Stop the Algonquin Pipeline Expansion (SAPE) Safe Energy Rights Group (SEnRG) ResistSpectra
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URGENT ACTION ALERT
CALL GOVERNOR CUOMO NOW: 518-474-8390
Tell Governor Cuomo: 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 appropriate 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.
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!
- America’s nuclear safety plans are based on ‘flawed analysis’ and a single waste fire could spread radioactive material throughout an area twice the size of New Jersey, researchers warn
- Senators Keep Heat on FERC, Raise New Concerns Over Conflicts of Interest in Spectra Gas Pipelines – January 10, 2017
- FERC approval to put AIM in service issued January 9, 2017
- FERC issues authorization to Spectra to place in service the remaining 42″ diameter section under Hudson River and adjacent to IP for remaining 97,000 Dth/d for total of 342,000 Dth/d total AIM capacity – December 30, 2016
- The Nuclear Power Plant and The Gas Pipeline – December 22, 2016
- Presentation by Paul Blanch at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, December 15, 2016:
- People’s Hearing investigating FERC abuses of law and power program – Dec. 2, 2016
- Clearwater Files Article 78 seeking judicial relief re NY nuclear subsidy – Nov. 30, 2016
- Spectra confirms new flow of 245,000 Dth/d effective Nov. 2, 2016 out of 342,000 Dth/d total AIM capacity – Nov. 14, 2016
- FERC hastily OKs Spectra new AIM plan for gas in aging pipelines under Indian Point without safety analysis; Obama must halt AIM; another major FERC conflict of interest – Nov. 4, 2016
- Map of Indian Point, AIM and Algonquin Gas Transmission pipelines – Nov. 4, 2016
- Exposed: Husband of FERC Official Responsible for Reviewing New Spectra Energy Pipelines Consults For Spectra on Related Project – Nov. 1, 2016
- Spectra Gas Pipeline Days From Operation – Opponents warn of catastrophic safety risk – Oct. 28, 2016
- Urgent national security and safety alert regarding imminent threat from Spectra AIM pipeline at Indian Point nuclear power plant – Oct. 26, 2016
- Vaughey letter to NRC – October 25, 2016
- 3 minute video showing aerial views of AIM next to critical emergency structures of Indian Point – Oct. 20, 2016
- FERC Chairman Used Not-Yet-Published Guidelines to Deny Wrongdoing in Hiring of Contractor for Spectra Pipeline – October 19, 2016
- Medical and Disaster Experts Investigate Pipeline Construction Next to Indian Point and Call to Immediately Halt Construction and Operation – October 18, 2016
- Spectra Weekly Report to FERC for AIM showing HDD second attempt mid-November – Oct. 18, 2016
- Disaster expert Irwin Redlener, MD, issues dire warning of AIM near Indian Point – October 18, 2016
- Video of Dr. Irwin Redlener Press Conference Statement October 18, 2016
- Malatras set to leave Cuomo administration for HANYS – October 7, 2016
- Comment re HDD from SEnRG and SAPE to FERC – October 5, 2016
- Ex-Ally of Christie Links Cuomo to Cover-Up of Lane Closings – October 5, 2016
- Anti-fracking group accuses Cuomo of yielding to pipeline lobbyists – October 4, 2016
- Cuomo administration backed away from pipeline nuclear safety study after lobbying blitz – October 4, 2016
- Public officials, secret emails – Private emails kept exchanges clandestine in bribery, bid-rigging case – October 2, 2016
- Riverkeeper and coalition call for immediate halt to AIM pipeline because of catastrophic consequences for Indian Point – Sept. 22, 2016
- Ex-Cuomo Aides Charged in Federal Corruption Inquiry – Sept. 22, 2016
- Motion of Stay filed September 22, 2016
- Paul Blanch Declaration (affidavit) – September 21, 2016
- Richard Kuprewicz Declaration (affidavit) – September 21, 2016
- Coalition letter to FERC re failed Spectra HDD attempt that requires halt to construction – September 22, 2016
- Letter from Delaware Riverkeeper Network to Congressional leaders to investigate FERC – September 21, 2016
- PHMSA Chart – September 21, 2016
- Indian Point Energy Center Correspondence – September 21, 2016
- NRG Conflict of Interest Correspondence – September 21, 2016
- Timeline showing segmentation of AIM, Atlantic Bridge and Access Northeast – September 21, 2016
- Letter from Congressman Engel to President Obama – September 19, 2016
- Letter from Congresswoman Lowey to Secretary Moniz – September 16, 2016
- “Spectra response to FERC re HDD mishap, September 16, 2016”
- “FERC letter to Algonquin re wetland violation of Horizontal Directional Drilling under Hudson River” September 9, 2016
- “AIM FERC Third Party Compliance Monitoring Reports of severe wetland violation” August 30, 2016
- “Exclusive Documents Show FERC-Hired Contractor Did Not Disclose Work-Related Spectra Pipeline”, August 9, 2016
- Senators Schumer and Gillibrand ask FERC to halt AIM and conduct a risk assessment, August 3, 2016
- “Following DeSmog’s Revelations on Spectra Pipeline, MA Senators Demand More Answers from FERC on Alleged Conflict-of-Interest”, July 31, 2016
- While Reviewing Spectra Energy Gas Pipeline Project, FERC Contratctor Did Not Disclose Its Hiring by Spectra for FIve Other Projects – July 19, 2016
- Former Inspectors Describe Dangerous Flaws in Construction of Major East Coast Gas Pipeline – July 19, 2016
- “Cuomo work order to contract HDR for risk assessment” July 13, 2016
- Senators Demand New FERC Environmental Review for Spectra Energy Project After DeSmog Revelations – June 14, 2016
- Former FERC Official Hired By Company With $1.8 Million Stake In Spectra Energy Pipeline Project He Had Reviewed – June 6, 2016
- SAPE Atlantic Bridge EA, June 6, 2016
- Revealed: Contractors Hired by FERC to Review a New Spectra Energy Pipeline Work for Spectra on a Related Project – May 26, 2016
- Senators Schumer and Gillibrand call for Spectra AIM pipeline construction to be halted. Journal News, May 20, 2016: NY Senators want Algonquin pipeline shut down
- Press release on Sen. Schumer’s website: SCHUMER, GILLIBRAND URGE FERC TO SUSPEND CONSTRUCTION ON AIM PIPELINE EXPANSION UNTIL INDEPENDENT HEALTH AND SAFETY STUDIES ARE CONDUCTED
- Concerned Health Professionals of NY 4th edition of Compendium of Scientific, Medical and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking – April 20, 2016
- NYS Office of the State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli report on Public Safety Oversight, Public Service Commission – March 2016
- Could nuclear disaster come to America? March 31, 2016
- Nuclear Power Plants: Pre-Deployed WMDs, March 28, 2016
- Natural gas infrastructure lobby ramps up spending in New York State, March 2016
- “FERC Denies Cuomo’s Request to Halt Pipeline Expansion,” Patch, Mar. 25, 2016
- FERC denies Cuomo’s request for AIM stay March 25, 2016
- Plan to Expand a Pipeline at Indian Point Raises Concerns, New York Times, 2/28/16
- Cuomo to Feds: Stop Algonquin Pipeline for More Safety Review, Times Union, 2/29/16
Are you willing to resist the pipeline through non-violent direct action or to provide support for direct action? If so, join and sign The Pledge to Resist.
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.