Constitution Pipeline Hearing; West Chester Victory; Dehydrator Station Action
Constitution Pipeline Purveyors Evasive
Please consider coming to Oneonta, New York next Wednesday, October 24th to resist the 121-mile Constitution Pipeline. To get a sense of just how evasive the pipeline purveyors are being, view this short, brilliantly edited video by Bill Huston of ShaleShock Media: “Yes or No? Constitution Pipeline, Williams Compressor Station, and October 24th.”
The builders of the Williams Central Compressor Station in Susquehanna County, PA, which is clearly the beginning of the 121-mile Constitution Pipeline, appear interested in denying that fact. Denial is crucial in order for them to avoid federal regulation of the compressor station. Yes, this is the compressor station which according to Williams’ calculations would emit “only” 98,810 tons of greenhouse gasses per year; 100,000 tons /year would trigger EPA regulation.
All compressor stations create toxic emissions to our air, increasing ground-level (harmful) ozone, asthma, and lung disease. People living near compressor stations have experienced nose bleeds, headaches, sore throats and other persistent symptoms; some have joined the ranks of those displaced by shale gas drilling operations, from Texas to Pennsylvania.
According to Lynda Farrell of the Pipeline Safety Coalition, fracked gas pipelines have a leakage rate of 7 – 9%, a huge but acceptable loss to the gas drillers and pipeline companies which are not required to seal leaks to prevent greenhouse gas emissions. Methane is a greenhouse gas which is 72 – 105 times more potent a global warming gas than carbon dioxide.
Victory in West Chester
This past Wednesday, October 17th, the West Chester Borough Council unanimously passed a Resolution opposing Act 13’s pre-emption clause, becoming the 72nd municipality to do so in Pennsylvania. The West Chester Resolution passed on the same day the PA Supreme Court heard arguments against Act 13. The Act 13 pre-emption clause, which stripped PA municipalities of the right to zone, halt, or ban oil and gas operations, applies to pipelines as well as to all phases of gas drilling from well-head to waste handling.
West Chester, in Chester County, PA, appears unlikely to experience active drilling and fracking, although according to the Pipeline Safety Coalition, part of Chester County has a gas-bearing shale layer thought to be inaccessible and unworthy of exploration by drillers. However, Chester County is likely to be subjected to substantial pipeline construction, bringing with it a host of health and safety hazards as well as environmental impacts.
Sounding an Alarm: Dehydrator Station protest, part of National Day of Action
Rebecca Roter, resident of Susquehanna County, PA, reported this week:
Residents from the shale sacrifice zones of PA and NY — from Ithaca, NY and from Columbia, Luzerne, Wyoming and Susquehanna counties, Pennsylvania — participated in “Occupy the Pipeline” National Day of Action this past Monday, October 15th, 2012 at the PVR Natural Gas Dehydrator Station in Beaumont PA. Please see the two newspaper articles that covered our spontaneous grassroots protest….and a youtube link:
Times Leader, “Sounding an alarm: group questions natural gas industry’s practices,” October 16th, 2012
Citizens’ Voice, “Anti-fracking advocates hold protest” October 16th, 2012
(The youtube link is embedded in Comments, here.)
While air pollution is a key concern in relation to dehydrator stations, hydrocarbons have also been found in groundwater and soil near dehydration stations. For example, an environmental remediation publication reports,
At a gas dehydrator station near Manteca, California, petroleum hydrocarbons were discovered in soil and groundwater at concentrations approaching 10,000 mg/kg and 100 mg/L respectively. The petroleum hydrocarbons included both gasoline and diesel range compounds and are believed to be from natural gas condensates that were removed from the gas during the dehydration process.
Wendy Lynne Lee appeared on-site at the PVR dehydrator station protest this past Monday and published a strong photo-essay about it. Please see “Occupy a Pipeline, PVR / Chief Dehydrator, Beaumont, PA.” Wendy points out that PVR is the same corporation which evicted over 32 families from their homes in Riverdale, PA. PVR destroyed an intact community in order to withdraw Susquehanna River water to sell to the fracking industry. Wendy also states with poignance,
It’s flabbergasting that beautiful pictures of beautiful people and beautiful places can come from moments in time that expose destruction and tragedy.
Please see Wendy’s short photo-essay here at ShaleShock Media.
And don’t forget to come to Oneonta on Tuesday, October 24th if you are able:
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Beginning at 7:00-10:00 pm EDT
Foothills Performing Arts & Civic Center Atrium
24 Market Street
Oneonta, New York 13820
More information here.