollute our air, water and soil, are commonly subject to leaks, fires, and explosions and are marked by rising failure rates especially in newly installed pipelines according to the Pipeline Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) data. There were 143 accidents in gas transmission lines in 2015 alone. Pipelines are also vulnerable terrorist targets.

Spectra impermissibly segmented its massive Algonquin pipeline expansion into three separate projects: Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM), Atlantic Bridge and Access Northeast to avoid a full evaluation of the cumulative impacts. Spectra’s Atlantic Bridge project was prematurely approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and subsequently, New York State issued a water quality permit for the project on May 1st, which would enable construction to go forward. NYS should never have granted permits for the AIM and Atlantic Bridge pipeline projects, which are linked to significant risk of nuclear disaster, pollute our air and waterways and accelerate harm to our health and climate. Any proposal for a gas power plant at or near the site should be rejected.

After great public pressure, in February 2016, Governor Cuomo directed state agencies to conduct a risk assessment of the co-location of the AIM pipeline and Indian Point; however, no further information about the assessment, its progress or findings have been forthcoming despite numerous FOIA requests. It is critical to have independent pipeline safety, nuclear and disaster preparedness experts engaged in a comprehensive assessment included in the plant’s decommissioning plans in order to fully address cumulative hazards and risks. The cooling pools for the highly radioactive nuclear waste and the dry cask storage are vulnerable. A pipeline rupture will generate incredibly high methane gas release rates with extremely high heat fluxes that melt steel and vaporize aluminum at considerable distances. A fire in the densely packed spent fuel pools could release more radioactivity than a reactor meltdown, rendering thousands of square miles uninhabitable. The deeply flawed analysis by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) used incorrect data, false assumptions and prohibited modeling. The NRC staff that conducted the analysis lacked pipeline expertise and failed to consider the risks associated with new pipeline installations, their serious deficiencies and problems during their construction phase observed by PHMSA and highlighted in their data regarding the alarming rise in pipeline failures especially in newly installed pipelines.

Governor Cuomo banned fracking in New York State to protect our water resources and public health yet, the massive Algonquin pipeline expansions are sited within sensitive watersheds including the New York City watershed, the drinking water supply for more than eight million New Yorkers in the metropolitan area. He recently stated that New York “must double down by investing in the fight against dirty fossil fuels and fracked gas from neighboring states” yet, New York continues to grant permits for dangerous, polluting and climate exacerbating fossil fuel pipelines and power plants in our communities polluting our air and water supplies and harming our health and climate. New York must stop approving fracked gas pipelines and other fossil fuel infrastructure like Spectra Energy’s massive Algonquin pipeline expansion (AIM, Atlantic Bridge and Access Northeast) and instead fast track to 100% renewable energy.

Please view this important 2 minute video and take simple action steps:

* Excerpts from documents by leading independent safety experts:

Paul Blanch, leading nuclear power safety expert, stated, “The NRC has underestimated the probability of a gas line accident impacting the Indian Point nuclear plant by at least a factor of 1000. Moreover, the NRC and Entergy have failed to provide any supportable documentation that Indian Point 2 can safely shut down the plant in the event of a gas line rupture, and Entergy has no emergency procedures in place at Indian Point to respond to a gas line rupture. The blast radius from a gas line rupture would likely encompass the entire Indian Point site, disabling all vital equipment required to prevent core damage and major radioactive releases to the environment. It is my expert opinion that once gas is introduced into the AIM pipeline there will be a grave and imminent danger to the surrounding area and residents. The consequences of a nuclear event at Indian Point may impact millions of lives in the Hudson Valley and New York City and cause social and economic impacts in the trillions of dollars range.” 

 

Dr. Irwin Redlener, Director, National Center for Disaster Preparedness and Professor of Health Policy and Management, Earth Institute, Columbia University stated, “Given the population density surrounding the Indian Point nuclear facilities and the potential catastrophic consequences of a major disaster from the installation or malfunction of the AIM pipeline, it is imperative that these plans be aborted now. To make matters worse, plans to repair a developing problem in the pipeline and plans to safely evacuate at risk populations are entirely inadequate. From a public health point of view, this project should not be allowed to proceed… There is too much at stake, too much risk to permit the construction and operation of a high pressure gas pipeline at this place, at this time – no matter what economic upside might be envisioned for Spectra and Entergy.” 

 

Richard Kuprewicz, President of Accufacts and national pipeline safety expert stated,  “I have yet to see a steel pipeline that cannot be damaged by third party threat activities, especially damage that could result in delayed pipeline rupture. I have seen similar misguided arguments presented in the Analysis that steel pipelines can be made difficult to puncture, reflected in some very poor pipeline risk management approach studies and safety analyses trying to improperly convey the impression that pipelines cannot be made to rupture. Delayed pipeline ruptures generating massive explosions and flames are caused by damage that seldom punctures the pipe, but the pipe is weakened to where it eventually fails in time as a rupture, a large pipeline fracture that occurs in microseconds during operation resulting in full bore pipeline releases.” 

“After a careful review, Accufacts has concluded that the above referenced Entergy Safety Evaluation and Analysis (“Analysis”), which includes enhanced pipeline measures proposed by the pipeline operator for the 42-inch pipe segment near IPEC fails to adequately capture the threat and, more importantly, prudently demonstrate that rupture of the new 42-inch higher MAOP pipeline will not markedly impact IPEC facilities, including IPEC’s ability to “failsafe” shutdown from such a pipeline rupture.” 

“My extensive experience in pipeline rupture investigations, spanning many decades, indicates that Entergy, the NRC, and others making statements that a 42-inch pipeline rupture can be quickly isolated and implying that the pipeline operator can quickly remotely recognize and isolate the pipeline rupture within minutes (such as shutdown in three minutes) are misleading and downright false. A transient pipeline rupture analysis for the proposed 42-inch, 850 psig MAOP pipeline in the vicinity of IPEC needs to be properly performed, subject to independent verification of key assumptions, and gas pipeline rupture possible impacts to IPEC reviewed to confirm that such a rupture event near IPEC and its associated key facilities would not prevent the facilities from safely shutting down and/or place the public at great risks…” 

Every voice is urgently needed!  Please keep calling these public officials!

References:


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SAPE Petition

Talking points for Algonquin Pipeline August 2017

Summary of Spectra Energy Algonquin Incremental Market Project – September 16, 2016


Mission Statement

Stop the Algonquin Pipeline Expansion (SAPE) is a grassroots organization with a mission to educate our fellow citizens and elected officials about the negative impacts associated with Spectra Energy Corporation’s Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) Project. SAPE opposes the AIM gas expansion project because it may exacerbate climate change, endanger our safety and quality of life, contaminate water, air and soil, cause harm to domestic animals and wildlife, and threaten farmland and property values.

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