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Author Topic: New York planning Spectra Pipeline  (Read 374 times)

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Offline SabbyTopic starter

New York planning Spectra Pipeline
« on: May 03, 2013, 09:37:04 AM »
Seriously scary stuff here :/

Quote from: From the Occupy the Pipeline website
The Spectra Pipeline is a high-pressure, large-diameter, fracked-gas pipeline currently under construction in Manhattan's West Village. We oppose this pipeline for the following reasons:

*We believe that if the Spectra Pipeline goes online, as it is slated to do in November, 2013, it will pose a grave and immediate risk to the residents of the West Village, a culturally and economically vibrant neighborhood that would be devastated by an explosion of the sort that occurred to a pipeline of similar diameter and pressure in San Bruno, California in 2010.

*We believe that the short-term interests of the few should not trump the long-term interests of the many. Accordingly, we believe that the health and safety of New Yorkers should not be jeopardized for the sake of quarterly profits.
* We believe that the high levels of radon present in the gas that would be transmitted by the Spectra Pipeline from the Marcellus Shale and into the homes and businesses of New Yorkers poses a grave threat to the public health and public safety. 

*Furthermore, we believe that a clean energy future is possible for New York City; and it is not merely our belief, but a matter of incontrovertible fact that the presence of pipelines in New York City tethers us to fossil fuels and makes us further dependent upon sources of energy that are poisoning our water, polluting our air, and rapidly changing our climate. Viable and sustainable alternatives to these destructive energy sources exist and we believe that to create the infrastructure to support the use of fossil fuels is to further postpone the day that New York City declares true energy independence by switching to wind, solar, bio-diesel, and other renewables. We encourage you to join us in the fight for a better future. Another world is possible!

I'm not from America, but I know I wouldn't want something like this in my city.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2013, 10:16:59 AM by Sabby »

Offline Trieste

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Re: New York planning Spectra Pipeline
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2013, 07:54:32 PM »
I would personally prefer to see numbers. "High levels of radon" is weaselly. Do they mean higher than is present in general? How many ppm are we talking about? What about the explosion referenced? Size and diameter mean little unless they're being made of the same material. I feel like messages like these expect people to just jump on the GAS PIPE BAD bandwagon, without providing convincing numbers. This is shoddy, and essentially a great big appeal to emotion.

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Re: New York planning Spectra Pipeline
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2013, 09:29:53 PM »
Some about the 2010 gas explosion here.

It's still the subject of litigation it seems. Apparently the company that ran the line had been doing upkeep work on other stretches locally, fairly near the portion of pipeline that blew open, though not on that precise stretch. Also, federal investigators found that the very portion that cracked had showed several dodgy welding seams, which might have come from still earlier repairs, though they didn't necessarily have to be of such origin.

Quote from: Wikipedia
San Bruno Police declared the area a crime scene to determine if foul play was involved. The National Transportation Safety Board began an investigation into the cause of the explosion.[40] During the days prior to the explosion, some residents reported smelling natural gas in the area. A source within PG&E reported a break in natural gas line number 132 caused the explosion. The gas line is a large 30-inch (76 cm) steel pipe. National Transportation Safety Board vice chairman Christopher Hart said at a briefing that the segment of pipe that blew out onto the street was 28 feet (8.5 m) long, the explosion sent that piece of pipe about 100 feet (30 m) and the blast created a crater 167 feet (51 m) long and 26 feet (7.9 m) wide. He said that an inspection of the severed pipe chunk revealed that it was made of several smaller sections that had been welded together and that a seam ran its length. The presence of the welds did not necessarily indicate the pipe had been repaired, he said. Newer pipelines are usually manufactured into the shape needed for these applications, rather than having multiple weaker welded sections that could potentially leak or break.

In January 2011, federal investigators reported that they found numerous defective welds in the pipeline. The thickness of the pipe varied, and some welds did not penetrate the pipes completely. As PG&E increased the pressure in the pipes to meet growing energy demand, the defective welds were further weakened until their failure. As the pipeline was installed in 1956, modern testing methods such as X-rays were not available to detect the problem at that time.

So it was an old line, laid out the 1950s, and both wear on the pipe itself and shoddy upkeep work may have contributed to the blast. It looks like Pacific Gas were not very good at keeping proper logs of their upkeep and quality checks either - it says earlier in the WP article that "PG&E was unable to provide documentation for details of some of its gas transmission pipelines" - referrring to this article in The Examiner:

It's impossible to say how much gas the NYC pipe would actually carry in time, of course, but seeing that it's the New York area with huge potential demand and a pipe of the same width as the Bay area one, the parallel between them seems kind of justified. Just adding in some material here.

« Last Edit: May 03, 2013, 09:42:11 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Ephiral

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Re: New York planning Spectra Pipeline
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2013, 08:17:13 AM »
The parallel isn't exactly justified - as specifically noted there, modern pipes are not made of a bunch of small pieces for this very reason, and there are better detection and maintenance technologies now. Also, blaming the size and pressure of the line when the problem was poor manufacturing and upkeep is... disingenuous at best.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2013, 08:20:23 AM by Ephiral »

Offline Sasquatch421

Re: New York planning Spectra Pipeline
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2013, 08:31:40 AM »
I agree that there are better detection and maintenance tech now, but no matter how much you try to prevent anything bad from happening it still eventually will. Some of it could be from them possibly seeing that we are fighting the Keystone Oil Pipeline here in Nebraska as well. The first one we had no say it was we are putting this in so let us pay you or lose your home. Now they might not have the problems putting this new one in if they laid it next to the one they just put in, but they want to lay it across the Ogallala Aquifer.

They did change the route once to put it towards the edge, but still when an oil leak happens it will still effect a source of water... Now I know that this might not be the same as the gas pipeline at the start, but I believe that the fights might be similar...

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: New York planning Spectra Pipeline
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2013, 10:46:19 AM »
My concern is that is an on going thing of late (that is the last 3 decades) to scrimp on upkeep as much as possible to maximize profits in US companies. To the point we have a LOT of avoidable infrastructure issues that we shouldn't. I'm waiting for a major failure of network capacity because of that.

I realize that profits/infrastructure are always going to be on opposite parts of the equation but it seems of late that it is always more important to squeeze every last Dime out of the infrastructure to the point of total or near total failure. The spill in Alabama, want to bet that came out of slipshop upkeep?

If I was a New Yorker, I'd worry.

Offline Sethala

Re: New York planning Spectra Pipeline
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2013, 01:01:10 PM »
With the current state of things in the country, I agree, I would be worried about this.  However, it's mostly because corporations tend to do everything they can to maximize profits and there's not enough government regulation in place to make sure things are safe.  If we're able to reverse that trend and get rid of this stupid notion of "self-regulation" on corporations, and had fairly strict (and strictly enforced) guidelines on safety, then I wouldn't be as concerned.