Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 103


Pipeline Tragedies Across the u.s.

Dedication Table of Contents -
This publication is dedicated to all the
victims of pipeline accidents and to their
families, with special thanks to Frank and
Mary King, Katherine Dalen, Bruce Brabec,
and Marlene Robinson. Their tireless
efforts on behalf of pipeline refonn are
truly inspirationaL We are also indebted to
many others who have joined the battle for
pipeline safety. Three individuals deserve
special mention: Lois Epstein, senior
engineer at Environmental Defense; Robert
Rackleff, President of the National Pipeline
Refonn Coalition; and James Pates,
Fredricksburg City Attorney. For many
years, these three worked valiantly to raise
consciousness on this serious issue.
Theirs were the voices crying in the
wilderness - and no one was listening.
Well, we're listening now and we thank
you for your expertise, hard work, and
gracious willingness to share your
knowledge with us. We know that you
have devoted untold hours of your lives to
protect others and the environment, your
only reward the hope of meaningful
change., It will be a fitting honor to your
efforts and to all those who have joined
you, if, and when, pipeline safety becomes
a reality instead of a myth.
Fuel Safe Washington, a member of the
National Pipeline Reform Coalition
copyright 2000
Anne Bricklin
Assistant Editors
Marguerite Conti, Susan Harper
Design and Layout
Marguerite Conti
Nyles Zikmund, The Planet Magazine,
Annette Smith, Robert Rackleff, David Ortman,
Deborah McCormick, Terri Magruder,
Marguerite Jones, Sabrina Johnson,
Frank James, M.D., Ray Hill,
Susan Harper, Waltraud Hannigan. Dan Farrell,
Lois Epstein, David Bricklin, Anne Bricklin,
Toji Blad, and Glen Archambault.
Major Pipeline Disasters Since 1996
Pipeline Safety Since 1996:
When Congress Acts No One Is Listening
ILLINOISCitizens Win Battle
But Lose War Against Hazardous Pipeline
by Deborah McCormick
Pipeline Nightmares in Maine
by Waltraud Hannigan
Tragedy in Bellingham, Washington
by Frank James. M.D.
Two accidents, two pipeline companies:
Disastrous spills and needless tragedies
by Anne Bricklin
Terror in Minnesota
by Nyles Zikmlmd
Pipeline Fatalities by State (1984 - 1999)
Pipelines Texas Style
by Marguerite Jones
Deep in the Heart of Texas
by Anne Bricklin and Dan Farrell
A Mess in Michigan
by Ray Hill
Calling the Office of Pipeline Safety
by Robel1 Rackleff
The Office of Pipeline Safety's Sorry Record
What's Wrong With This Picture?
by Anne Bricklin
Innocent Lives Lost, Environments Destroyed
Birth of An Activist, Georgia
by Toji Blad
VERMONT Pipeline Myths versus Reality
by Annette Smith
Living on the P i p e l i n ~ , Oregon
by Glenn Archambault and Terri Magruder
Summary of Pipeline' Accidents by State
Highlights of U.S. GAO Report
NPRC Fact Sheet: Changes Needed
Pipeline Legislation 2000
by David Bricklin
Regional Advisory Councils
Provide Meaningful Oversight
by Susan Harper
The Thick Fog of March: Blenheim, New York
by Sabrina Johnson
Cover Photo: (used by permission of San Bernardino Sun Newspaper) This May 25, 1989pipeline explosion in San Bernardino, Ca., occurred
thirteen days after a69-carfreight train derailed. killingfour people and damaging the underground gasoline pipeline that ran along the railroad
right-oj-way. Damage to the pipe IVas overlooked by Calnev Pipeline Company inspectors who spent less ,than 24 hours on a partial inspection of
the pipeline. It was quickly reopenedfour days after the train wreck. According to National1i'asportation Safety officials. it was made plain to
Calnev by political officials represeming Nevada that it was not acceptable for the pipeline to remain shut down for any length of time. When the
pipeline burst, it sprayedover300,000gallons ofhigh-octane gasoline overthe nearby neighborhood. In the ensuing explostion andftre, three people
were killed, 31 were injured. and 10 houses burned to the ground After the explosion andftre. the Office ofPipeline Safety belatedly directed Calnev
to dig up and replace the pipe.
Most people, when they see a sign marked "Warning Hazardous Underground Pipeline," never give it asecond
thought. Out ofsight is truly out of mind. Yet, pipelines pose aserious threat to safety, public lands, and private
property. Pipeline ruptures and leaks cause injuries and death from explosions and fires, contaminate water,
crop, residential, and park land, and generate greenhouse gases. Despite this serious threat, the tiny federal
agency regulating pipelines (the Department of Transportation's Office of Pipeline Safety, or OPS) has mini-
mal safety standards, rarely penalizes companies for violations of its regulations, and federal pipeline law
prohibits states from establishing their own regulations to address the hazards posed by interstate pipelines.
This situation is ideal for pipeline companies, but tragic for the public and the environment. The following
collection of stories includes contributions from around the country, written by people who have dealt with this
tragedy in a very personal way - ordinary citizens who have learned firsthand that "out of sight" is hardly out
of mind. Butfrrst:
A look back in time to 1986 - Fourteen summers ago a mother and her young daughter die in Mounds View,
Minnesota, victims of an horrific explosion caused by an underground gasoline pipeline rupture. Enraged
citizens discover that federal regulations designed to protect the public from such catastrophes are woefully
inadequate. They also learn that lax enforcement and weak penalties levied by the federal Office of Pipeline
Safety provide little incentive for the pipeline industry to reform. Recommendations are made to Congress but
meaningful reform does not occur.
Fast fonvard to the year 2000 - Three young people have died the summer before, victims of an horrific
gasoline pipeline explosion in Bellingham, Washington. Enraged citizens discover that they are sitting on a
time bomb - a vast network of aging, poorly maintained hazardous fuel pipelines. They demand reform.
Legislation is introduced. Pressure is mounting on Congress to act. Newspapers announce that pipeline reform
is at hand. But the awful truth is that nothing much has changed: After intense lobbying from the oil and
pipeline industry, Congress appears poised to enact legislation directing the Office of Pipeline Safety to estab-
lish safety standards for pipeline companies. However, Congress is leaving the content of those standards
entirely up to OPS, an agency that has consistently failed to adopt standards (despite Congressional mandates
andNTSB recommendations), or when it does act, adopts such weak standards that they are virtually m e a n i n g ~
less. I After reviewing OPS's sorry record, Congressman John Dingell, of Michigan, noted:
"The focus of our Nation's pipeline safety program and its regulator should be on
preventing the loss of life, rather than on preventing the loss of profit margin to
industly. OPS seems to lack this focus. "2
Recent government reports reveal that the number of major pipeline accidents is increasing every yeqr, yet DPS
"has almost eliminated the use offines as an enforcement tool" and at the same time OPS "has consistently
failed to fulfill its obligations under the law . ... "3 It is inconceivable to the victims of pipeline tragedies and
to all those who care about the health and safety of people and the environment that Congress is willing to
continue conducting business as usual, relying on an agency that has clearly demonstrated, time and again, a
profound "inability to regulate." 4
When will the tragedy end . ..
J E.g., OPS regulations don't require pipeline operators to use leak detection equipment but, if they do, such devices should comply
with industry design standards. Unfortunately for victims of pipeline accidents, standards don't specify how sensitive leak detection
devices should be.
2 June 14,2000 letter from Congressman John Dingle, ranking member of the U.S. House Conunittee on Commerce. to Rodney
Slater, U.S. Secretary of the Department of Transportation, commenting on the abysmal record of the Office of Pipeline Safety.
l ~ the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) report on pipeline safety and the Office of Pipeline Safety (GAO/ReED-DO-
128) prepared at Representative Dingle's request, issued on June 15, 2000, and the U.S. Office of Inspector General's Audit
Report on the Pipeline Safety Program (RT-2000069), issued March 13. 2000.
, ~ footnote 2.
Major Pipeline Disasters Since 1996
NEWMEXICO Eleven people died and one remains in critical condition
after anatural gas pipeline exploded on August 19, 2000, near Carlsbad,
NewMexico, showering the victims' campsite with flames. Federal inves-
tigators say that the EI Paso Energypipeline showed significant corrosion
and significant wall thinning (50%of what wall thickness shouldbe). This
50-year-old pipeline, like fifty percent of U.S. pipelines, cannot be inter-
nally inspected for flaws such as corrosion because of obstructing valves
and bends. Older pipelines can be retrofitted (e.g., replacing obstructing
valveswithout digging up the whole pipeline), but, citing cost issues, the
pipeline industry has not done so.*
MICHIGAN On June 8, 2000, aWolverine Pipe Line Company pipe-
line ruptured, spilling 75,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline and forcing
the evacuation of 500 homes in Blackman Township. Local wells were
contaminated and an undetermined amount of fuel went intothe Grand
DELAWARE An undetected 12-year pipeline leak at aConectiv power
plant released as much as 600,000 gallons of oil, threatening the nearby
Indian River. The leak could rank as one of Delaware's largest and
may take y e ~ r s to clean up.
KENTUCKY - On January 27, 2000, aMarathon Ashland Petroleum
pipeline ruptured, spilling 490,000 gallons of crude oil, much of it into
atributary of the Kentucky River from which Lexington, Richmond,
and other cities draw their driFiking water. Drinking water is being
shipped in for people whose wells were affected. Officials don't know
how long it will take to clean up.4he oil.
TEXAS A27-year-old corroded pipeline, owned by Explorer Pipe
Line Company burst on March 9, 2000, releasing 600,000 gallons of
MTBE-treated gasoline, contaminating Lake Tawakoni and the water
supply to 10towns and cities, including onethird of Dallas's water supply.
Nearby businesses were severely impacted.
MARYLAND A110,OOO-gallon oil spill fouled stretches of the eco-
logicallyfragile Patuxent River. OPSchargedthat Potomac Electric Power
Co.'s leak-detection monitoring was inadequate and that PEPCOwork-
ers bypassed meters and pressure gauges. Spill response plans also
revealed serious deficiencies. The cost of cleanupto date exceeds $50
PENNSYLVANIA ASunoco refinery pipeline spilled over 56,000
galloos of crude oil at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge on
February 5, 2000. The leak was detected by apassing hiker who "no-
ticed the smell of oiL" EPAstates that the lackof acrude oil leak-detector
sensor was acontributing factor to the spill.
WASHINGTON Three youths lost their lives on June 10, 1999 when
the aging Olympic pipeline burst, filling a park in Bellingham with
229,500 gallons of gasoline, igniting an explosion and fire. Factors
contributing to the accident: operator error, malfunctioning computers
and equipment, and failure to inspect aknown defect.
TEXAS 440,000 gallons of crude oil spilled from aKoch Co. pipeline
on January 8, 1999 in Benavides. This intrastate pipeline spill was
prosecuted by the Texas Attorney General.
GEORGIA AColonial pipeline ruptured in the Morgan Falls Landfill
on March 30, 1998, releasing more than 30,000 gallons of gasoline;
clean-up efforts only recovered 17,000 gallons. No alarms were de-
tected in the control center to signify that the line had failed.
LOUISIANA 748,000 gallons of crude oil was released on April 18,
1998fromaShell Pipeline Corp. facility in St. James. The spill, which has
been attributed to operator error, is still under investigation.
CALIFORNIA On December 13,1997, asection of corroded pipeline
owned by All American Pipe Line Co. ruptured, spilling 541,000 gal-
lons of crude oil into the California desert. As of June 2000, OPS could
not verify if any enforcement action had been taken.
INDIANA Anatural gas pipeline ruptured on July 21, 1997, near an
Indianapolis suburb, igniting afire, killing one person, injuring another,
destroying six homes, and damaging 65 others. The probable cause
according to the NTSB: failure to have adequate controls in place to
ensure that drilling operations would not cause damage.
INDIANA AMarathon Pipe Line Co. pipeline ruptured on August 24,
1997, spilling 470,652 gallons of crude oil. OPS said the spill was caused
by corrosion in an area of pipe inside aprotective casing that was poorly
coated when installed.
IOWA On March ii, 1997, 1.2 million gallons of gasoline were re-
leased from aWilliams Pipeline Co. facility. The release was caused
by aslow leak from arust hole in asmall line inside the company's
SOUTH CAROLINA AColonial Pipeline Co. pipeline ruptured on
June 26, 1996, where acorroded section of pipe crossed the Reedy
River, releasing 957,600 gallons of oil into the river and surrounding
areas. Estimated cost of damage and cleanup: $20.5 million. The
cause of the spill: inadequate management controls and training.
TEXAS On August 24, 1996, aKoch Co. pipeline transporting liqUid
butane ruptured, killing two teenagers who drove into the vapor cloud
created by the rupture. The NTSB determined that the cause of the
accident was the failure of Koch to adequately protect its pipeline from
TENNESSEE During amaintenance operation on November 5, 1996,
aColonial pipeline released 84,700 gallons of diesel fuel.
*CNBC business news reported that El Paso Energy stock reached a 52-week high on August 23, 2000, and that most U.S. natural gas pipeline stocks
have increased about 100 percent in value the past year.
So if the problem is this bad, why hasnIt Congress acted?
But they have
In 1996, only two years after adevastating natural gas pipeline explosion in Edison, N.J., the oil industry lobbied CONGRESS so
hard to WEAKEN the PIPELINE SAFETY ACT that agroup of congressman sent aletter to President Clinton asking him to
veto the bill. Clinton signed it anyway. The bill' eliminated then current requirements that oil and gas PIPELINES be IN-
tics from the Federal Office of Pipeline Safety, SINCE THE OIL INDUSTRY'S SUCCESSFUL EFFORT TO WEAKEN THE PIPE-
.. 1997 was the third highest year for net loss of volume spilled (5,079,228 gallons) since OPS began keeping
records in 1986
.. 1998 was the worst year for property damages from hazardous pipeline ruptures, spills, and leaks-
over $57 million
1999 tied for the second worst year for fatalities (4) from pipeline accidents
.. 2000 Is headed for the record books: Six major oil spills in the first six months contaminating drinking water
supplies in Dallas, Lexington, Richmond, and other cities and towns, and forcing the evacuation of 500 homes west
of Detroit, Michigan. Two natural gas pipeline explosions in one weekend: Eleven people died near Carlsbad,
New Mexico when a50-year-old natural gas pipeline exploded on August 19, 2000. The next day one worker is In-
jured and 300 people are evacuated from ashopping mall in Concord, North Carolina when anatural gas pipeline Is
hit by abulldozer.
yet when Congress acts, no one is'listening
the Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) has NOT YET:
The timing and frequency of pipeline inspections
.. The use of ''smart pigs" (Internal instrumental inspection devices)
CONGRESS IN 1992. OPS was required to "identify areas unusually sensitive to environmental damage" by October 1994, and to
develop regulations for pipelines in those areas by October 1995.
worst record of any transportation agency for implementing National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommendations. They have not
acted on NTSBrecommendations calling for more stringent pipelinestandards, including one 1987recommendation on corrosion that could
have prevented the deaths of two teenagers in Texas in 1996.
*The "Accountable Safety and Partnership Act of 1996."
*"'The "Pipeline Safety Act of 1992."
"... despite clear evidence of the potential for significant environ-
mental harm, we could not stop it from being built. The credit
belongs, in large part, to the federal Office of Pipeline Safety. J)
Citizens Win Battle,
But Lose the War"Against Hazardous Pipeline
by Deborah McConnick
Landowners are at a tremendous disadvantage when a pipeline comes to town. We are akin to the
targets of a stealth bomber that has flown in for the kill, cloaked and undetected. Consider Lakehead
Pipe Line Company. In March 1996, Lakehead contacted Illinois landowners regarding its plan to
construct a 100- mile crude oil pipeline, part of a multistate $300 million expansion project. Surely, a
project this size took considerable time to plan - months if not years. However, when Lakehead
officially swooped into Illinois with a fleet of high-powered lawyers and staff, brimming with studies
and paperwork, and asmall army ofoil refiners, trade associations, and expert witnesses poised to come
to Lakehead's aid, landowners got a lousy two weeks to get ready for the first hearing.
Pursuant to illinois law, Lakehead applied for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity, a
prerequisite to obtaining the power of eminent domain over landowners who either refused to grant
Lakehead an easement or failed to agree on compensation. Against tremendous odds, and after
battling for two years, "Communities Against the Pipeline" (CAP) demonstrated that there was
no need for this pipeline. With donated expert testimony,l CAP was able to prove that the Lakehead
pipeline would not add to the supply of oil, but merely displace oil coming to
Chicago from other sources. Moreover, the project would have no impact on fuel
prices for consumers. Essentially,
Lakeheadsought to expand its market and
profits withno benefit to consumers. Yet,
Lakehead expected to have the right of
eminent domain over landowners who
refused to cooperate. Even after we won the eminent domain issue, we were scratching our heads over
why we had ever been placed in that position in the first place. Why didn't the Illinois Commerce
Commission (ICC) nix the project before ever involving landowners? The basic facts of the case were
there from the start. Then we looked back at our first meeting with the ICC staff people, and remem-
bered how they coveted our expert's maps of interstate pipeline systems. The people who would
recommend a decision in the case did not even have basic maps of the pipelines. It was up to a
voluntary citizens group to bring a major state agency up to speed on the realities of a large
pipeline project.
Yet, even though we were able to prove that this hazardous fuel pipeline was unnecessary (except to
enrich its owners) and despite clear evidence of the potential for significant environmental harm, we
could not stop it from being built. The credit belongs, in large part, to the federal Office of Pipeline
Safety (OPS), the very agency you would expect Gudging by its title) to be in the business of protecting
sensitive areas from the harmful effects of unnecessary pipelines.
Instead, we learned that the OPS is little more than a cheerleader for the pipeline industry.
When CAP contacted OPS to try and learn more about Lakehead, we were assured that there was little
cause for concern because pipeline accidents were rare and usually preventable by utilizing the "call
before you dig" systems. These were the same assurances Lakehead was offering at public meetings.
In glossy brochures, the pipeline company claimed "Lakehead has an exemplary record for maintain-
ing and operating its pipelines."
Freedom of Information requests yielded quite a different story, however. In Lakehead's case,
"exemplary" meant 38 pipeline accidents reported to the Department of Transportation between 1985
and 1995 (almost 4 per year).
In over 80 percent of those accidents it would have been of no use to utilize the "call before
you dig" system because the vast majority of accidents, rather than being caused by third party
damage, were actually caused by things such as failed welds, failed pipe, corrosion, faulty gas-
kets and seals, pinhole l e ~ k s , hairline craclts, operator error, faulty or malfunctioning equip-
ment, etc.
The largest spill in Minnesota history - a 1.7 million-gallon spill in 1991 - came from a Lakehead
pipeline, as did the second largest, a 1.3-million-gallon spill in 1973.
I The proposed pipeline path crossed the childhood farm of Katherine Miller, wife of Dr. Merton Miller, professor of finance at the University of Chicago's
Graduate School of Business and the recipient of a Nobel Prize in Economics. Without compensation, he researched issues in the case and testified before the
Illinois Commerce Commission.
Currently, leak
detection devices
used by the oil
pipeline industry
are incapable of
detecting slow,
continuous leaks
which can (and
have) released
hundreds of
of gallons
of hazardous
fuel into
A 425,OOO-gallon Lakehead pipeline spill in Bemidji, Minnesota in 1979 was selected by the U.S.
Geological Survey Office of Hazardous Waste Hydrology as a research site on the effects of groundwa-
ter contamination. And Lakehead's Northern illinois pipeline passes through McHenry County, which
is 100 percent dependent on groundwater for drinking water. Its glacial history makes its sand and
gravei soil so vulnerable that it was ranked second out of 102 illinois counties for potential adverse
effects from groundwater contamination.
Federal regulations control siting of interstate pipelines. Yet, the federal Office of Pipeline Safety,
despite a mandate from Congress in 1992 to identify areas "unusually sensitive to environmental
damage" by October 1994, and to develop regulations for pipelines by October 1995, has not
done SO.2 Now, thanks to the OPS's failure to regulate pipelines so as to protect citizens and the
environment, people in Northern Illinois have an unnecessary oil pipeline running through their land
and face the real risk of groundwater contamination of their drinking supplies. With cun-ent pipeline
leak detection systems this is a real possibility. Cun-ently, leak detection devices used by the oil pipe-
line industry are incapable of detecting slow, continuous leaks which can (and have) released hundreds
of thousands of gallons of hazardous fuel into groundwater. Lakehead's 1.7 million-gallon spill in
Grand Rapids, Minnesota resulted from a combination of en-ors, including the pipeline operator's
failure to accurately interpret and respond to signals of a major leak.
Our story is a case study in winning the battle, but losing the war. Citizens are forced to fight to
protect their property rights, their health and safety, and the health and safety of the environment
against an industry that is given free reign to build unnecessary, hazardous pipelines. We succeeded in
denying an unnecessary pipeline the right of eminent domain, but we live every day with the failure of
the federal government to provide meaningful regulation of the pipeline industry. lit
"State of the Art" leak Containment
A leaky section of the Yellowstone Pipeline
(YPL) on the Flathead Indian Reservation in
Montana. Due to the vast amounts of petro-
leum product leaked onto Tribal Lands
(over 216,000 gallons from 1986 to 1993), in
1995 theFlatheads refused to renew YPL's
easement. The Yellowstone pipeline has a
history of numerous other spills in Montana
and attempts to reroute it have met with stiff
opposition. YPL recently withdrew its
application to route the pipeline across
National Forest land.
photo counesy or Tribal Disaster Emergency Services
Yellowstone Pipeline valve leak, Penna, Saunders County,
Montana, August, 1993.
, The Army Corps of Engineers could have required an EIS but it did not. despite a reqllest by McHemy County Defenders to do so. In addition, the Illinois
Attorney General was of the opinion that counties were preempted by federal law from requiring compliance with their zoning laws in the siting of pipelines.
J The 425,OOO-gallon spill in Bemidji, Minnesota is a perfect example of why it is so important to look behind the safety claims of pipeline companies. While
pushing their Illinois pipeline project through. Lakehead claimed they had "never contaminated a welL" They contaminated plent)' of groundwater in Minnesota
but in remote areas without wells.
Pipeline Nightmares in Maine
by Waltraud Hannigan
Our community fought long and hard to stop the Rumford-Jay Natural Gas Pipeline, a pipeline
owned and operated by Portland Natural Gas Transmission Systems (pNGTS). We lost. And now we
are living with a time bomb in our front yards.
If a pipeline company ever swoops down into your life, asking, wheedling, telling you to let them
install apipeline in your area, read our story fIrst. It just might inform and inspire you to fight back
with every ounce of courage and wisdom that you possess. PNGTS's lO-inch high-pressure natural gas
pipeline was installed atthe side of the road from Albany, Maine to Jay, Maine, buried in a ditch three-
feet deep - in theory at least. In many places they did not get the full three-foot depth because of
ledges and huge boulders. Elsewhere, the pipe lies right on top of boulders with no cushion underneath.
The subcontractor who installed the pipeline along a certain five-mile stretch of rocky terrain expected
to do it in two days. Instead, it tookthree weeks and many shortcuts were taken, inclUding back filling
with whatever was handy, including dumping huge rocks on top of the pipe. Many irregularities oc-
curred in the installation of this pipeline. One can only guess at the quality of the so-called inspections
of this project. I
And we live in an earthquake-prone region. We tried to tell them but no one would listen. In
January 2000, there were four quakes in this area. Luckily, the line wasn't broken. Who knows,
however, what damage may have occurred that could lead to a rupture in the future? When we asked
our fire department how much of this valley they could save if an accident or explosion happened, they
answered, "Probably none."
Nowadays, it's scary to watch the washouts along the pipeline route, a heavily traveled road with
homes close by. Shoulders along the road were supposed to be restored to their original condition, but
weren't, and are unsafe. None of the fIll was packed, resulting in many washouts. This makes dliving a
challenge; to say the least. Contractors did a poor job of patching the pavement as well. All of us keep
having our vehicles re-aligned because the roadway is so rough. If any of the big transport trucks that
routinely travel this road were to swerve onto these shoulders, the result could very easily be a ruptured
gas line.
The cards were stacked against us from the beginning. With arrogance, lies, and an apparent carte
blanche to do as they pleased, PNGTS representatives informed us that they were merely talking to us
(about the pipeline) out of the goodness of their hearts. PERC; the Federal Energy Regulatory Com-
missio.n, was the only governing body they had to abide by. PERC made the decision about siting;
everything else was just a formality.
Boy, were they light on that score. An aloof PERC responded to citizen queries by providing the
phone number of some PR person who knew little more about the proposed pipeline than the callers
asking questions. PERC then proceeded to ignore EPA findings that backed many of our concerns:
Clean Air and Water Act requirements didn't matter, endangered species - who cares? PERC also
ignored its responsibility under the National Environmental Policy Act to consider the full range of
environmental impacts, including direct, indirect, and cumulative effects.
When we
asked our
how much
of this valley
they could
save if an
accident or
. ;
I Currently, the DOT is trying to repair the ditches along this road, digging on top of the gas line in order to do this. Hopefully, they won't hit the pipe. One
wonders how much p r o t e c t i o ~ against damage will exist after they finish the repair by removing about a foot of cover over the pipeline (down to two feet from
the original three).
When determining the pipeline route, PNGTS used outdated maps.
My own property never appeared on any maps or on the draft and final
environmental impact statements. Safer alternative routes were disre-
garded because they were a little more expensive. Warnings by the
National Safety Council concerning placement of pipelines and surround-
ing development went unheeded. As a result, many homes in our area lie
within 10 feet of a 1400 pounds psi natural gas pipeline. Our community
ended up feeling that all the rules and regulations intended to protect
people and the environment were mere pieces of paper meant to be
ignored or simply not enforced.
The law of Eminent Domain was used against us as well. Property
owners felt exploited and helpless, unsure of their rights under the law.
Now, our properties are devalued, despite specious claims by PNGTS
representatives that the pipeline would increase values.
As is typical in these situations, PNGTS claimed that the pipeline was
a question of "need." We were told that the Mead Paper Co. in
Rumford and the International Paper Co. in Jay "needed" the natural
gas. In reality, the paper companies simply agreed to try it.
International Paper converted one machine to use it. And less
than two years after the pipeline was in, PNGTS doubled the
price of gas charged to the Mead Paper Co. Mead can't afford
it and has laid off about 50 workers, with more layoffs expected.
The main beneficiaries of this pipeline (other than PNGST)
appear to be two power plants currently being built in Jay and
Rumford. These power plants were never part of the original
permitting process and most of the electricity generated by them
will be going outside Maine to the New England power grid.
So much for the "Public Need and Necessity" requirement.
The moral here is clear: when pipeline companies cry "need"
assume the worst: Greed, not need, is the driving force, without
regard to human or environmental cost.
After everything we've been through, rumors are circulating
about a second pipeline going in along the same route (to supply
enough gas for the power plants). We hope it's not true. The thought
of even more environmental damage and danger to our families is
frightful. Every day I watch my children walk over the pipeline to
catch their school bus and feel a great sense offailure. I could not
protect them. Maybe one day we won't wake up because a leak in the
pipeline has sucked all the oxygen out of our home.
The outrage runs deep. Our community is at a loss to understand
how our lives have been endangered, our property values diminished,
our quality of life impaired, and our environmental and safety concerns
blatantly disregarded, all for a poorly hazardous pipeline
of questionable need. The time is long pcist due when the horrors
of the pipeline industry cry out for exposure. Meaningful
regulations must be instituted and implemented. American
citizens and our environment have been harmed enough.
Myth: National standards are critical for safe operation of interstate pipelines.
Facts: There is no reason to believe that stronger state standards which are compatible with federal standards will impede interstate
commerce or decrease pipeline safety. Currently, states can exceed federal standards for intrastate pipelines without any problems.
Moreover, because environmental conditions differ dramatically throughout the nation, it makes sense to allow states to exceed federal
requirements as environmental laws do to ensure that all areas are adequately protected. Examples where states might want to exceed
federal requirements include right-af-way management (e.g. to avoid excessive tree-cutting), frequency of testing of pipeline segments, as
well as developing safety-retated design criteria for landslide areas, earthquake zones, etc.
2 When they told us that property values ,vould go up, I asked them to please buy my property. The pipeline was going in along the road only 10 feet from my
home. PNGTS said they were not in the business of buying private property. The only homeowner they compensated already had an oil pipeline running
through his property. PNGTS informed him they would be using the same cOITidor for their pipeline and he would end up with the natural gas line only feet away
from his new home. He demanded $20,000, the cost of moving his new house. PNOST offered $2,000, threatening to take him to court if he did not accept. He
refused and PONST finally backed down and paid him the $20.000.
Tragedy in
by Frank James. M.D.
Olympic pipeline rupture ill Bellingham. JUne 1999
photo courtesy of U.S. Representative.
lay Inslec', office, \Vnshincton Stale
In the heart of Whatcom Falls Park a creek flows. Be-
neath it lies the Olympic Pipeline. I played in the park when I
was young. With my three children, I walked along the creek
and across the pipeline, thinking that it was a water line to our
town's water treatment plant. That is, until June 10th, 1999.
Everyone in our community can tell you exactly where they
were at 4:55 p.m. on June 10th, 1999. It's like asking some of
us older folks where we were when John F. Kennedy was shot.
I was working in a busy clinic near the creek, seeing a young
woman, a schizophrenic. At 4;:55 p.m. the lights flickered and
I felt the ground shake. The lights flickered again and the
ground shook a second time. My patient bolted for the door.
She just ran; she didn't know what was happening.
I went outside and saw a plume of blacksmoke Iising high
into the sky. What I didn't know at the time and wouldn't
know for several hours was that, in that instant, things in my
community had dramatically changed. In that instant, three
innocent young people were killed, two ten-year-old boys and
an 18-year-old young man. And in that instant, the park- a
beautiful place with a wild, raging stream running through
very old second-growth forest - was turned into an inferno.
One of three youths who died was fishing in the park that
day. He wasn't killed by the explosion or by the flames. A
ten-foot high wall of gasoline vapor rose into the air and moved
down the creek bed. He suffocated in the fumes, fell into the
creek and drowned. His name was Liam Wood. Five days
before the explosion, Liam graduated from the same high
school my son goes to. He was a neat kid. He wrote the fol-
lowing excerpt in his journal six months before he died:
ct Presently my life is great. I finished
my second-to-last semester of high school
and don't have a care in the world. I've
been living it up and doing the things I
love to do, like fly fishing, snowboarding,
dating, lifting weights, and playing basket-
ball. Other things I really like to do are ice
climbing, whitewater kayaking, hiking, run-
ning, watching movies, spending time with
my friends. I value many things, life being
the first and foremost. I also value good
long-lasting friendships, and courtesy. And I
value honesty and good food. I value our
wilderness areas and all creatures walking
on the earth. I value all people and I value
the diversity and human rights. People that
are important to me are my parents and my
beautiful baby sister, Bailey. 11
Two ten-year aIds were playing in Whatcom Creek Park that
day. And in that instant their futures were lost, wiped out in a
single, fiery explosion. Wade 'King and Stephen Tsiorvas were
fourth graders at Kulshan Elementary. The school is located only
a few blocks from where the pipeline broke and about 40 feet
from where the reconstructed pipeline runs. The kids who attend
Kulshan have trouble going to school now. They know and their
parents know how close things got that day. They know our com-
munity was lucky it was 4:55 p.m. and not 5:30 p.m. when the
pipe burst, lucky it was June 10
and not June 15
, because on a
sunny day later in the month or later in the day, hundreds of people
would have been in the park.
Stephen and Wade's were not easy deaths. I'm a physician and
I'm used to seeing people suffer. But these two boys had 90
percent of their skin burned off. And the bad news is they lived.
People can live for 10, 12 hours when this happens. As a physi-
cian, I also know that there's no fix for it. There's nothing you can
do. There is no skin to graft; you can't put 90 percent ofsomeone's
skin back on. Their body fluids ooze out, their
photo courtesy of Fronk and Mill)' King
A promising young baseball playel; Wade King hit his first
grand slam at his Little League game one week before he
intemal organs swell and burst, and they die. But they're alive
for those 10 hours, and they can talk. These two kids talked to
Frank King, Wade's father. They asked himwhat had happened
and what would happen. Frank King told them that everything
was going to be okay, because he thought that it was.
Wade's brother was there too. He ran out into the field where
the boys were; he can-ied Stephen out of the woods and fire.
When he went back for his brother he was too hot to touch, too
hot to pick up. Wade's dad spent about 45 minutes with the two
burned boys before the paramedics arrived. They were unable
to get there sooner because of all the traffic. Brad, the para-
medic who responded said,"I've never had anyone or anything
affect nie like this, ever ... something inside me has been lost
It's just an instant, but it's amazing what happens. Wade's
mom is Mary King. Every time I see Mary since the accident
she shakes and cries. It's been almost a year now and she still
cries. I don't expect that's going to change very soon. Nor do I
expect my patients who suffered that day to recover any time
soon. One of them is a mountain rescue volunteer. I've seen him
once a month since the explosion. And each time he comes in
he says exactly the same thing, tells me the same stOlY. As he
speaks his pulse races, about 130, andhis blood pressure is high.
He's had hypertension for a long time, but never as bad as it is
now. He's the one who found Liam's body. When he went by it,
he didn't recognize it because it just looked like charred wood.
Then, he came back by and saw under the water there was a
face. He hasn't been the same since.
Then, there are the mother and her daughter who live near
the park. They were in their yard that day, playing ball. And
now, almost a year later, the little girl still won't go to bed by her-
Myth: Pipeline companies are doing everything they can to
prevent leaks. Aller all, lost raw materials and products cost
companies money.
Facts: Petroleum and petroleum products are relatively
inexpensive materials. Shutting down a pipeline to fix a leak is a
costly undertaking. Installing one or more high-performance leak
detection systems (multiple systems serve as backup and detect
different types of leaks) can be expensive. So is testing pipelines
on a periodic basis. Why should pipeline companies voluntarily
pay to detect leaks when they are not required to do so. when
detecting leaks could cost more from pipeline shutdowns than the
cost of lost product, cleanup, and governmental penalties
self at night. One of my most affected patients is a Vietnam
veteran. He was out on the bay that day, fishing. Looking back
toward town, he was absolutely certain that napalm had been
dropped on his home. The cloud streaks and flame looked ex-
actly like the napalmbombs he'd dropped in Vietnam. He stayed
out in the bay for three hours, waiting and watching, uncertain
what to do.
These people aren't theoretical numbers on a graph. They
are real human beings suffering. They are Liam, Stephen, and
Wade. They are the victims of pipeline accidents and spills
occuning almost daily in our country. The damage to our envi-
ronment is real too, the innumerable streams, hills, wetlands,
parks, and watersheds, damagedor destroyed every year in pipe-
line accidents. The failure to protect our children and our com-
munities is a serious one. The battle for pipeline safety is a battle
we cannot afford to lose. Each time we use a car when we could
walk or bike, eachtime we decide-howstrong aregulation should
be, each time we weigh profit versus safety, we are making a
decision that has real consequence's for real people and the places
where they live. It
photo courtesy of Klltherine Daten
Stephen Tsiorvas loved life and loved people, and they
loved him back. Aselfless child, he never cried or
complained when, badly burned, he was being transported
to the hospital after the explosion. Instead, his main
concern was for his friend, Wade. whom he repeatedly
asked about.
Two accidents, two pipeline companies
The following incidents highlight the dire need for improved operator training, pipeline maintenance, testing and performance stan-
dards, and the ineffectiveness of the federal Office of Pipeline Safety's minimal safety standards, minimal oversight, weak enforcement
policies, and excessive operator discretion.
Grand Rapids, Minnesota
Lakehead Pipe line Co. March 3, 1991 spill
On March 3, 1991, aLakehead Pipe Line Co. pipeline developed cracks near alongitudinal weld that propagated into a64-inch failure
in the weld. Due to an electrical problem, apump station was out of operation during the failure, rendering the control center powerless
to start pumps or monitor pressure and flow rate data at the pump station. The initial indication of apotential problem came at 11 :20
a.m. Pipeline operators failed to accurately interpret and respond to the signals of amajor leak. Instead, they mistook the indicators for
anormal transient phenomenon of pipeline operation called "fluid column separation." As aresult, they actually increased the pressure
of oil flowing into the line several times and did not commence ashut down of the pipeline until 12:31 p.m. (one hour and 11 minutes
later). Lakehead did not know the location of the problem until they were notified at 1:43 p.m. by a Northern Minnesota Utilities
employee of alarge oil release in afield adjacent to Itasca Community College. By then, the oil had migrated down adrain tile that
emptied into the Prairie River about two miles upstream from the Mississippi. Areported 1.7 million gallons of oil leaked from the
pipeline, about 20 percent of it ending up in the Prairie River, which fortunately was still covered with ice, containing the damage.
Pipeline accident history - Prior to the Grand Rapids spill, the section of pipeline involved in the Grand Rapids release had a
history of 24 leaks due to longitudinal seam failure, and nine failures from other causes, or 33 total. From 1985 to 1995, 38 pipeline
releases on the Lakeheadpipeline system were reported to DOT. Over 80 percent of those accidents were causedbyfactors within the
company's control: failed welds, failed pipe, corrosion, malfunctioning equipment, and operator error.
August 2000 spill - AccordIng to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency; on July 22, 2000, aLakeheadpipeline leaked approxi-
mately 20, 000 gallons of crude oil into awetland near Leonard, Minnesota. The cause of the break has not yet been determined,
but could not be attrIbuted t ~ outside sources because thepipeline is in an inaccessible area of the wetland.
Bellingham, Washington
Olympic Pipe line June 10, 1999 rupture and explosion
On June 10, 1999, at 3:18 p.m., while shifting batches of fuel in the system, operators at Olympic Pipe Line's Renton control room
experienced difficulty starting apump in Woodinville. Computers controlling a series of valves and pumps began acting up. This
started achain of events that led to an abnormal pressure rise at Olympic's newBayviewtank station upstream of Woodinville. Asurge
relief valve, designed to limit such apressure rise, failed to function properly at the Bayview station. That valve had opened and closed
more than 59 times since the station had begun operating the previous,December, but Olympic had never investigated or corrected the
problem. At 3:24 p.m., the Renton control room computer crashed. At'3:28 p.m., an inlet valve at the Bayviewstation (triggered by the
pressure rise) closed against pumps operating at the head of the line, causing apressure surge. Those pumps shut down. Within two
minutes, the pressure surge traveled 30 miles north of the valve and burst through athinned pipe wall,* releasing more than 200,000
gallons of gasoline into Whatcom Falls Park. Olympic's computers came back up and at 3:46 p.m., apparently unaware of the break,
operators restarted the pumps, sending more gasoline into the pipeline. Aleak alarm sounded in the Olympic Control room at 4:29
p.m. but Olympic operators, apparently still unaware of the rupture, started another pump, releasing more fuel into the line. Finally, at
4:32 p.m., after gasoline had gushed out for more than an hour, another alarm went off, the pumps shut down automatically, and
operators began closing off the pipeline. But it was too late for the victims; two 10-year-old boys were engulfed by flames when the
gasoline fumes ignited and ayoung man was drowned in Whatcom Falls Creek alter being overcome by the fumes.
Pipeline accident history- Prior to the Bellingham tragedy; Olympic Pipeline reported 44 spills since 1965, totaling over one million
gallons of hazardous fuel. Since 1985, Olympic pipeline releases have accounted for 65 percent of all liquid fuel spills in Washington
*Three years before the 1999 accident, Olympic conducted an internal inspection ("pig run") throullh its pipe. including the Whateom section that
ultimately burst. The data revealed anomalies at or very close to where the rupture later occurred. Olympic sent someone out to excavate the pipe
and provide a visual inspection, however, the inspector thought that access was too difficult and did not do it. One year earlier, Olympic had
received notice of construction in the area but failed to ensure that a representative was present during excavation to protect the integrity of its pipe.
Disastrous spills and needless tragedies --
Could these accidents have been prevented? YES.
According to engineering experts, accidents such as the Olympic pipeline explosion and massive Lakehead pipeline spill can be
prevented. "There has been a breakdown in management processes at the federal level ... to ensure that pipeline systems are
designed, maintained, and operated safely . .. both from dilution of regulations and from asubstantial lack of enforcement action,"
explains pipeline engineer, Richard Kuprewicz. Environmental Defense engineer Lois Epstein notes that "Federal safetystandards are
minimal, "and that, "critical pipeline design and operations are often entirely at the discretion of pipeline companies."
What could have prevented pipeline accidents such as the Olympic
and Lakehead cases?
Better leak detection systems - Current federal regulations do not require leak detection systems. ''Too many leak alarms in the
U.S. are ignored (treated as noise) because of lack of confidence in the leak detection systems. In the Olympic and Lakehead
accidents, there is clearly alack of effective leak detection technology that an operator can respond to," says engineer Richard
Kuprewicz. "Not only are mandatory leak detection systems needed, but the regulations should specify an appropriate level of
performance," adds engineer lois Epstein.
Better fall safe relief valves - Properly designed, installed, and maintained mechanical safety devices (relief valves) play an
important role in preventing pipeline overpressure. "In the past decade, there has been a conscious move at the federal level
weakening regulations for mechanical fail-safe designs intended to prevent overpressure, as the pipeline industry shifts to cheaper, and
usually more complex, electronic/computer safety devices and systeminterlocks. Pipelines are thus morevulnerable because these more
complex electronics do fail, as evidenced inthe Olympic case," says Kuprewicz.
Belter inspection standards - In 1996, Congress eliminated the requirement that pipelines be inspected every two years. "Con-
gress needs to mandate periodic testing, including internal inspection p.e. "smart pigging'1 and/or pressure testing, of oil and natural
gas pipelines to ensure continued safe service, as recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board," says Environmental
Defense's Lois Epstein. Standards also need to be setthat defineinternal inspection devices' (smart pigs) current limited capabilities. "Right
now, there are no standards, period. The limitations of such inspections are fairly obvious, as evidenced In the Olympic case," says
Kuprewicz. "Hydrostatic pressure testing should be required inthose pipeline segments with asignificant history of releases such as the
Lakehead pipeline involved in the massive 1.7 million-gallon spill."
Better maintenance standards - In 1996, Congress also eliminated the reqUirement that maintenance workers earn federal certi-
fication. As of 1999, the tiny federal Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) had only 57 field inspectors to police 2.2 million miles of oil and
gas pipelines. The Olympic pipeline tradegy is acase study in the effects of poor maintenance and weak regulatory oversight. Just
three months before the Olympic pipeline explosion, OPS inspectors gave Olympic aclean bill of health. After the explosion, however,
an OPS investigation revealed that Olympic Pipeline Co. had: failed to adequately test relief valves; failed to respond, investigate and
correct aseries of unintentional valve shutdowns; failed to maintairy required daily operating records at each pump stati,on; failed to
modify its operations, maintenance and emergency plans when it added anewstorage facility; and failed to ensure that elnployees oli
duly at the time of the pipeline failure were trained according to federal regUlations.
Other changes needed
fl Allowing states to establish requirements above federal minimums for Interstate pipelines, which do not conflict with federal
standards, in order to meet local environmental and safety needs (e.g., more closely spaced shut-off valves, enhanced
inspections and leak detection, better reporting, etc.)
fl Providing states additional enforcement authority and resources to oversee pipeline systems that the understaffed and poorly
funded federal Office of Pipeline Safety has shown itself incapable of overseeing
.. Upgrading corrosion standards as recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board
fl PrOViding strict liability provisions for releases
err r in Minnesota
The Mounds View Pipeline Explosion
by Fire Chief, Nyles Zikmund
( .
I will never forget my experiences as a volunteer fIrefighter. I
was awakened that Tuesday morning by the sound of my pager.
It was 4:44 a,m. July 8, 1986, and the dispatcher said there were
multiple calls - a street was on fIre in our town, Mounds View,
Minnesota. I got out of bed and hurried to the fIre station. I
lived nearby and was one of the first to arrive. Fromthe station,
I could see ~ cloud ofblacksmoke over the treetops, but nothing
more. It was still pretty dark. I was apprehensive as we headed
toward the blaze in the fire truck; I had just been promoted to
Fire Motor Operator and would have to pump at this fIre.
As we came up the cloverleaf onto the main highway, I saw a
huge plume of black smoke and flames shooting above the trees.
I felt even more tense; my adrenaline was surging. The Captain
of Engine One from Station One arrived on the scene. He as-
sumed command, radioing that the entire street was on fire, and
ordered our crew to go around the fire to determine the extent of
it. We circled aroundthe blaze and ended up almost three blocks
away. Our truck became the main pumping engine for several
hose lines used to cool down houses threatened by the intense
heat and flames, and to cool down the crews operating those
hoses. The heat was so intense it drove the firefighters back.
Soon, we learned that the cause of the fire was a burst under-
ground pipeline and that the product flowing through it was gaso-
line. The odor was unmistakable. As we were adjusting the
various hose pressures and fittings (adjacent departments use
different equipment), I remember hearing the next radio trans-
mission: two victims had been killed by a fireball.
A mother and her young daughter were awakened by the ini-
tial explosion and fIre, which was only two blocks from their
home. They saw the flames and chose to evacuate through the
front door. Unfortunately, their front lawn was the low point in
the area and had become a collecting point for gasoline fumes.
They exited just as the fumes ignited, triggering an explosion,
resulting in a horrificdeathfor Mrs.;Spano andher daughter. Mr.
Spano and the Spano's young son \vere not injured. They chose
to exit through the back door. The higher ground in the b!!ck
yard did not hold gasoline vapor.
Fourteen years later, I am a fire chief, but this was my fIrst
experience with fire death and it was an emotional moment.
AlthoughI didnot actually witness it, just hearing the radio trans-
mission describing this horrifying accident brought home the
chilling reality of the situation.
We fought to extinguish the blaze but it soon became appar-
ent that we could not do so until the source of the fIre was con-
tained. However, our misfortunes continued when we discov-
ered that the nearest pipeline valve was IOmiles away and that it
would take a Williams Pipe Line Company representative 45
minutes to get there and shut it off. This was significant be-
cause, although the pumps moving the gasoline through the pipe-
line had been shut off, the volume of product remaining within
the eight-inch pipe created enough pressure to con-
tinue fueling the fIre. Ninety thousand gallons of gasoline ig-
nited andburned over three city blocks, blowing manhole cov-
ers 20 feet into the air, damaging homes, and sending hazard-
ous fuel flowing into the storm water drainage system, threat-
ening the local watershed. Finally, by 7:30a.m., the valve was
shut off, and the fire nearly extinguished as the last flames were
put out.
Then, what was an emergency event of the greatest magni-
tude ever experienced by our fIre department turned into a po-
litical event of even greater magnitude. The media, local and
federal politicians, and representatives from state and federal
agencies all descended on Mounds View. The police came
too, to investigate what was, in effect, a homicide.
Hours went by as the Mounds ViewFire Department waited
for officials to arrive from all over the country. We watched as
they argued over who had jurisdiction. Finally, by dusk, the
road above the burst pipe was dug up and the damaged section
of pipe removed by a welder. We stood by, fire-fighting equip-
ment ready, in case the welder's torch ignited any fumes still
lingering in the street or that had seeped inside neighboring
homes. By then, we knew that a newspaper-route car carrier
had accidentally ignited thefuel whenshewas makingher morn-
ing deliveries. As she fled her burning car, her legs were se-
verely burned. Because the pipeline meandered through aresi-
dential area, the consequences of this tragedy could have been
much worse, especially ifthe rupture had occurred anhour later,
with increased traffic on the roadways.
Fallout from the Mounds View pipeline explosion contin-
ued for several years. It took a long time forresidents' fears to
subside. For weeks afterwards, homeowners called the fire
department, reporting the smell of gas seeping into their homes
via sewer and water lines. And for several years, the fire
department's annual Christmas Santa Parade, complete with
lights flashing and sirens blaring, provoked an unprecedented
negative response in the community. It reminded residents of
the horrifIc crisis on that Tuesday morning in July.
Following this catastrophe, the citizens of Minnesota were
galvanized into action. A state-run Office of Pipeline Safety
was created after Minnesotans learned that the federal Office
ofPipeline Safety's regulations were woefully inadequate. The
state submitted the "Minnesota Commission on Pipeline Safety:
Findings and Recommendations" to Congress on December
1986. Increased state authority to regulate pipelines, better leak
detection systems, and regulations establishing regular pipe-
line inspections were among the recommendations included in
that document. Unfortunately, the federal government has been
slow to act on these proposals. Indeed, thirteen years after the
Mounds Viewdisaster, these same recommendations havebeen
made by the State of Washington, following the tragic pipeline
explosioninBellingham, Washington, that claimed three young
Amother and her young
daughter were awakened by
the initial explosion and fire,
which was only two blocks from
their home. They saw the
flames and chose to evacuate
through the front door. Unfortu-
nately, their front lawn was the
low point in the area and had
become acollect,ing point for
gasoline fumes. They exited
just as the fumes ignited, trig-
gering an explosion . , ,
photo by Spring Lake Park-Blaine-Mounds View Fire Department
Firefighters contain a deadly early morning infel1lo in
Mounds View, Minnesota.
Pipeline Fatalities by State
Anatural gas pipeline
exploded on August 19,
2000, near acampsite
near Carlsbad, New
Mexico. Eleven people,
including 5children,
were incinerated, raising
the New Mexico pipeline
fatalities to 12.
Source: Office of Pipeline Safety
HI os:>
graphics by
The Planet magazine,
originally published
springlsummer2000 issue.
Pipelines Texas Style'
by Marguerite Jones
Originally, this aging, leaky pipeline,
carried unrefined crude oil, which is not
explosive. Longhorn's plan would send
highly flammable gasoline - [over nine
million gallons ... each day] - flowing
right through our neighborhoods.
Before 1998, my idea of politics was serving on the PTA
Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be battling big oil in
my home state of Texas. Then again, never in my worst night-
mares did I expect to see my children jump when they heard a
plane fly over.head, thinking that it was a pipeline explosion.
It all began when the Austin mayor's office called our el-
ementary school looking for a place to hold a Town Meeting.
Longhorn PartnersI wanted td'restart an aging, 48-year-old,
crude oil pipeline, fill it with gasoline andjet fuel and ship it to
west Texas. As the newly elected PTA president, I agreed to
help organize the meeting. Soon, I was calling, writing and
contactingevery school, municipality, staterepresentative, public
official, and neighbor who would listen, trying to get the word
out: under Longhorn's proposal, over nine million gallons of
explosive fuel would pass through Austin eachday, within 1,000
feet of twenty thousand people, and across the Colorado River
and the Edwards Aquifer, major Central Texas water sources.
The pipeline was within 2 miles of 14 Austinschools and only 2
blocks frommy children's elementary.
Originally, this aging, leaky pipeline,2 carried unrefined crude
oil, which is not explosive. Longhorn's plan would send highly
flammable gasoline, which dissolves more easily in water than
crude and is much more difficult to recover if spilled,3 flowing
right through our neighborhoods. The Lower Colorado
River Authority (LCRA) warned that it "pose[d)
perhaps the biggest threat ever to the water supplies of nearly
one million people of the region."4 The Austin Fire Depart-
ment estimated that the home closest to a gaSoline spill would
ignite in less than three minutes.
At the time, our home was only two houses away from the
pipeline (which actually runs above ground in places and is sup-
posed to be buried 14 inches in others).6 My husband and I
lived there with our three children and my 86-year-old mother,
who is blind. The children watched news coverage of pipeline
explosions and their fears grew. One such explosion involved a
section of the Longhorn pipeline that exploded in Houston,
shooting smoke and flames into the air a few feet from a resi-
dential area. We decided to move and nowlive half a mile away
from the pipeline.
Although the pace was brutal (meetings would last hours,
sometimes until midnight) my family stood behind me. And to
my surprise, folks started listening to me. Well, not everyone. I
tried on two separate occasions to contact Governor Bush's of-
fice to ask for his position on this issue. I made two phone calls,
one lasting 45 ri1inutes, another 40 minutes. I was put on hold
and given the run around. To my knowledge, George W. has
made no public statement on this very heated issue.
In COn-
trast, the Texas Land Commissioner, Republican David
Dewhurst, has stated he won't grant any easements across state
lands until he's assured of the pipeline's safety. I've been told
that people listen to me because I'm not getting paid and don't
I Some of the biggest names in oil and gas delivery - BP/Amoco Pipeline, Exxon Pipeline, and Williams Pipeline are among the partners. Asubsidiary of
Exxon Oil Corporation is a "limited liability partner."
2 According to the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) this (now) 50-year-old, 700-mile long pipeline has had 19 spills of crude oil since 1971. including a
one-million gaUon release in 1979.
3 Gasoline shipped would probably contain MTBE as well. an additive that makes gasoline even more soluble and a suspected carcinogen for which federal
water standards provide no mandatory safe level.
4 LCRA August 13, 1998 news release
S Austin Fire Dept. Pre-Planning Estimates
6 Afarmer from nearby Del Valle told EPA officials at a Town Hall Meeting that the Longhorn pipeline supposedly buried in his fields is actually exposed. The
Austin area has been in the throes of a bad drought the past two years; area lakes now have 400 to 500 feet of beachfront.
7 I recently saw a copy of a letter Governor Bush wrote to a Texas citizen, in which he stated he couldn't get involved because it was a federal issue.
belong to any organized group. I can't afford the $45 Sierra
Club membership dues; my husband is a cabinet service repre-
sentative and we live pretty simply - no cable TV, no fancy
Longhorn Partners certainly Ms plenty of money, though,
and they spend it - on newspaper ads, multipage brochures,
and on hired guns who make promises about how safe the pipe-
line will be. (Although they have refusedto prove it with a full-
fledged environmental review).8 According to one critic, they
could have builta newpipeline with the money they've spent on
public relations.
At first I was naive. I was stunned by the
power of bigoil in our state. TwoTexas congressmen eventhreat-
ened to withhold votes on the China Trade Bill if Clinton didn't
weighin against afull environmental impact assessment. Thank-
fully, our local Congressman, Lloyd Doggett, contacted Presi-
dent Clinton, who assuredRepresentative Doggett that he would
do no such thing. Obviously, Longhorn Partners doesn't want
anything of the sort. With a 50-year-old pipe that has
approximately 5,000 areas of me-
chanical damage and metal loss,
and only a few (perhaps dozens)
of those defects actually dug up
and inspected, who can blame
Longhorn's arrogance and tac-
tics have constantly amazed and
inspired me to fight back even
harder. Two of the worst ex-
amples occurredin January ofthis
year. ATown Hall Meeting had
been called to discuss the EPA's
preliminary finding that re-open- ,
ing the pipeline would cause "no
significant impact" to human and
natural environments. Over 2,000
angry citizens showed up to pro-
test. 11 Prior to the meeting, Longhorn Partners threatened to
use the grandfather clause and put crude oil back in the pipe-
line if they weren't allowed to transport gasoline and jet fuel.
It's Longhorn's position that, under the grandfather clause, they
could ship crude oil without a full environmental review. Evi-
dently, they were trying to scare us.
Later, at the meeting, in an effort to convinceus of the sound-
ness of their proposal (one of their high-paid PR people prob-
ably having realized that threats weren't so effective) they dis-
played a large section of clean, shiny pipe, claiming that it was
40-year old pipe. Luckily, pipeline opponents presented apiece
of 48-year-old pipe. It was rusted, corroded, and the outer
coating was unraveling.
At first I was naiVe. I was stunned by the power
of big oil in our state; two Texas congressmen
even threatened to withhold votes on the China
Trade Bill if Clinton didn't weigh in against a full
environmental impact assessment.
Apparently, Longhorn Partners had forgotten that some of
us had heard DonDeaver, a licensed pipeline engineer employ-
ed for over 33 years by Exxon Pipeline Company, the pipeline's
former owner, testify at public meetings. Throughout his ca-
reer, Deaver worked extensively on this pipeline.
According to Deaver, parts of it were constructed with weld-
ing processes known to be unreliable today and a 1994 corro-
sion survey showed that over 38 percent of the pipeline did not
meet industry standards for protection. Also, as of March 1999,
the old pipeline had been idle for four years and had received
inadequate corrosion protection
foi some time. According to
Longhorn Partners leaks up to
20,000 gallons a day and possi-
bly larger could go undetected
with the pipe's current leak de-
tection system. 12
If a federal court orders an
environmental impact statement,
my work will be far from done.
But I won't go away. I will be
right in there, making sure
peopleknowwhat the issues are,
and making sure they have the
opportunity to comment on
Longhorn's claims. I will be
fighting for the safety of my
community and for the safety
of my children. No amount of money or political clout will
dissuade me.
OPS Statistics Rank Texas #1
Pipeline Accidents 1984 to 1999 (see page 32)
Number Reported: 1,654
Estimated Property Damage: $137,928,961
Fatalities: 46
Injuries: 2,190
Landowners, the City of Austin, the LCRA, and others, filed a lawsuit to get the federal government and Longhorn to provide studies along the pipeline route to
determine the validity of Longhorn's claim of safety. Acomplete Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was ordered by the judge. In a subsequent settlement,
the parties agreed that an Environmental Assessment (EA) would be done first. The draft EA has been completed and the EPA, DOT, and Council on Environ-
mental Quality are now evaluating comments (over 6,000) from citizens to decide whether to require a full E I S ~
9 Austin consultant Jeff Heckler. as quoted in an article by Walter Cole "A Clash Over Gas," Austill Chronicle 18, /l0. 18 (Jan. 1, 1999)
10 This infomation is based on data drawn from tests perfonned on the Longhorn pipeline, fonnaHy submitted by pipeline engineer, Don Deaver, as part of the
record to the government's contractor. Radian. in the Environmental Assessment phase of the Longhorn pipeline dispute.
II Afew of the many inadequacies of the draft EA commented upon by citizens included the following: one-third of the proposed 34 mitigation measures called
for further tests of the pipeline, which were not completed; the probabilities of pressure releases were calculated using historical data. despite the fact there would
be a significant increase in operating pressures on the pipeline; and, visual inspections of the right-of-way every three days were identified as part of the
mitigation plan (evidently as an adjunct to the pipeline's leak detection systems). Note: gasoline leaks undergound and large pipeline leaks can occur within
hours much less within 3 days.
12 March 28, 1999 presentation by Don Deaver for Austin Public Meeting at Bowie High School on Longhorn pipeline.
Arepaired secton of
the Explorer pipeline
which burst in .
March, 2000, releasing
600,000 gallons of
MTBE-treated gasoline
near Lake Tawakoni
(Texas). Cleanup and
line inspections have
cost $10.5 million
to date.
photo courtesy Fl. Worth Sin, Telegram
photo by Rny Hill
Containment booms
placed along
Michigan's Grand
River in an effort to
contain gasoline
from the June, 2000,
pipeline spill.
Deep in the Heart of Texas
From1984to 1999, the State of Texas suffered 1,654 pipeline accidents. As aresult, 46 peoplewere killed, 2,200 people
were injured, and property damage reached nearly $140 million. About 34 million gallons of product was lost.
On March 9, 2000, the most serious Texas pipeline accident in recent memory occurred. Acorroded section of a27-
year-old pipeline operated by Explorer Pipe Line Company ruptured, sending 600,000 gallons of gasoline into East
Caddo Creek. The creek feeds into Lake Tawakoni, from which Dallas draws up to 30 percent of its water supply. Ten
other communities also draw most or all of their water from the lake. After the spill, the City of Dallas decided to stop
drawing water from from the lake when tests detected MTBE (Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether), agasoline additive, at
levels too high for public safety.
MTBE has been classified recently by the U. SEnvironmental Protection Agency as apotential carcinogen in low
concentrations. Tests at Lake Tawakoni conducted by the Dallas City Water Department showed MTSE levels rang-
ing from 0.67 parts per billion to more that 1,000 parts per billion. Some people can detect MTSE taste and odor at
two parts per billion. Soil samples in the spill area, which drains into Lake Tawakoni when it rains, showed MTSE
levels up to 235,000 part per billion. According to the Dallas Morning News, Explorer Pipe Line Company will remove
as much as 30,000 cubic yards (about 3,000 dump truck loads) of soil from the spill site. The soil will be stockpiled on
plastic tarps until company and city officials decide what to do with it. Two options now under consideration are
disposal of the soil in alandfill and thermal treatment on site.
Water, water everywhere and nary a drop to drink
Folks in Texas aren't the only ones worried abouttheir drinking-water supplies. Two other pipelinespills this year alone
have contaminated water supplies in numerous U.S. cities andtowns. On January 27, 2000, almost half amillion gallons
of crude oil ruptured from apipeline owned by Marathon Ashland Petroleum, much of it spilling into atributary of the
Kentucky River, from which Lexington, Richmond, and other cities draw their water supply. Drinking water is being
shipped into communities with contaminated wells. Residents in Blackman Township, Michigan, their wells contaminated
fromaJune 8, 2000, pipeline rupture, have been promised city water hookups by the pipeline's owner, Wolverine Pipe
Line Company. Five hundred homes were evacuated in this town 80 miles west of Detroil as gasoline made its way into
underground drains, the Grand River, and anearby creek.
HopefUlly, none of these communities will share the same fate as Fredricksburg, Va., acity that lost its water supply
twice to oil spills. The first time, in 1980, 94,000 gallons of heating oil polluted the Rappahannock River, the city's
sole water source. In 1989, 212,000 gallons of kerosene leaked into the river and the city's water supply was shut
down asecond time. Colonial Pipeline Company, which operates the pipeline, paid $400,000 damages to the City of
Fredricksburg. According to City Attorney, James Pates, that amount did not cover the damage those accidents
caused. When citizens went to the Office of Pipeline Safety with their concerns, Pates discovered that "They toPS]
did not have any Interest in helping us. They were more interested in helping the pipeline operators ...." Dismayed
by what he learned about pipeline safety and poor regulatory oversight, he has been on amission every since -
working for pipeline reform.
Myth: Pipeline companies already have"state-ol-the-art" leak-protection technology.
Fact: The pipeline industry continues to exaggerate its ability to detect small, slow
leaks, which can be catastrophic. On February 12, 2000, a"small" leak was discovered
in Millsboro, Delaware, which has spilled 600,000 gallons of 011 over an 8-12 year
period. A56,OOO-galloo 011 spill. in the John Heinz Refuge in Pennsylvania was
discovered by ahiker noticing ' ~ h e smell 01 011." The EPA charges that the lack of a
crude oil leak detector sensor was acontributing factor 10 the spill. Clearly, belter leak
delection systems must be mandated: leak detection shouldn't mean waiting lor oil or
fuel to bubble up oul of the ground.
A Mess
in Michigan
by Ray Hill
June 8, 2000 Pipeline Spill
Turns Peaceful Neighborhood Upside Down
August 2000 update: Failure of afaulty weld on afitting installed 10
years ago has been blamed for the recent Michigan pipeline spill.
Four poor welds in the pipe have been discovered since the accident.
Aclass action lawsuit has been filed against Wolverine Pipeline Co.
by homeowners concerned about future safe operation of the pipe-
line, damage to their drinking water supplies and decreasedproperty
When someone finds out we live in Stone Gate Farms, their next words are usually: "Have you
signed on to any of those lawsuits?"
It doesn't matter whom we're talking with - a co-worker, the man delivering new furniture to
our home, our children's preschool teacher, the grocery-store clerk, the three guys in our golf
foursome - they all ask the same question.
On June 7, 2000, a pipeline ruptured, spilling more than 70,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline
into a stream running adjacent to our neighborhood. The governor declared a State of E m e r g e ~ c y
and we were evacuated from our homes for five days. Given 20 minutes to retrieve items from pur
homes, we held our breath from the nauseating cloud of gasoline fumes enveloping our neighBor-
hood, grabbed our pet goldfish, Swimmy, and a few changes of clothes.
Days later when we returned to our homes, we thought the worst was over. However, it was only
the beginning. We came home to quite a mess. There was the physical mess - rotting food in our
refrigerator and freezer - after power was cut off to reduce the risk of explosion. Our home sits in
high ground, but many neighbors had up to three feet of water in their basements because sump
pumps did not operate during the power outage. More damaging was the emotional mess. Was our
well water safe to drink? Has our soil been contaminated? It was very weird having to drive an
eight-mile detour to get home from work, and then having to show identification to get through
three Michigan State Police roadblocks. And once we arrived in our subdivision of two-hundred
($150-200,000) homes, it was eerily quiet.
For the first few weeks after the evacuation, parents kept their kids and pets indoors. Instead of
kids bouncing on trampolines or yelling for underdogs on the swing set, we saw only an occasional
homeowner rinsing out his chest freezer. The only real activity was taking place on the street along
the southern end of the subdivision bordering the Rives-Blackman drain. Men in jeans and blue T-'
shirts were still zipping around on four-wheelers, moving back and fOlth from the stream to trucks
labeled with Marine Pollution, EPA, and Hazardous-Material markings.
photo by Ray Hill
A pipe redirecting waterfrom Blackman Drain Creek arol/nd a
gasoline-contaminated pond.
How can you tell
if agasoline
pipeline is safe?
The people at
Company say
looking down
from several
hundred feet in
an airplane is
Never mind the
pipeline is
16 feet
Ours was a great neighborhood; a desirable place to live. People shovel each others' driveways
in winter, cut each others' grass in summer, and street parties and five-family garage sales have
become traditions. In the five years we've lived here, we've watched more than 70 new homes go
up, more than tripling the size of the neighborhood. Envious friends say our neighborhood is
straight out of the 1950s and a ~ k which house is Beaver Cleaver's. We don't want to lose that
neighborhood atmosphere.
Now, we're learning more than we ever wanted to know about gasoline. Benzene (the carcino-
gen in gasoline) does not adhere to soil, but travels in water and air. Officials from the EPA tested
the air for explosive and organic gases at each level of our home before allowing us to move back
in. There were nothing but zeros on the gauges. Weeks after the spill, we awoke one morning to the
unmistakable stench of gasoline fumes. Talk about panic. The local 911 operator reported about
20 calls from our neighborhood. Officials told us the fumes were the result of atmospheric changes,
and it may happen periodically during the summer-long cleanup process. It was especially unset-
tling to learn that nine days after the spill, the 16-inch pipeline was back in operation. Wolverine
Pipeline officials say they have remedied the problem - a faulty weld - but even two months
later, the exact cause of the spill has not yet been confirmed by an outside source.
Attorneys have come out of the woodwork. They
knocked on our doors, sent us mass mailings, and held
neighborhood meetings. Besides the local attorneys, oth-
ers came from Detroit and neighboring states, filing suits
in both local and federal court. Even Dr. Kevorkian's
former attorney filed a lawsuit on our behalf.
My neighbors' response to the spill has been varied.
Sonie want the heads ofWolverine Pipeline officials, oth-
ers simply want the matter to go away. In some cases,
next-door neighbors who were best of friends before the :c
spill are at odds nowbecause ofdiffeIing opinions. There's J'
even conflict between some husbands and wives. l'
The entire Jackson community has shown a mixed re- t
sponse to our catastrophe. In letters to the editor of ~ h e
local newspaper, we hiwe been accused of "throwing self-serving pity parties" and have been ac-
cused of indirectly dIiving up the cost of gasoline via our lawsuits. Letter after letter told us to
forgive Wolverine Pipeline because "accidents happen" and our lawsuits are the worst examples of
However, as the summer has progressed, Wolverine Pipeline seems to have fewer supporters in
our community. Some who wanted to circulate a petition in June thanking Wolverine for tlie manner
in which it addressed our immediate needs, are raising eyebrows at the pipeline's recent actions.
During the height of the spill and evacuation, Environmental Protection Agency officials were
very vocal about their concerns of a mushroom cloud-type explosion should anyone ignite the
airborne fumes. However, when Wolverine Pipeline officials met with residents of a nearby com-
munity where they are constructing a new pipeline, they said there was absolutely no chance of
explosion during the Jackson acdident. They also said our water wells were not contaminated by the
spill - well, everyone here knows any possible contamination may not show up for months or
years. That's one reason why Wolverine Pipeline is paying for municipal water hookups to nearly
600 residents.
Aside from a concern about dropping property values, many residents have signed on to lawsuits
to simply get more answers. The pipeline officials say the pipeline is safe; they recently shut down
the pipeline to fix other faulty welds, but we want more information. They eagerly offered months
ago to share inspection histories and a map of the pipeline path, but nothing has yet been produced.
How can you tell if a gasoline pipeline is safe? The people at Wolverine Pipeline Company say
looking down from several hundred feet in an airplane is adequate. Never mind that the pipeline is
16 feet underground. Never mind that there are more accurate tests to gauge pipeline corrosion.
Apparently, there's nothing like a monthly flight over Jackson County. When I returned to.my job as
a high-school English teacher in late August, people asked about my summer. I just rolled my eyes,
and asked if they wanted the whole story or the short story. At the end of my story, they all ask if
we've joined the lawsuit. I need to pin a button to my lapel reading: "Not yet, we're waiting for
more information."
It's been a big mess, and chances are it will only get bigger before it's over.
Misleading Statement: Given
the amount of oil transported,
pipelines spill only anegligible
Facts: Quantity is nol always the
most relevant factor. The Exxon
Valdez spilled less than 2% of
one day's oil used in the U.S., yet
no one claims that that small loss
is acceptable because of where it
was spilled and the damage it
. The south entrance to Stone Gate
Farms subdivision.
It's been a
big mess,
.and chances
are it
will only
get worse.
"There is nowhere today the sense that the Office of Pipeline Safety is in charge . ..
or that its regulations, its inspections, its assets, its staffing and its spirit are
adequate to the task. " Jim Hall, chair of the National Transportation Safety Board,
at the December, 1999, Association of Oil Pipelines meeting.
Calling the Office of Pipeline Safety
Who's Minding the Pipes?
OPS has exclusive jurisdiction over oil pipeline and natural gas regulation. No state or local government can regulate pipelines without OPS
certification. In 1999, OPS had amaximum staffing level of 105 people and 57 field inspectors to police 2.2 million miles of pipe, or one
field inspector for every 38,000 miles of pipeline. Compare that to the Coast Guard, with over 42,000 uniformed and civilian personnel to
help enforce regUlations on the oil tanker, ship, and barge industry.
What Standards?
Regulatory standards enforced by the OPS are so vague and few in number that pipeline companies are free to interpret them at their conve- ,
nience. Oil pipeline regUlations do not specify any periodic Inspection by pressure testing, internal inspection devices, or by any means
at all, except for visual surveillance of the right of way. Current regulations do not require automatic or remote-controlled shut-off valves, .
double-wall pipelines, or line volume and pressure monitors.
Who's Exempt?
Nearly one third of all oil pipelines are exempt from federal regulations because they are low pressure or in rural areas, even though
studies show that these exempt pipelines spill more than regulated pipelines.
How low Can They Go?
Federal standards require t h l c ~ e r steel for high-pressure water pipelines than for high-pressure oil pipelines. For example, the 36-inch
Colonial pipeline that spilled 408,000 gallons of fuel oil into the Potomac River in 1993 was only 0.344 inches thick. The minimum required
thickness for awater pipeline that-size is 0.485 inches. After all, that water is dangerous stuffI
What Pipes?
To date, OPS has no map of the pipeline system it's supposed to regUlate. It rejected aproposal in 1990 to require that pipeline companies
provide state and local governments with maps of pipelines within their boundaries. DPS has no comprehensive data on the age and
condition of pipelines, on types of pipe used, on the use of protective measures, or on which pipeline companies have better or worse safety
records. In short, OPS d.oesn't have aclue about what the safety problems are, where they are, who's responsible, or what to do
about them.
Meaningful Enforcement?
OPS investigates only about one in 10 pipeline accidents reported to It - and almost never takes any meaningful action. Even wh,en
catastrophic spills happen, OPS enforcement amounts to little more than awink and ahandshake. For example, from 1979 to 19841here vvere
over 3,300 oil pipeline accidents that spilled areported 155 million gallons of oil. Yet OPS collected only $1.4 million In civil penalties
- barely 9/1oths of acent per gallon spilled in those 16 years - surely one of the great regulatory bargains of our time. Between 1990 and
1998, monetary penalties assessed by OPS decreased 90 percent, at the same time as major pipeline accidents were increasing four percent
*Those reSUlting in a fatality, injury or more than $50,000 in property damage
Misleading Statement: Pipelines are the safest way to transport petroleum.
Facts: There are no studies that show that pipelines are the most environmen-
tally safe way to transport petroleum. "Safety" statistics are based solely on
human death and injury statistics. Oil and liquefied gas pipeline releases can:
contaminate drinking water supplies, 'and crop, residential, and pUblic,lands;
cause fish kills; break up wildlife habitat by creating pipeline right-of-ways; result
in explosions and fires; and decrease property values because of spills and
Susan Harper, Executive Director, Fuel Safe Washington
"There is no incentive to take corrective actions before accidents occur because the
pipeline companies have no fear of the OPS. They know the agency will not do anything
to them."
The Office of Pipeline Safety's Sorry Record
Facts Demonstrate Poor Enforcement, Weak Penalties Not Working
Fines Rarely Imposed
Collected Against Pipeline Companies
The federal Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) investigates only about one in ten pipeline accidents reported to it and rarely takes meaning-
ful action. Between 1979 and 1984 there were over 3,300 oil pipeline accidents, yet OPS collected only $1.4 million in fines. Between
1987 and 1989, OPS collected only $188,000 in fines although 33 million gallons of fuel were spilled in 580 incidents. DOT's Office of
Pipeline Safety records show that OPS has not collected any civil penalties since 1997.
Only $15,000 of l ~ 3 9 6 , O O O proposed penalties (less than four percent) collected
159 Incidents - 7.4 million gallons of hazardous fuels spilled; only $88,500 In civil penalties
None of the 1998 penalties has been collected.
$90,000 in civil penalties proposed; none yet collected according to May 30, 2000 agency records
Heading for the record books -six major spills in the first six months - over two million gallons of
hazardous fuel (2,346,000) released, contaminating drinking water supplies in Dallas, Lexington, Rich
mond, and other cities and towns, and forcing the evacuation of 500 homes west of Detroit, Michigan
Penalties Often Mitigated to Zero: According to OPS, mitigating civil penalties encourages companies to take corrective actions that go beyond
the spill. Although OPS has drastically reduced its use of fines in enforcement actions, it has done so without anyatlempt to determine if this policy
is Improving industry compliance and pipeline safety.
The recent $3.2 million fine against Olympic Pipe Line' just proposed by OPS for the Bellingham explosion is more than the total amount assessed
by OPS against the entire pipeline industry in the past five years. It compares unfavorably to the $30 million fine levied by EPA against Koch
Industries in January, 2000, for spills that occurred between 1990 and 1997.
And it compares very unfavorably to a$4.74 million fine recently levied by the EPA against aformer gas station owner for a1O,OOO-gallon spill that
the gas station owner failed to clean up. Olympic's 1999 pipeline rupture released over 230,000 gallons of gasoline, killing three youths and
destroying apark, and Atlantic Richfield (ARCO), Texaco and Shell Oil Co. all have big stakes in Olympic Pipeline. (Since the explosion, ARCO has
merged with BP/Amoco.)
Pipeline spills of any size should receive mandatory fines. If companies pay for polluting, they will take corrective action before accidents happen.
Aging Pipeline System: The lax oversight and weak enforcement by federal regUlators comes at aparticularly bad time. Most of the
pipeline system was built in the 1960's and most of it has been in the ground more than three decades -. poorly maintained or
monitored and rusting away. ACalifornia state study found that one out of every five miles of pipeline were built before 1940, and half
of those before 1926. Yet there is no national policy to repair and rebuild this system -- in fact, no federal policy that apipeline ever
has to be replaced, no matter how old.
Prior to the Bellingham accident, Olympic's pipeline spilled almost 821,000 gallons of fuel in 43 incidents, yet this marks the first time OPS has fined Olympic.
The fine was also issued just as aCNN special report highly critical of Olympic Pipe Line Co. and OPS aired on national TV. And, judging by past performance,
there is no guarantee this underwhelming fine will ever be collected.
Nearly $1 billion from 1984 to 1999 almost $60 million per year.
Accidents are Increasing .
Pipeline accidents are increasing on the 2.2 million miles of pipeline carrying hazardous
materials nationwide. Major pipeline accidents - those resulting in afatality, injury or more
than $50.000 in property damage - have increased four percent a n n u ~ l I y since 1989.
OPS statistics! show that since 1986 pipeline accidents have:
, Numbered more than 5,700;
Killed more than 325 people;
Injured over 1,500 people;
Caused millions in property damage;' and
Leaked more than six million gallons annually.
Amounts refeased are fncreasfng
Since 1995, the amount of hazardous liquids released to the environment has increased each
year. Amounts released per incident have been increasing since 1993, indicating that releases
may be becoming more serious. Throughout the 1990s, tens of thousands of gallons were
released from pipelines approximately every other day.
"Numerous 011 pipeline companies are not preventing pollution . .. and the Office of Pipeline
Safety is not forcing them to do so. The majority of these releases are from corrosion, operational
incidents, and materiaf defects," says Lois Epstein, Environmental Defense engineer. In recent
congressional testimony, she noted that current pipeline safety law "does not make compa-
nies Uabfe for refeases, so refeases are going up, while releases from tanker and barge
transport are decreasing as aresult of the OJ( Pollution Act of 1990's liability provisions.'e
t I
with this
Yet, penalties are decreasing
, At the same lime as pipeline accidents are increasing and amounts spilled are worsening, the
Offfce of Pipeline Safety has drasticaify cut its use of fines as an enforcement tool. In 1990,
fines accounted for 49 percent of enforcement actions, but only four percent in 1998. And,
according to the agency's own data, the few fines actuaify Issued are Insignificant compared
to pipeline revenues and are rarefy coliected.
1 These numbers are underreported. AMarch 13, 2000 Inspector General Audit Report on the Pipeline
Safety Program revealed that OPS reports are flawed due to inadequate Information andlor lack of fUll
disclosure by the pipeline companies. As stated in that report, oOPS does not ensure the accuracy of
ace/dent data submitted by [pipe/rne] operators." For example, in comparing National Transportation
Safety Board reports on eight pipeline accidents with the pipeline operator reports, the In,spector General
found that NTSB reported $20.4 million more In damages than five pipeline operators reported to OPS.
2 Feb. 3, 1999 pipeline safety hearing before the House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Energy
and Power. .
Whlie profits are rising
You Do the Math: Pipelines are aphenomenally profitable business. In the last two decades, all
interstate oil pipeline companies enJoyed an average annual rate of net earnings, after taxes,
of 31'percenf. Natural gas pipelines weren't far behind, In 1998, they averaged net earnings, alter
taxes, of 22 percent of revenues. To compare, the median annual return on sales by Fortune 500
corporations in those years was 4.2 percent.
Profits Soar As Safety and Maintenance Decline - From 1994 to 1996 Colonial Pipeline (the
largest 011 pipeline company In the U,S.) reduced its engineering services staff by 35 percent,
increasing its return on revenues to 28 percent - at the same time it had horrendous accidents
and increased its market share. Regarding such industry downsizing, pipeline regulator Don
Stursma finds that' .. much knowledge and experience has been lost." He sees the pipeline
industry as " . increasingly dominated by accountants, lawyers and MBAs with no technical, safety,
or operations background."
Innocent Lives Lost II II II Environments Destroyed I
Wade King (right) at his computer. Outgoing and
rambunctious, he was a popular student. His keen sense
of humor landed him the starring role in his school's 4th
grade production of The Music Man. Wade and his
friend, Stephen Tsiorvas (below right), died in the June
1999, Bellingham, Washington pipeline explosion.
(see related story page 9)
Stephen Tsiorvas (right), as a preschooler, playing in the
sand. ''He was the kind of kid who wanted to be in the
middle of everything," explains his mother, Katherine
Dalen. "He didn't let his juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
slow him down. He climbed trees, rode his bike, and
played football and basebalL" According to his mom,
Stephen p ~ ! c k e d a lot of living into his 10 short years.
photo courtesy ofFronk ond Mory King
Bumed out remnants of a car (left) belonging to
Blenheim Assistant Fire Chief, Robert Hitchcock.
Hitchcock died from bums he received, and his daughter,
who was en route to school the moming a propane
pipeline ruptured, received severe bums on her hands and
face after she struck a car at the intersection where her
father was directing traffic. Visibility was poor from a
thick cloud of propane that filled the intersection creating
a catastrophe in this small rural town of 334 residents.
(see story page 36)
New Jersey Towering Inferno (left): Texas Eastern
Transmission Corporation's 36-inch, high-pressure
natural gas pipeline exploded March 23, 1994. Heat
from the fire ignited rooftops in a nearby apartment
complex. One person died and 300 people lost their
homes and possessions. The National Transportation
Safety Board found that the inability of the pipeline
operator to promptly stop the flow of natural gas (a
recurring problem in pipeline accidents) contributed to
the severity of the accident.
. photo court"y of AP Wire Service
I don't think that! will ever get over the shock of discovering that a 27-year-old oil
spill in my neighborhood was not cleaned up. It all began at a neighborhood associa-
tion meeting. There, I leamed about a major underground petroleum pipeline located
in the heart of our community, and that a developer was building homes only 15 feet
away fromit. Havingread about the disastrous Colonial Pipeline spill in Simpsonville,
South Carolina - shutting off Simpsonville's water supply for a week- I was dis-
mayed and alarmed that this same pipeline company was operatingright in our midst.
It got worse. Alongtime resident announced that years ago Colonial's pipe had
leaked oil in our neighborhood. I was led to believe that a cleanup had been com-
pleted, but I wanted to know more. If a spill could happen once, it might happen
again. With the developer building so close to the pipeline, learning the history on
the prior spill was important. .
Many calls later, I found someone with the relevant information. I set up an ap-
pointment to look at the file. Or'so I thought. When I arrived at the GAEPD Geologic
Survey office and asked for the file on the spill, the geologist pointed to a row of
shelves six feet high. Where did I want to start? I was floored when I realized that all
those bound reports were about my neighborhood's oil spill. I asked him to tell me
when it happened. He pulled out an assessment report: the "leak" occurred in 1971;
Colonial recovered 668 barrels of gasoline product. In 1993 neighbors unhappy with
the cleanup effort complained and Colonial approached GAEPD with a new cleanup
Evidently, the first time around Colonial didn't finish the job. Amap of the moni-
toring wells showed the levels of contamination. Twenty-seven years later the levels
of benzene were still high. Nine houses on the map were marked with their former
owners' names. I realized that the neighborhood rumor about a buyout was true, but
I doubted whether many current residents knew that so many families had been relo-
cated because of the spill. A quick call to the tax assessor's office revealed that
Colonial owned nine houses around the spill site, five in my neighborhood and four in
an adjacent subdivision.
My illusions about government working for me and about corporate responsibility
were shattered that day. I became an activist. I studied anything and everything I
could find about pipelines: construction, spills, hazards, benzene contamination, and
pipeline regulations. In the past, being fully informed always made me feel better.
This time, however, the opposite occurred. The more I read, the more alarmed I be-
came. Most of the information I gathered about Colonial Pipeline was about prior
spills. My concerns grew - like a tiny leak that turns into aflood.
Initially, I didn't consider myself to be an activist. I started by writing to my
Congressman, governmental agencies, and to the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper.
I was trying to understand my local spill and to prevent others. When I was intro-
duced at a Georgia Conservancy reception as a "rabble-rouser" against the pipeline,
Bi h of an Activist
by Toji Blad
I realized that it was true: I was now an activist. AFlorida environmentalist advised me
to stay focused. He suggested I to write my congressman, citing the single worst en-
croachment of Colonial Pipeline that I had witnessed.
It was a hard choice between the pipeline under a childcare center playground and
the pipeline in a nearby landfill with heavy equipment crossing over. The childcare
center was outside my congressional district, however, so Morgan Falls Landftll be-
came my top priority. Congressman John Lewis a letter I sent him outlin-
ing the problems with the pipeline at MorganFalls. He wrote back, aclmowledging my
concerns and attaching copies of letters he had written to GAEPD and the Office of
Pipeline Safety, requesting them to look into the matter. Nothing was done, however,
and eight months later, the Colonial pipeline under Morgan Falls Landftll broke open.
The initial newspaper article reported that 4200 gallons of gasoline were released.
With such a large pipe, however, and the Chattahoochee River so close to the spill, I
drove to the site to see if the release might be larger than reported. My suspicions were
confIrmed: there were over six tanker trucks at the site. Apoliceman blocking the road
let me through after I showed him my Fulton County Citizens' Commission for the
Environment I.D. At the landftll, I spoke briefly to fIremen on the scene, reminding
them of the open flare wells for methane gas. They assured me that they would look
into shutting them off. The air was heavy with the smell of gas fumes, so I decided to
leave what was obviously a hazardous situation.
Then I contacted John Lewis's office. They didn't lmow about the spill yet. I men-
tioned that it was too bad the Office of Pipeline Safety had never responded to Con-
gressman Lewis's inquiries. His aide assuredme that theyhad. He put me onhold while
he found the letter: the Office of Pipeline Safety had writtenback six weeks prior to the
spill stating that the site met their requirements. Once again, the Office of Pipeline
Safety was too complacent regarding pipeline regulation. This time, however, thanks
to adequate press coverage, Colonial's cleanup efforts were more extensive than the
cleanup still ongoinginmy neighborhood. At Morgan Falls Landfill, they hauled away
23,000 tons of trash and soil, and recovered 17,300 of the 38,600 gallons of gasoline
spilled. Where, I wondered, was this kind of effort for our neighborhood in 1971?
Later, CongressmanLewis anived at the spill site, along with department heads from
the Office ofPipeline Safety and the Department ofTransportation. Even Colonial's top
brass arrived on the scene to inspect the replacement pipe. We all stood together
amidst the spilled-gas odor. Yes, I was there too, invited because of my letter. Con-
gressman Lewis thanked me for writing. My photo standing alongside him and the
other dignitaries appeared in his next newsletter. Only now I had a new label: I had
been transformed from a "rabble-rouser" to "local leader."
Today, I continue the pursuit of more pipeline regulation to prevent spills and have
joinedthe bandwagon ofenvironmentalists pursuing energy alternatives. Coloiual Pipe-
lineis creating.contaminationthat will live beyondmy lifetime and possibly my children's
lifetime. And it is only one of many. Thereis hqpe, however, if we all pitchin. Govern-
ment can work for us at our request but we must speak up loud and clear for pipeline
safety now, not thousands of spills later!
John Lewis
responded to
aletter ...
outlining the
problems with the
pipeline ...
He wrote, ..
atld the
Office of
Pipeline Safety,
requesting them
to look into the
Nothing was done,
however, and eight
months later the
Colonial pipeline
under Morgan Falls
broke open. j
by Annette Smith
The next meeting was not quite as friendly. Vermonters
refused to break up into the one-on-one sessions until
they had achance to ask questons. Areporter was also
present, insisting that ... they couldn't keep him out.
"Natural gas is cheap, clean and safe. Once the pipeline
is in, you will never know it's there." That's about all they
told us. Over and over, salesmen for New York State Electric
and Gas (NYSEG) and Iroquois Transmission Co. told the resi-
dents of southwestern Vennont that the high pressure pipeline
they proposed to bury three feet deep for 63 miles inside Ver-
mont would be the best constructed and operated pipeline that
current technology allowed. Vermonters learned quickly,
however, not to trust the pipeline companies.
Part of a massive billion-dollar energy project proposed for
the State ofVennont and first ...announcedin September, 1998,1
the Iroquois segment, which would come into Vennont from
New York, was an interstate pipeline (and thus under federal
jurisdiction). NYSEG's pipeline, however, was intrastate and
thus under the jurisdiction of Vennont's permitting agencies.
Prior to filing its application with the state, NYSEG con-
tacted towns along the pipeline route, asking for letters of sup-
port and for waivers of state filing requirements. Such actions
created the impression that NYSEG was rushing things and try-
ing to subvert Vennont's public processes. Next, NYSEG, a
five-.billion dollar publicly-held New York utility, gathered
lists of affected property owners and ~ i e n t out letters "invit-
ing" themto meetings, noting that only those onthe list would
be allowed in.
At the first private-property owner meeting, about 30 prop-
erty owners attended, along with an equal number of NYSEG
employees. The employees were dressed in matching shirts with
SVNG (Southern Vennont Natural Gas) emblems. After every-
one arrived, someone stood by the door, giving the impression
that nobody could leave. No media were present. Property
owners in the back row were asked to move and as
the meeting progressed, they realized that gas company employ-
ees were sitting in the row behind them, possibly reading prop-
erty owners' notes. A video about natural gas was presented,
showing how cozy and warm it was, how safe and cheap. A
slide show detailing pipeline construction revealed something
else: an ugly swath that would be clear cut and blasted through
remote and pristine property. Finally, a gas salesman gave a
pitch about howcheap and wonderful natural gas is, even though
hardly any of the property owners present would ever get natu-
ral gas as a result of this project. After the presentation, Ver-
monters wanted to ask questions but were not allowed to.
Instead, NYSEG employees broke up the meeting so that
they could meet with property owners "one-on-one."2 The next
meeting was not quite as friendly. Vennonters had heard about
the way the first meeting was run and refused to break up into
the one-on-one session until they had a chance to ask questions.
A reporter was also present, insisting that the meeting was be-
ing held in a public school and they couldn't keep him out.
Concerned about NYSEG's business methods and their in-
tention to take private property by eminent domain to build a
pipeline to fuel power plants to produce electricity
for other states, not Vermont, we fonned Vermonters for a
Clean Environment (VCE). At nine public meetings and a pub-
lic forum sponsored by VCE, citizens raised their concerns.
Gas company representatives admitted that property values
along the pipeline route would decline, "usually for about a
year," but claimed they would corne back. They made asser-
tions about how safe the pipeline would be,3 In response to a
query about explosions, NYSEG's marketing salesman
claimed that problems were rare and you hardly ever
heard about pipeline accidents. The next day the pipeline
I 1\vo power plants and two different pipelines were to be completed by November 1.2001. In April, 1999, a third power plant in New York State was
announced as part of the project.
, This "divide and conquer" strategy was something we had heard about from other states. how the gas companies separate property owners. keeping them from
knowing how much others were getting for granting easements.
I They claimed they would install new pipe and inspect every weld, test the pipe hydrostatically before operating it, and that they would visually inspect the line
by walking it and flying over in helicopters from "time to time." They didn't make any claims, however. about testing it after the initial installaJion. or
maintenance claims other than walkovers and fly-overs frOm "time to time,"
in Bellingham, Washington exploded, killing three people.
Further questioning elicited similar cheerful but deceptive
responses. When we asked, "If the pipeline crosses our land,
can we get gas?" NYSEG said "yes, for $5,000 to $10,000."
VCElearned, however, that steppiIig down the pressure to serve
residences at below2psi costs substantiallymore. In one town,
people were told that they would get a tap for natural gas to
serve them and that this would cost $70,000. Regulators
and people inthe industry have advisedVCEthat this would
actually cost at least half a million dolIars,s
At another meeting, an NYSEGsalesmanbragged about what
a wonderful company they were, offering a list of phone num-
bers and suggesting calls be made to find out how well liked
they were in other communities. veEstarted making calls. At
New York's Department of Public Service, the environmental
officer related that NYSEGhad a history of upsetting landown-
ers to such an extent that NYDPS knows to watch them.
Our group also contacted landowners affected by
NYSEG's only large gas transmission pipeline project and
found nothing but outrage. We were told: 'They take more
land than they say they will, they don't put it back when they
say they will, they don't put it back the way it was before."
Tactics used to acquire easements also enraged property own-
We also discovered that, ifanything, Iroquois Transmission
Company's track record was even worse than NYSEG's. As
part of the proposed project, Iroquois intended to run a lateral
line from their major transmission pipeline in New York State
into Vermont. Because of numerous environmental violations
for their pipeline construction in the 1990's, Iroquois had reo
ceived a$22millionfine, thesecond-largest fme, next to Exxon
Valdez, everissuedbytheNational TransportationSafetyBoard.
Among other things, Iroquois back filled the pipeline trench
with huge boulders. Eventually, they pled guilty to felony
charges and people went to jail.
Under its felony plea agreement, Iroquois was supposed to
say in public that it did something wrong, but it had cleaned up
its act. At first, that's what Iroquois said in Vermont. Then
Iroquois went a bit further and claimed that because they were
under such scrutiny, they were probably one of the best compa-
nies around. By October 1999, an Iroquois salesman told VCE's
executive director, "You know we didn't really do anything
wrong; it was a business decision to enter the plea because the
lawyers were costing so much." The power plant developer had
delivered almost exactly the same message in a public meeting
two days earlier.
Although the people of southwestern Vermont do not have
experience with existing pipelines in our neighborhoods, we
have seen enough of two different pipeline companies to
know that we cannot believe what they tell us. And if we
cannot believe them about who will get the gas, how much it
will cost, or what their track record is in other states, how
can we possibly believe themwhen they tell us that it is safe?
And after attending the recent National Pipeline Safety Confer-
ence inWashington D.C., we nowknowthat pipeline safety and
regulatory oversight are sadly lacking throughout the United
States. VCE will continue to search for the reality behind the
myth of the "best constructed and operated" pipelines. 8
Myth: Additional regulations applied on pipeline operators at the federal or state level are "too prescriptive" and would result in a
"patchwork" of regulations.
Facts: Right now, we have a200,OOO-mile "patchwork" of failing pipelines. Meanwhile, the oil industry continues to balk at every
sensible attempt to further regulate pipelines to protect public safety and the environment. The sad facts are that federal regulations
on pipeline companies are extremely lax.! In 1996, the House of Representatives passed the "Accountable Pipeline Safety and
Partnership Act of 1996" which actually weakened the federal Pipeline Safety Act. As Bob Rackleff, President of the National
Pipeline Reform Coalition said, "Rather than having "prescriptive" or "patchwork" regulations, there is little or no regulation at the
federal level. The oil industry has lobbied legislators to the point that the industry is largely "self-monitoring," using "risk-benefit
analyses" which deem acertain number of fatalities, injuries and spills as acceptable."
Anumber of states (California, Minnesota, New York, and Arizona) have State Offices of pipeline Safety. But states are currently
preempted by the federal government from taking more prUdent pipeline safety measures.
I In response to a 56,000-gallon crude oil spill on February 7, 2000 in the John Heinz Wildlife Refuge near Philadelphia, Gerald Davis. a spokesman for the
Sunoco Company, said "we do what is required by law" in regard to leak detection. According to Tony Mercandetti of the Bridge News, what Sunoco
company inspectors actually do is a "walkover" every two weeks. These "walkovers" can't detect underground leaks. (Except when, as in this case, the leak
is detected by a passerby "noticing the smell of oil,")
4 Since the Bellingham explosion, VCE has learned that pipeline accidents are anything but rare, and that testing of pipelines, once installed, is even rarer and
not regulated under the law.
5 A "gate" valve to step down pressure and infrastructure to serve a town costs at least $500,000.
6 Witnesses related how pipeline operatives would go to elderly residents' homes at night, frightening them with the idea that they might lose their homes and
how these operatives would go to homes just before Christmas when the husbands were at work, offering a check right then and there to the wife. Witnesses
also related how gas company agents would go to area bars at night and brag about how many easements they had gottell that day.
. 11
Living on the Pipeline
by Glenn R. Archambault Clnd Terri D. Magruder
phOIO by Glenn Archnmb.ull
A view of the pipeline from Phoenix, Oregon, during construction.
As Glenn was walking on our new farm on our first day of ownership, survey flags and painted fence posts
made a trail to our new neighbor Henry's ranch. He explained to Glenn that a large natural gas pipeline was
coming, a big federal project. It involved 86 miles and 1400 acres of public and private land, through mountains,
rivers, streams, and our small Oregon farm. Pacific Gas and Electric (P G& E), the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission (FERC), state and local government, and the people who sold us the farm all knew about this big
pipeline project and the pending application for a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity giving the pipeline
company the Power of Eminent Domain and the legal ability to condemn the property. Although the sellers had
been informed of the "pending pipeline project" in writing, they did not disclose that information to us. The
shock of being threatened and having our property violated by a for-profit plivate utility company backed by
federal guns and trespassing powers was overwhelming. We found ourselves surrounded by a government sys-
tem of intimidation and property-taking without compensation. The pipeline property is located along the entire
f!vrth boundary of our farm (approx. 1500 feet). We have not received compensation for the taking of our
property and our safety concerns have been ignored. So on that day in 1993 a war started, to learn about this
pipeline project and to get our money back. The more we learned about the pipeline industry the more we feared
the project located next to our home.
Fromthe day we took possession of the property, helicopters buzzed overhead and survey teams of every type
trespassed across our little valley. Every day (including holidays), someone from the project wanted to test,
measure, or inspect our land, or question, talk to, or threaten us. There were continuous meetings to attend and
letters from the pipeline company to answer - an endless demand for our attention. They got paid; we did not.
We could not leave our farm. Someone always needed to be there to watch out for the animals, property, and our
belongings. One day we left for a trip to the river. When we returned our 200 sheep were in our "former" front
yard and gardens. The trespassing pipeline employees were not good about closing gates. That was a good day!
Bad days? Being informed that our house, barns and belongings would be examined and videotaped by a pipe-
line official, and a well test taken. This was being done to protect the pipeline company from lawsuits. With the
massive construction project, road building, and dynamite blasts, private property dam\lge would occur. Areally
bad day? That's every day in May, 1995. On the worst one, ajudge granted "Right of Immediate Possession" by
allowing the government and the pipeline company to take our private property without a trial: no terms, no
money paid, and the nght to use vbIen.. '-\gainst us should we protest or resist.
The pipeline was coining! Construction had started 86 miles away and would end in our farm valley. The day
arrived for the crews to cut the fences and clear the land of everything. Glenn walked down the road to see the
fence being cut down. He saw cows running and heard sheep crying for their lambs. The sheep dogs were
demanding that the hostile strangers leave, NOW! The construction workers warned us not to resist. The govern-
ment had officers down the road. Glenn could see the unmarked cars. We knew that terrible feeling of losing.
Construction started that day with a flood; someone had left the irrigation ditch running. From that day forward
we observed and documented a poorly designed and constructed pipeline being laid into the ground. Pipeline
companies don't build pipelines, the lowest bidder does! Not the best, but the cheapest materials and equipment
are used. The construction went from bad to worse. The lowest bidder, a Texas contractor, was poorly infonned
about what Oregon is like. Our valley is composed of clay soil full of rocks and running water. Soon, the whole
construction site near our property was muddy, completely flooded with water several feet deep. In the hot
summer sun and mud, the pipeline project became a huge mess. P G & E, the gas transporter, recorded the
minimal government standards on paper, but the pipeline was not constructed to those minimal standards. There
were no on site inspections to monitor the construction and installation of the pipe. The project became a brutal
fight to get a paycheck for the average worker: no pipeline meant no pay. We got to know the folks on the job; a
lot of them were there for months. They told us interesting things: "It (the pipe) would not last five years," said
the guys boring under the county road. "These people are complete rookies," said the ditch foreman about the
route chosen by pipeline company officials. The right-of-way agent had no previous experience siting a gas
pipeline. The Office of Pipeline Safety became involved only after the route was established and the pipeline
installed. We quickly learned that the government and pipeline officials were incompetent. The construction
workers were told what to do, no matter how dumb. We contacted our county commissioners and planning
department, our state and federal representatives, the Office of Pipeline Safety and FERC. We learned that the
safety of the pipe and its siting were not regulated on site, only on paper by the profit-motivated pipeline com-
pany (on average, 22% to 31%profit after taxes). In fact, no one in charge inspected the route at the end of the
project. Ifthey had, they would have found no grass, no brush, no trees - nothing but mud, rocks, worthless soil,
and outraged property owners living on the pipeline. -.'
Would you live here? The pipe is located next to our home, barn and machine shed. We are always next to it
and don't forget about it. No one from the Office of Pipeline Safety, P G&E, or our local government check the
pipeline or talk with us. Not once have we been asked, "What's not safe"? Currently, markers outlining the
pipeline route are few to none. There is no recorded survey of the pipeline as it was being laid into the ground.
Approximately one year after the pipe was buried, the pipeline company returned to dig it up. They were unable
to locate it without the help of our videos showing the pipe being laid in a "lake" of water. The faulty route that
snakes through our valley has multiple 90-degree turns and crosses under the county road six times in less than
three miles. Without clear markers or survey infOlmation, there is an increased risk of accidental pipe damage. In
the seven years we have lived with this pipeline, we have learned about the hundreds of mishaps and accidents
associated with pipelines, the lack of "pipeline safety," the weak government regulations, and about the pipeline
officials who build and operate gas pipelines. People love the products that pipelines deliver and the wealth they
generate, but most people fear major pipelines and do not want to live where we live, ON THE LINE!
Myth: The most common cause of pipeline spills is third party damage.
Facts: The biggest cause of oil pipeline leaks is corrosion. Third party damage, or damage
caused by people who are not pipeline owners or operators (e.g., damage by abackhoe used
by afarmer), is aserious issue and the most common cause of natural gas pipeline leaks.
Three-fourths of aI/ releases from oil pipelines can be prevented by pipeline operators and
their regulators, while only the remaining quarter are caused by "outside force" (third party
plus weather-related, earthquake, landslide, and vandalism damages).
Source of Data: Office of Pipeline Safety
These numbers are underreported. The March 13, 2000 Inspector General Audit Report on Pipeline Safety
reveals that OPS reports are flawed due to inadequate information and/or lack offull disclosure by the
pipeline companies. These statistics also do not include spills less than 2100 gallons in size, which, even
with the limited data available, are significant.* One barrel equals 42 gallons.
(In barrels)
. .. ........ .- . .__.._." " .. - _.'
ALABAMA 1984-99 85 $7,193,265
8 38 893
. _. _. .. - ...... __..
..- " ......-" .-. - ._.
ALASKA 1984-99 44 $8,915,500 2 8 818
. _. ._.. _.
ARIZONA 1984-99 104 $19,721,357 10 39
.. ....... ---. _... , -... "--- .. _". ..- - -- -- .._-- - .. -_._- .- ... _.
. -
ARKANSAS 1984-99 85 $5,859,205 ; 4
- --_....
CALIFORNIA 1984-99 495 146,025,303 31 130
--- -- .-
... _- .. - . . .. - - .- -_....-'.- ...... ..- . -_.... "--_... _. ..- .. .......... . ....... --
COLORADO 1984-99 94 $10,504,958 2 43 41,602
. ,.- ..... .... .. ... - --.. .-
CONNECTICUT 1984-99 24 $,6046,210 6 10 1200
............ ....-_. .. .. _- - .".. ... . - - . ..... ... ---'. ... -_.. -" .-...-.. .... "-"-' . . .. .-....- .-... -" .. .... .. -._ ... ... ...
DELAWARE 1986-99 9 $2,140,000 0 1 360
FLORIDA 1984-99 51 $5,027,370
5 13 1503
GEORGIA 1984-99 72 $7,659,651 3 27 11005
HAWAII 1986-99 12 $1,197,757 0 2 9949
.. ....... _._, . ......
IDAHO 1985-99 15 3 738
ILLINOIS 1984-99 221 $25,028,074 14 _ I 61
. _. _.. - ...
INDIANA 1984-99 86 $14,999,683 7 65 82,178
IOWA 1984-99 110 $9,835,071 12 24 184,435
..' '--.. , '." _.. . .. .. ' .. . . - ...._.. .-- 1 . . -
_.... .... , .-
KANSAS 1984-99 232 144,011,252 7 37 99,800
KENTUCKY 1984-99 62 $10,911,496 9 29 6159
... . . ..' . --
._...... ..
LOUISIANA 1984-99 311 $52,242,099 14 85 86,546
"., ... _.. -...
MAINE 199099 3 $100,000

0 0
.._.. -
MARYLAND 1984-99 52 $87,179,371 2 15 1408
-'.'. ,'-'
.. ._.. - .. --_...... ' .. .. , .
_. ..
.. -.. .
54 $5,532,675 9 29 1,535
. - -_ .. - ..
MICHIGAN 1984-99 132 $20,851,045 15 54 42,444
.. . _.
._ .
.. _.
.. .. -. .. _.
MINNESOTA 198499 85 $7,193,265 8 38 893
MISSISSIPPI 1985-99 87 $11,715,053 15 27 11,507
. _.. _. _., - .. . .... . . " ..
MISSOURI 1984-99 138 $47,275,932 7 27 83,258
*The Environmental Protection Agency maintains records on oil spills of 50 barrels or less (2100 gallons) which would pollute naVigable
\Vaters. Those records reveal that 16,000 such spills occurred from 1989 to 1998.
** The amounts listed should be considered minimums. Not only are spills 2100 gallons or less not reported, 15% of all petroleum pipelines
-lowpressure or so-called "gathering Iinp.s" - are exempt from Federal leak-reporting requirements. According to a 1994 Friends of the
Earth report, "Crude Awakening,: The Oil Mess in America: Wasting Jobs, Energy and the Environment," by Jack Doyle, every year the oil
industry in America wasted or leaked an estimated 280 million barrels or more of oil equivalent energy - or more than three Exxon Valdez
oil spills a day.
1984-99 56 $2,294,980 3 43 9,634
OHIO 198499 145 $17,980,285 9 72 42,582
OKLAHOMA 1984-99

1985-99 25 $5,483,500 o 11 38,111
SOUTH DAKOTA 198599 26 $5,664,950 2 4 12,225
TENNESSEE 198499 71 $19,975,423 3 32 16,532
1654 $137,928,961
32 $3,842,517
1 11
. - -- ---
47 $10,759,357
52 $2,628,817
5 16
1 24
- .
198499 75 $8,879,948
1984-99 102 $8,147,555
According to OPS: North Dakota doesn't show any spills.*
*In Ihe 1994 Friends of the Earth report, "Crude Awakening" (see bottom previous page), North Dakota had Ihe following three pipeline spills
from 1984 to 1994: 15,000 gallons crude oil (Apri11992); 27,000 gallons gasoline (January 1992); and 1.3 million gallons crude oil (July 1989).
Myth: Pipelines are highly regulated.
Facts: Though Congress told the Office of Pipeline Safely (OPS, part of the U.S. Department of Transporation) in 1992 to develop regulations for
pipelines to protect the environment, OPS has yet to issue asingle such requirement. Current oil pipeline regulations developed to enhance pipeline
safety have the following serious deficiencies: they do not require periodic testing to ensure pipeline integrity, the oil pipeline regulations for corrosion
protection are minimal, and there are no leak detection requirements for oil pipelines. Rather than strengthening these regulations, in recent years
OPS has weakened its reporting requirements for oil spills, and has spent alarge portion of its staff resources developing a"Risk Management
Demonstration Projecr program to reduce governmental.requirements without fUll transparency and input from state pipeline regulators and the pUblic.
The pipeline industry contends that it is highly regulated because the rates it can charge are set by the federal government. Nevertheless, oil pipeline
industry profits (net earnings after taxes as apercentage of revenues) were on average 31 %annually since 1980.
Highlights of the u.s. General Accounting Office (GAO) Report
on Pipeline Safety and the Office of Pipeline Safety
Issued on June 15, 2000
The recent U.S. General Accounting Office report documents the federal Office of Pipeline Safety's oversight of the pipeline industry. It is not a
pretty picture. According to Congressman John Dingle, ranking member of the House Committee on Commerce, the GAO's report, together
with the Inspector General's Report on Pipeline Safety, " paint apicture of an agency that places disturbing amounts of faith in the
Industry it is supposed to regulate, and is either unable or unWilling to carry out any of its responsibilities under the law. "2 Among
the most disturbing finding:
II The number of fl!ajor pipeline accidents - those resulting in afatality, injury or more than $50,000 in property damage - increased four
percent annually between 1989 and 1998. In all, 226 people were killed, more than 1,030 people were injured, and property damage
reached $700 million in 2241 major accidents.
II During this period. OPS almost eliminated the use of fines as an enforcement tool - decreasing monetary penalties by more than a90
percent. OPS claims that this strategy allows them to work more constructively with pipeline companies, but the office has made no
attempt to determine whether this policy actually improves industry compliance and pipeline safety.
Despite its role as overseer of the pipeline industry, OPS does not collect comprehensive information on the causes of pipeline accidents.
II OPS is not complying with the law. It has failed to implement 22 of 49 requirements mandated by Congress since 1988 to improve the
safety of pipelines. Ten of these 22 requirements were to be completed by deadlines stated in the statutes and are now between about 5
and 11 years past those deadlines.
OPS has the lowest rate of any transportation agency for implementing National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommendations.
including issues on which NT?B has reported repeatedly.
As pipeline accidents are worsening, the tiny, understaffed Office of Pipeline Safety* is discontinuing use of states to help conduct
inspections of interstate pipelines (*57 field inspectors to police 2.2 million miles of pipeline, or one inspector per 38.000 miles of pipe).
Without any evidence to support its action, OPS is continuing to move ahead with arisk-based approach to pipeline safety regulation,
authorized in the 1996 pipeline legislation. By March 31,.2000, OPS was required to provide an evaluation and make recommenda-
tions as to whether risk management principles should be incorporated into the federal pipeline safety program. OPS has not provided
this report nor complied with statutory requirements or its own guid.ance on developing performance measures for the project. Despite a
Presidential directive that environmental and safety benefits superior to existing regulatory requirements be shown, many participating
companies are not even collecting the data necessary to support an evaluation of the program's safety impacts. Yet, OPS has proposed a
rule on inspection of pipelines in high consequence areas (that would apply to 87 percent of the nation's hazardous liquid pipeline
mileage) which substantially incorporates riSk-management, all without a"... s!lred of credible. quantifiable evidence"3 to show that this
method achieves evell minimal levels of protection. let alone superior levels. ;
I The GAO report (GAO/RCEDQQ-128) covers the extent of major pipeline accidents from 1989 to 1998, the Ollice of Pipeline Safety's (OPS) implementation of risk management
demonstration projects authorized by the Accountable Pipeline Safety and Partnership Act of 1996. OPS inspeclion and enforcement efforts since 1996. OPS' responsiveness to
slatulory requirements and recommendations from lhe National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and the current status of the investigation into the June 1999 Bellingham,
Washington pipeline explosion.
2 June 14, 2000 letter from Congressman John Dingle to Department of Transportation Secretary, Rodney E. Slater. The GAO report was prepared at the request
of Congressman Dingle.
Myth: More regulation is just more regulation; it doesn't assure us that pipelines will actually be made safer.
Fact: During the late 1980s and early 1990s, there were numerous accidents in the chemical and energy industries, which resulted in tremendous
loss of life and severe environmental contamination. With the passage of the Clean Air Act and implementation of process safety management
Legislation in the early 90s, these industries have been required to improve their management processes, and subsequently their safety records have
improved significantly. Unfortunately, oil industry lobbyists have succeeded in having liquid fuel transmission pipelines exempted from such
legislation. .
National Pipeline Reform Coalition Fact Sheet
Changes Needed to Protect the Public and the
Environment from Pipeline Spills and Leaks-
Regulatory Actions That:


; ~ f

f ~

i ~
Mandate periodic testing, including internal inspection/pressure testing, of oil and natural gas pipelines to ensure continued safe service, as
recommended by NTSB
Require leakdetectionwith adeadline to do so, including performancestandards for leak-detection systems, and remote/automatic shut-off valves
when releases are detected
Ensure adequate corrosion protection for oil pipelines (recommended by NTSB in 1989 and 1988, the latter after the Lively, Texas
explosion killed two teenagers)
Require fail-safe operations and hydrostatictesting for those pipeline segments with asignificant history of ruptures
Protect the environment from pipeline hazards, including protection of environmentally sensitive areas (required bylaw, still to be defined
Require reporting of smaller/slower releases (the current threshold is too high), better information on release causes, and reporting of leaks
to groundwater
Cover more types of oil pipelines, including "gathering" pipelines located in oil production fields
Address pipelines that have achange in service with appropriate reporting and upgrade standards
Essential Changes to the Pipeline Safety Act:
Allow states to establish requirements above federal minimums for interstate pipelines, provided these do not conflict with federal stan-
dards, in order to meet local environmental and safety needs (e.g., more closely spaced shut-off valves, enhanced inspections and leak
detection, better reporting, etc.)
Remove the "regulatory reform" cost-benefit provisions since they are designed to slow development of new regulations; other federal
agencies do not have such requirements
Provide additional enforcement authority and resources to state pipeline agencies
Strengthen the citizen suit provisions to facilitate private enforcement actions
Include strict liability provisions for releases
Develop acommunity right-to-know program for pipelines, which includes direct accountability to the pUblic on company actions, to prevent
and mitigate accidents
-Establishregi6hal-advisory councilS to enable pUblic and local government representatives to make substantive recommendations to the
pipeline industry and its regulators
e' Include whistle blower protection provisions for pipeline employees
41 Create an ombudsman position within OPS to track and help address public concerns
Mylh: Pipeline safety regulations are 100 costly and time-consuming.
Fact: Pipeline companies only measure the additional cents per barrel transported cost when calculating how much new regUlations will cost them.
They also resist hydrostatic testing because it forces them to shut down their lines temporarily, and thus lose money. But there are many other "costs"
associated with unsafe pipelines. Since 1984, the Office of Pipeline Safety reports that there have been 408 fatalities, over 4000 injuries, and over one
billion dollars in property damage as aresult of pipeline accidents - and there is no accounting of the environmental damage wrought by toxic fuels
leaking from pipelines into aquifers and soils.
The bottom line is that it is cheaper for companies not to maintain pipelines. This needs to change. Koch Industries in Kansas was recently fined $30
million by the Environmental Protection Agency for over 300 separate spills of crude oil, gasoline, and other oil products between 1990 and 1997. The
company simply waited for the pipelines to fail, rather than testing them. The clean up and repair of the Olympic pipeline explosion in Bellingham has
already cost more than $20 million. Stiffer penalties and sensible, "ounce of prevention" measures are asmall price to pay to avoid tragedies.
A Critique of the Pending Federal Pipeline Legislation:
Substance or Show?
by David Bricklin
With few exceptions, the overriding flaw in pipeline "reform" legislation pending before Congress is the continued reliance on the
Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS). Under various proposed bills, OPS could decide:
1) What safety measures will be required;
2) The extent of citizen oversight; and
3) Whether violators will be sUbject to fines and civil penalties.
Nothing in the legislation is directed at reforming OPS. Given OPS's woeful record, enacting laws that give this poorly performing
agency more and more authority is highly unlikely to result in meaningful change.
Integrity Management Program: This could be the centerpiece of apipeline reform bill. It would require pipeline companies to
develop safety programs meeting clearly defined, new and higher standards. But under the proposed legislation, Congress has
not specified those standards. Rather, these bills uniformly allow pipeline companies to develop their own safety programs. The
safety programs so developed are to be reviewed by OPS, utilizing standards set by OPS. Past standard-setting efforts by that
agency inspire little confidence that any new standards will be promulgated in atimely manner or that they will be sUfficiently
stringent or precise.
Increased Fines: The proposed bills generally increase the maximum fine OPS can assess. Historically, however, the problem
has not been astatutory cap on fines. The problem is that OPS usually does not impose fines at all. Raising the ceiling does not
address this serious issue.
Increased Civil Liability: As is the case regarding imposition of fines, many of the bills under consideration authorize the
Department of Justice (DOJ) to seek civil penalties. But these bills all handcuff DOJ. It cannot act unless acase is referred to it
by the Office of Pipeline Safety. There is nothing in these bills or otherwise to substantiate the notion that OPS will suddenly start
referring more cases to DOJ for civil prosecution.....
Oversight: Right to Know: Many of the bills generally provide for increased citizen access to information about pipelines. In
some areas, Congress actually takes the next step and mandates disclosure of particular information (e.g., pipeline routes). But
most of the key information necessary to evaluate acompany's safety program is not specifically identified. Instead, OPS is given
the responsibility to decide how much detail must be prOVided. Historically, OPS has sided with the pipeline industry and
supported non-disclosure of the most ijertinent information, citing proprietary needs and other similar grounds. .
Oversight: Regional Advisory Councils: Some of the proposed bills include aprovision authorizing OPS to establish Regional
Advisory Councils (RACs). Well implemented, RACs can be valuable entities providing much needed oversight of the pipeline
industry. But, once again, the bills leave it entirely up to OPS' discretion whether to create these councils. And, even if created,
the amount of money prOVided to them is also entirely left up to OPS. Without adequate and substantial funding, RACs cannot be
Other Significant flaws: Nothing in the proposed legislation requires the pipeline industry to replace old pipes. There is also no
requirement that existing pipes be retrofitted to allow for internal inspection of those pipes (with bends and obstructing valves) that
do not currently allow for internal inspection. The recent deadly pipeline explosion in New Mexico involved acorroded 50-year-
old pipe. Internal inspections to detect and correct flaws were not possible. Although routine internal inspections will be reqUired
under the proposed legislation (for those pipes which can be internally inspected, about 50 percent of U.S. pipelines), if defects
are discovered, there is no standard set for what type of anomaly would require further inspection or corrective action. In the
tragic Bellingham, Washington explosion, aknown anomaly found during an internal inspection was never investigated or
repaired. It should be noted that when apipeline is ' ~ e s t e d for corrosion," this may mean only that apipeline's corrosion retardant
systems, which are supposedto prevent corrosion, are being tested. Such atest does not detect existing corrosion.
Regional Advisory Councils Provide Meaningful Oversight
What Works: Finding New Ways to Prevent Oil Spills and Pollution
Formed in the wake of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, Alaska's Re-
gional Citizens' Advisory Councils (RCACs) serve as successful mod-
els for Regional Advisory Councils (RACs) nationwide. They were in-
troduced in the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA '90) as formally recog-
nized organizations with mandated funding that flows directly from the
industries who benefit from their advice. Their mission is to prevent oil
spills and pollution from oil transport operations, Alaska's RCACs are
unique as public advisory groups because they are: mandated by fed-
eral law; well funded; independent from political and economic pres-
sure; and assured ahigh level of access to necessary information
sources (I.e., oil pipeline terminal facilities). With enough money to hire
technical experts, conduct research, and monitor the oil industry,
Alaska's RCACs provide high-quality information, solutions and advice
to the oil industry and the public.
During the 1O-year anniversary of the Exxon Valdez tragedy, the RCACs
were praised for their work. Alaska Senator Frank Murkowski
wrote, It, the oversight and creativity of the councils have helped
make Alaska's oil transportation system the best in the world, . , . With
America importing 56 percent of the oil we consume, we need to spread
the word nationwide about how well citizens' advisory councils have
worked to prevent complacency from undermining the safe transport of
oi!." Praise also comes from the oil industry itself. Bob Malone, Presi-
dent of Alyeska Pipeline Services noted, "At Alyeska, we have learned
that we can create an open environment where people feel comfort-
able raising concerns and working together to achieve results, The
proof is in our effort with the citizens' council."
OPA'90 calls on Congress to replicate these successful models. Clearly,
the Alaskan RCACs are working. Despite their success in citizen over-
sight of the oil industry, there are no other RCACs in the U.S. Pipeline
reform advocates are requesting that Congress, during the reauthori-
zation of the Pipeline Safety Act, establish Regional Advisory Councils
to focus on pipeline safety.
photo by Charlie Stanton, Fire Coordinator, Schoharie County, New York
The Thick
Fog of March
Blenheim, NewYork
by Sabrina Johnson
(excelpt from tlie spring/summer 2000 issue of
The Planet magazine)
Looking south to Blenheim, New York.
from New York State Route 30 -
this is what the fire department crew
saw as they drove to the scene of the
pipeline accident.
Early on March 13, 1990, someone noticed a [propane] leak
and called assistant fire chief Robert Hitchcock. He went to the
nearest intersecton, about ahalf-mile fromthe leak, to direct traffic
away from the road. The leak, however, occurred at the top of a .
narrow valley above the intersection. The propane became athick
fog, filling the intersection and surrounding area with propane.
Hitchcock's daughter was leaving for school that morning.
As she approached the intersection the fog was so thick she could
not see. She tried t,o stop. She struck Richard Smith's car in front
of her. Soon after the collison the gas ignited. Hitchcock received
third degree burns all over his body. His daughter had severe
burns on her face and hands. All of the cars stopped in traffic
were on fire, Nine houses and several buildings also caught on
fire. Hitchcock and Smith died as a result of their burns. All nine
houses were destroyed. The fire burning at the leak burned all
through the night, nearly 24 hours, before it finally died out.
Blenheim city supervisor, Bob Mann, said the pipeline rup-
tured because repairs during during this time were done improp-
erly, causing uneven pressure. .
The town of 334 was unprepared to deal with the situation.
"I didn't know what was in the pipeline," Mann said. "If we
hadn't had the accident, I still wouldn't know."
Mann said the response from the pipeline company was swift
and provided $250,000 above its settlements with people who
lost their homes.
"It's easy to look back and see many of the mistakes that were
made by both the town and pipeline company," Mann said. "If
such an incident were to occur again, I know that we are better
Burning homes
south of
New York
State Route 30 and
West Kill Road;
the fire
was still en
route to the
scene of the
photo py Charlie Sianton, Fire Coordinator. Schoharie County. New York
prepared than we were then. However, I also know that we are nowhere near as prepared as we should be."
Mann hopes to see many things changed in the near future. He said pipeline testing should be required and fre-
quent, and pipelines should be equipped with an automatic shut-off valve that activates on pressure loss. He said he
also feels pipeline companies should infOlm the community when they work on a pipeline.
InfOlming a community about pipeline repairs doesn't mean the community will be prepared for an accident.
However, it may grant the opportunity to ask questions and think about possible problems.
According to a report by Pates* titled "Out of sight, out of mind: What every local government should know about
pipeline safety," roughly 1.8 million miles of gas and liquid pipelines carry hazardous materials to urban areas and
through environmentally sensitive regions across the country. The nation's natural gas pipeline is about eight times
longer than its liquid one, extending to almost every street in most cities.
"Every street in most cities" makes this a national problem. Thousands of accidents and hundreds of deaths create
a'strong argument for change. More training, more testing and more disclosure need to come forth from this industry,
as ignorance and accidents apparently go hand in hand. It is only with education that eradication becomes a possibil-
*James Pates is a Fredricksburg, Virginia city attorney (see related article on page 18).
Rubble fro111-
one of nine
homes destroyed
after a propane
pipeline exploded
in the rural
town of
New York.
photo by Charlie Stonton. Fire CU<Jnlimllllr. Schoharie County. New York
- Anne Bricklin
photo by Charlie Stanton, Fire Coordinator, Schoharie County. New York
Blenheim, New York residents
look on the aftermath of a
pipeline explosion that
devastated their community
March 13, 1990.
The eelie scene above looks like something straight out of World War II, not small town America in 1990. It is
emblematic of the man-made destmction so prevalent in the last century. We are enteling a new era, however. It is the
dawn of the 21,I century. We are the most prosperous nation on earth, our technology the envy of the world. It is also
a time of great challenge. Our oil and gas delivery system depends upon a 2.2-million-mile network of pipelines
running under our neighborhoods, parks and schools. This aging, poorly maintained, poorly regulated infrastructure
leaks large amounts of hazardous fuel, generating greenhouse gases and contaminating water supplies, wetlands and
habitat on a daily basis. All too often, those releases lead to tragedies like the one in Blenheim, New York. Our
pipeline system symbolizes much of the bad of the past centuly, when the rush to growth and expansion, coupled with
greed, led to waste and pollution. Today we know better. We have the means to fix it. The question remains whether
we have the will. Wliter George W. S. Trow said it very well, in his in-depth article on the 1989 San Bernardino
pipeline explosion: "I learned quite a bit about the scale of things in America while I was reporting this story. We are
set up to build. And we are set up to respond to disaster. Wpat we are willing to do to forestall disaster is: very little." I
More than a decade later, Trow's bleak assessment still lings true. But it does not have to be. At a time of unprec-
edented wealth and knowledge, we can change the status quo and demand that our pipeline systems are safe, well
maintained and regulated. Future generations will thank us.
I George W. S. Trow, "A Reporter at Large - Devastation" The New Yorker, 66, no. 36 (1990): 68
What Can You Do?
Share this publication with others to raise awareness about the dangers pipelines pose
Call and write your Congre.ssional Representatives and ask them to support the pipeline safety reforms
described in this book
Write letters to the editor of your local paper about the dangers pipelines pose
Join the National Pipeline Reform Coalition
The National Pipeline Reform Coalition is adiverse, national network of environmental and safety organiza-
tions, local government, and labor unions formed to protect the environment, property, and public safety from
releases from hazardous liquid and natural gas pipelines, through research, technical assistance, litigation, and
advocacy. An April 2000 conference had organizational and state/local government representatives from 15
states, including Alaska, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas,
Vermont, and Washington.
Fuel Safe Washington is acoalition of property owners, labor, business, environmental and public safety inter-
ests. We are avoice advocating for fuel transportation safety. Our mission is to promote aregional fuel policy that
protects our environment, safety, and quality of life by:
Improving the s a ~ e t y of pipeline, tanker, barge, truck, and rail fuel delivery systems
Encouraging fuel conservation
Promoting alternatives to hazardous, nonrenewable, fossil fuels
For additional information please visit the following web sites:
www.fuelsafewashington.org I www.pipelinereform.org
To obtain additional copies of this publication, please send your request along with a donation to National
Pipeline Reform Coalition, c/o Fuel Safe Washington, PO Box 2635, Seattle, WA 98111.
Harmful or fatal if swallowed
Long-term exposure to vapors has caused
cancer in laboratory animals.
Avoid prolonged breathing of vapors.
Keep face away from nozzle and gas tank.
Keep away from eyes and skin.
Never siphon by mouth.
Do not overfill tank.
Staff raps LNG firm over pipeline
Planners recommend hearing officer deny land-use application for liquefied natural gas project
The DailyAstorian
Clatsop County staff has recommended that Hearings Officer Peter Livingston deny a land-use application to put 41
miles of pipeline through the county for the Oregon LNG liquefied natural gas project.
A pUblic hearing for Oregon Pipeline LLC's consolidated land use application began Thursday in Astoria. The
proposed pipeline is 121 miles long and would connect to a natural gas hub in Molalla. Of this, 41 miles would
cross through Clatsop County at a slant, running in a southeasterly direction from Warrenton, crossing seven
different zoning designations and three special overlay zones.
According to the county, natural gas pipelines are allowed in those zones as outright permitted uses or conditional
The primary issue Clatsop County staff had with Oregon Pipeline's application was that the company's process was
not clear, especially where the company plans to send the pipeline under Columbia River estuary waters.
Keith Jones, a consultant for the county with Harper Houf Peterson Righellis Inc., a consulting firm based in
Portland, Vancouver, Wash., and Bend, said they did not feel the impacts on the estuary (and elsewhere) had been
completely illustrated.
The company proved they have enough information, he said, but not that they've completed a thorough analysis.
Mike Connors, who works for Oregon Pipeline, said there was some confusion over the county's code
requirements. From what he understood, the county was asking for an impact assessment, but, he said, this is not
required under the county's Comprehensive Plan and the Land, Water, and Development Ordinance. However, the
company prOVided more information anyway.
The company sent the addftionai information on tliepipeline's impacts to Livingston and county staff in aletter-type
document dated June 9. The county did not have time to review this before the hearing. .
Clatsop County Planner Jennifer Bunch said it became apparent during the hearing that the county and the
company were talking about two different things: impact statement (analysis) versus impact assessment.
It appears to be afine diUerence, Bunch said. "We'll talk about this and figure it out," she said.
"That is an issue that has to be resolved," said Ed Wegner, county land use planning director, who said the county
does require an impact statement.
The county also concluded the project did not comply with several goals laid out in the staff report, including the
completion of a geotechnical report and impact assessment, natural hazards concerns (specifically policies to deal
with erosion and shoreline stabilization), and the line the route cuts through some existing properties.
The company had originally said the route would follow existing easements, rights-of-way and property lines,
county staff said in the staff report. A map, however, shows the route cutting straight through and there has been
no documentation that supports the company's original claim, staff said during the hearing.
"It's not as if a lot of thought hasn't been put in about where to route (the pipe)," Connors said. With development
on the scale proposed by Oregon Pipeline, though, he added, "there isn't any development that avoids any impact."
Oregon Pipeline is part of a suite of companies that make up Oregon LNG, which is funded by the New York
holding company, Leucadia National Inc. Oregon LNG has proposed developing an LNG terminal on the Skipanon
Peninsula in Warrenton.
The terminal project would be located within Warrenton's city limits, but is not part of the pipeline land-use
As has been the tradition with any public hearing involving LNG, the main meeting room at the JUdge Guy
Boyington Building was crammed with people. .
Many of those in opposition to the Oregon LNG project had testified against the NorthernStpr LNG project earlier
this year. -
At this hearing, they were concerned primarily with the proposed route the pipeline would take, how this would
affect property values and public safety issues.
Hans Mulder, assistant fire chief with the Elsie-Vinemaple Rural Firl3 District, was the only person to testify during
time reserved for state agency reports.
The fire district's concerns weren't as much about how the pipe went in, but what would happen after it was in
place, he said.
"A natural gas pipeline poses huge risks," Mulder said. Risks that the district, staffed entirely by volunteers,
is not ready to take on. They lack both the equipment and the training to deal with explosions or fires
resulting from a burst pipe, he said.
The fire district officially covers around 30 square miles. In reality, the coverage is more like 500 square miles since
they answer calls in the forestry land as well.
Access to water is just the beginning of the problems Mulder foresees. If a problem happens down by the river,
firefighters could simply pump the river. But if something happens farther in, perhaps in more isolated areas,
the district will have to bring the water with them.
"If it blows up, it's not just going to be fire," Mulder said. It's going to be a big boom that could take down
trees and houses, he said.
There was not enough time to hear all the testimony so Livingston announced that the hearing will continue June
25, starting at 5 p.m. at the Judge Guy Boyington Building, 857 Commercial St., Astoria.
If all the testimony is heard at that time and the company and county staff also have time to respond, the hearing
will close.
If not all the testimony is heard, a third session would be held July 8 at 1 p.m. at the Judge GUy Boyington BUilding.
Written comments may be submitted to the Community Development OffiCi? at 800 Exchange St., Astoria.
The entire application and accompanying documents are available on the Clatsop County website,
(www.co.c1atsoD.or.US). The application file can also be viewed at the Transportation and Development Services
office, 800 Exchange St., Suite 100 during normal business hours.
(Emphasis Added)
20071004-5081 FERC PDF (Unofficial) 10/04/2007 04:52:07 PM
.' ". t; i' 'h '.', ; i ; ld"1\ !'.: t (! ';
J" ..\, t.H.\t {, \:, ; l.k ",! n, \ at f (H: ( :. tlAY, .f)1\!
.october 4} 2007
20071004-5081 PERC PDP (Unofficial) 10/04/2007 04:52:07 PM
The'Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) issues this Safety Advisory Report on behalf of the State of
Oregon pursuant to section 311(d) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (the Act). The report conlZerns the
application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) by Jordan Cove Energy Project LP, (jCEP)
to construct a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) import terminal
with an assodated natural gas pipeline
application submitted by Pacific G.as Connector Pipeline L.P. (peGP). The Jordan Cove Terminal wO.uis pe
located in Coos County, Oregon on the North Spit of Coos Bay, near the dties of .Coos.gay and North Bend.
Jordan Cove ftJ.ea Its wlthFERCon September 4,2007.
The Act allowS' the stateto file ali advisory report that identifies and local within
30 dqys of the date tlieapplllXltion 'is' filed. ihe "safetY" information solltltea fn tfteadvisOty report lslargety.
repetitlVe of Information that Jordan Cove Itself provides in Its appllcaUon to HERe in itstermlnsl appliCation
and in Its Waterway Suitabfllty Assessment (WSA) to the Coast Guard. It is infOrmation that Jerdan COve'also
must provide In its emergency response plan to be developed In cOnjunction with the Coast Guard, the st:ite,
and appropriate local jurisdictions prior to any construction.
The State of Oregon has been intimately Involved in reviewlng and commel'ltingonJor.aan Cove!gpre'"flilng
. and application resource reports,and is Invo1ved with the Coast Guara in rev.lewing To tile
extent tMt the State, disagrees Wlththt:; informcition Jordan Cove hps. :or will, pr'l).v,lde:0.1'1 issues
in those venues" the state will purSue corrections or chanQes through the abcNe-review processes. Fer .
example, the WSA s\Jbmltted by' Jordan Cove does not reflect the most reGent clislf;ussions''!;le.tweell JeEP,
ODOE, local response a.gendes and otlTler stateagencles"regarcling the area's emergeneyrespof;lse
capabilities and the proper allocation of augmented The Department will work With the COast
Guard, other state agencies and local jurisdictiOns to correct the information under the WSA process.
The State considered providing FERC with specific scenarios for evaluating acddental or intentional r.eleases
of LNG from a vessel or the facility itself, Again, however, such scenarios playa ro1e bo.th in theWSAand In
the forthcoming emergency response planning. Moreover, based on recent Commission approvals.of.lNG
terminal projects, the state believes theFERC will find that the risk of any potential LNG release $Ceharlo>can
be reduced to an acceptable minimum.
On June 15, 2006
FBRCat:1proved three new LN.G terminal Sempra!s LNG in P..ortAithur
Texas; Cheniere's Creole TraillNGin cameron Parish, and BP America Rreductlon C0rilpany
Crown Landing LNG in Logan Township In New Jersey. The language in the CommIssion's Creole "frail
decision about the risk of an acc(dental LNG release is mirrored in the other two decisions:
Based on the extensive operational experience of LNG shlp!'Jing, the structural sesignof an
LNG vessel, and the op.erational controls imposed by the Coast Guard and the local pilots} a
cargo containment failure and subsequent LNG spill from a vessel casualty - collision,
grOUnding, or alUslon - Is highly unlikely. For sImilar reasons, an aecldent Involving the
onshore LNG Import tar.minalls unlikely to affect the pUblic. As a result
that the risk to the public from acddental causes Is negltglble.
Further, the language In the Commissionfs Creole Trail decision about the riskofa.n Intentional LNG release is
also mIrrored In the other two decisions:
20071004-5081 FERC PDF (Unofficial) 10/04/2007 04:52:07 PM
Unlike accidental causes, historical experience provides little gUidance In estimating the
probability of aterroFist attack on an LNG vesseler onsRefe Fora' mew' .LNG
import terminal pr.oposal having a large volume of energy transp:oltetfand,stored"near
pO,pulated the perceivedthreat.ofa terrorist a oHne
population and T&iuires that resources be directed to mitigate p0ss1ble attack paths. If the
Coast Guard issues a Letter of RecommendatIon finding the waterway suitable for LNG
marine traffic, the operational restrictions that would be imposed by the Lake Charles Pilots
on LNG vessel movements through this area, as well as the requirerrtel'lts -that the Coast
Guard would impose, would minilfllle the possibility of a, hazardous eventoccurr.ing along the-
vessel transit area. While the risks associated with the transportation of any hazardous cargo
can never be entirely eliminated, we are confident that they can be reduced t{) minimal levels
and that the public will be well protected from harm.
The Department notes that FERC staff reached a slmllar conclusion regarding the proposed Bradwood
Landing project. On August 17, 2007, FERC staff Issued the Draft Environmental Impact Statement fBEIS)
for Btadwood Landing. The above two paragraphs appear, in neatly ideriticallanguage, in that OEISas well.
DEIS at p.ES-6. .
For the above reasons, in this advisory report the State ptovldes largely broad safety pGlicy statementsao0.ut
the proposed Jordan Cove project along with a limited amount of specific, technical comments. In addition,
the State of Oregon incorporates by reference the safety comments included In previous filings to,the FERC
docket, including PF06-25.
Although the application ttl FERC Is limited in scope to the LNG terminal and pipeline, we GOOsider
the risks from a release of LNG on the inlet to ,be among the most signifIcant sat,ety:, concerns vitrh
. the facility. The safety of the LNG terminal Is strongly connected to the questlqn of,safety on the Inletena In
the Gommul'1ities that the LNG carriers must pass. We expect FERC toadGlress Issues and concerns raised' by
sta'kehoJders in those communities and'to consider the safety ofthose determining whether
to approve, and-if so, how to condItion the LNG terminal and associated pipeline.
Each of the state and local agendes in Oregon, whether or not they <::ontrlbuted to this Cldvrsory rep'ort,
reserve their right to file additional joint or separate comments and/or eyidence on sa'few,and other
State of Oregon General Policy Comments
1. should req.uifean appUeant to committo 100 percent :of the safety and security 'COsts
dire(;ttyassodated with the LNG vessel transits, the fa'eilit'{, and the
Under Section 311(e)(2)) an emergency response plan (ERP}to be developed pr.lor to constructfonmust
include a cost-sharing plan that Includes a"description of any direct cost that tfI'e
applicant agrees to provide to any State and local agencies with r-esponsibiilty'fbrsecurlty and safew at
the LNG terminal and in proximity to vessels that selVe the faCility." The State understands and
appreciates that JeEP has agreed thus far to pick up the costs of most safety and security needs that the
company has identified as necessary. However, the local jurisdictions are not In a position to declitate
their own limited funds to any LNG safety and security measures that may be r.equired. In addition, local
jurisdictions may not agree with an applicant about the level of resources r-equired. An applialnt should
first be required to pay for an adequate assessment of safety and security needs and then pay for all
infrastructure, planning, drilling and other associated costs identified in an ERP agreed to by the state
and local jurisdictions. Conditions proposed In the DEIS for Bradwood landing would require,a Cbs.t-
Sharing Plan to be filed with FERC prior teO initial site preparation. How.eyer, the DEIS Is silent OIl What
percentage of costs, if anYI could be borne by state or local jurisdictions. ShO\1ldF-ERCnot rcequiretne'
applltant to' commit to: 100 percent ofthe costs, FERC should' eX15lalh rts authority f<:ir imposing
on local jUrisdictions and the state.
2. The safetyjsecurity. zones pro.posed for the vess.el in transit and v.essel at dock must
20071004-5081 FERC PDF (Unofficial) 10/04/2007 04:52:07 PM
be.sufficiently ealculated and justified. the applicant or Coast Guard m.ust thoroUShly
explain any changestothose zones that might accompany heightened: national S.I3GUfity as
well as any resulting Impacts.
Some area residents have expressed concern that the safety/security zones will be so large thatrtheyWJ/I.
"shut down" traffic on the COos eay Inlet or access to recreational and commerclal fishing, and
harvesting of other seafood products near the proposed terminal site. Others have concern
that the safety/security zones will be too small, sized to avoId the above Concern rather than for
adequate safety protection. Moreover, residents of the small communities on the Eastern shore of the
Inlet have expressed concern that the potential for an emergency affecting their communities is
considered acceptable primarily because of the small size of these commuriitii.:s. Any zones proposed
should provide a rationale for their size.
3. FERC should require an applicant to complete an acceptable ERP prior to any Commission
decision on an application and tn conjunction with the COast Guard's validatron ofthe
Waterway Suitability Assessment.
Under Section 311(e)(1){ FERCwill not require Bradwood to an ERP until after a positive decision
by FERC and just before any final approval to begin construction. However, to the ement that JCEP's WSA
relies on the creation of a satisfactory emergency response, plan to ensure that the CoosBay Il'\let Is
suitab.le for LNG, that ernergency response plan must beavaUable for review prior to any decisions on
both the WSA and the FERC application. Again learning from the 8radwood Lan(jJng experlence, tlte
recommended cQnditions in the DEIS would require the applicant for that prior
to construction, but after FERC's decisIon to approve the project. (Draft Conditions, 62 and 63 at p..S-BO.)
It would be illogIcal for either the Commission or the Coast Guard to decide that LNG Is safefur the
region without knowing first if a suitable emergency response plan can be enacted along the vesse1 route
and at the facillty.
In Resource Report 11 of the application, section 11.3.1, JCEP states that It will develop'manuals,
procedures and plans that address safety and security In accordance with estab.lished regulations. Other
than NVIC 05-05, we have not found 'regulatlons that prOVide detailed gUidance
4. The applicant's ERP must be developed in full cooperation with stateandlocaJ authorities.
Emergency response planning must be an integrated, carefully developed effort that Involv.es ev.ery entity
that Is potentially affected by the LNG import terminal. .
5. rhe applicant's must sufficiently and accurately characterize the emergency response
capabilities along the vessel transit route and near the facility, inc!udingresponsetimes. The
Plan must mitigate for any safety gaps.
Thus far, the state and local jurisdictions have not reached agreement.as to whichjurlsdictlon will have
primary responSibility and authority in the event of an acdsent or intentional breach. Agreement also
has n9t been reached on the resource gaps, and proper allocation of supplemental resources. The USCG
and FERC should not find that the waterway Is suitable until it is known that these issues have been
6. The applicant's. ERPmust inclUde aU p.otentiaUYiiff$te:d communities;along the LNG vessel
route and neal' the terminal in a comprehensive, thoroughly pUbli'dze:d. watrting system.
Any community located within one of the three Sandia zones of Imj)act must be considered In emergency
response plans, InCluding access to a reverse 911 system aYldslrens.
1. The applitat'lt's ERP must ac-count for potential populatiot'l lheresse due to' t<>urism.
The Coos Bay area population Increases significantly during high tourism season. Depending on the
location of those visitors, the Influx may bring challenges for LNG emergency response education as well
as LNG ship transit education. The Department is particularly concerned about access and safe'egress
because U.S. highway 101 is the only major route in or out of the area, and it 'becomes congested during
peak hours in high tourist season.
20071004-5081 FERC PDF (Unofficial) 10/04/2007 04:52:07 PM
8. Any FERC authorization for an LNG terminal and associated pipeline in 0regon must fully
comply with Oregon state and local laws and regulations; including energy fa:eilitys.itirtg
laws. .
In particular, the state of Oregon requires large energy facilities to provide a:bond: or .letter of'cre:qibifuJ
ensure that the prQposedsite can be restored to a useable, non-haZarS01JS We Gonsider the
bond or letter of credit to be a safety precaution against a potentially abandoned orothefWise vaGated
site. Thus far
the applicant does not appear to have addressed this issue In application materials.
State of Oregon Specific comments
Seismic Design
The Department is particularly concerned about the potential for tsunami. Recent statements by DOGAMI
follOWing the 2005 tsunami in Sumatra indicate that maximum tsunami height could be up to 20 feet higher
than previously thought. In discussion with DOGAMI staff stationed at NewpQrt, Oregon, we have been told
that deepening the channel would tend to increase maximum tsunami height, FERCshould require that the
design basis tsunami takes Into account the height increase caused by dredging the channel.
Hazard Identification
Hazards potentially affecting the public are discussed In Resource Report 11 arid Its attachments. As.r-equired
by NFPA 59A, Bradwood landing used the LNGFIRE and DEGADIS ctldes to calculate thermal radiation and
vapor dispersion from the design basis spill. Resource report 11 ihdudes isopleth drawings and input
for these calculatlo'fls at Attachment ilA. We assume but could not verify that intentional spills were
assumed, since they likely bound any aecident scenario.
We note that thermal radiation maps in attachment 11A appear to be centered at the tanks and the d0Ck,
Because the accident or intentIonal spill could just as easlly happen at the carrier during the eight mile
voyage from the mouth ofCCos Bay to the terminal, the thermal radiation maps and vapor dispersion m.aps
should be shown at all poInts along-this voyage. For the JGEP, the nearest affected: popJ;1latibrl. is in'o$t'likely'
not near the terminal but rather the small.communities 6n the eastern sHore of the 'Inlet, and theresidi;lnces
In North B.end in the pony Slough area as the ship approaches theterminal.
safety discussion in Resource Rep0rt 11 appears to rely heavily on the 2004 sandia Report, and
particularly on the Zones of Concern tdentified in that report anddted in NVIC 05-05. H0wever, resQurce
reports 1and 10 of JeEP's application state that the terminal will be designed to accommoGiate ships with
capacity over 200,000 m
The zones of <:oncern in the Sandia report were based on' ships smaller than
150,000 m
FERC's recommendation for this project should be conditioned on ships no larger than' those
assumed in any heat flux and vapor dispersion calculation,
The assumption of pure methane is probably riot of, aGtuaJ and may not be conservative.
In public meetings, JeEP has disclosed that product could come from a variety of produd.il1'g natiOI1$i lnGludil1g
some where the LNG has a higher concentration of natural gesliq!Jids such as propane. Some ofthese
higher-weight hydrocarbons have higher potential for vapor dispersion than pure meI:hane, We expect FERC
to verify that conservative assumptions were used in NfPA 59A required calculations. The EIS for this project
sho.uld explain how these assumptions were made and why they are the most
Quality AssuraMe
In our SafetY Advisory Report for Bradwood Landing, dated June 2006/ ODOE Induded extensive comments
on the need for a rigorous. Qualit Assurance program that wouid be subject to regulatory 'review pr%r to.
start of construction. We note that the BradwQod DEIS does not include a of such a pf0gram, and
we renew the recommendation and incorporate our comments from tnatJyne 2006 reportinw,thisone. The
State e>q)ects the Commission to describe and Impose acondition requiring: JCEP to adopt'8 ffgorous ana
comprehensive quality program applicable during both construction and operation of'tfue irnl'l0rt
20071004-5081 FERC PDF {Unofficial} 10/04/2007 04:52:07 PM
Safety Issues
The state of Oregon has revleweq the Safety Advisory Report 01'1 the proposed LNGterminal at the Port of
Long Beach Issued bythe California Energy Commission (CEC). That report r.elles .Iargely on material taken
from two readily avallable reports: (1) the SaAdia Labs' November 2004: report "Guldal1ce on
and Safety Implications of a Large Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Spill Over Water' (SsndlaReport) ancl(2)
Richard Clark's "LNG Facilities in Urban Areas."
The safety significant events listed in Sandia and Clark and .quoted In the CEC advisory report could 'apply to
any terminal at any locati0n and need not be repeated ill this report. However
we agree with eEe that the 5
Is described in the Sandia Report 85 "the permissible level for emergency operations lasting several
minutes with appropriate clothing" (Table 6, p.38). This is the lowest heet flux shown In the thermal
radiatIon maps provided in Attachment !lA. Because the people occupying the nearest residences (those on
the eastern shore of Coos Bay and the Pony Slough section of North Bend) do not have the appropriate
clothing or emergency training/ thermal radiation calculations should show the point at which worst case heat
flux will permit safe evacuation, possibly re{Juiring more than "several minutes" and without appropriate
clothing or emergency training. The CEeadViSOry report at p. 15 suggests 1.5 KiN/m
, J.CEP sho.uld :calculate
the dlstanceto this heat flux for adesign basis event at JeEP aaq Issue a figure shOWIng the results.
previously, JeEP should Calculate this distance not just at the terminal but along the eIght mile tr,lp from the
mouth of the bay.
Emergency Response CapabiHttes near the Facility location
The State appreciates that peRC has prOVided draft guidance fJ:lr preparing the required ERP for an LNG
Import terminal. However/ the State remains concemed that the gUidance will be viewed byapplkants as an
upper limit on their responsi\>i1ity for ensuring the safety of surroundiFlgcommunities. The State views the
guidance as just that: guidanCl and urges FERC to affirmatively state that the ERP must a<;idi'ss. all
identified emergency situatio.ns, and that all cests attributable to Insuring public saf\Stymustbe bomebythe
appllcant. Furthermore, th.e State remains concerned about the effect of Impasseduth1g negotiations for the
ERP and urges the Commission to adopt a dear, expeditious process for addressing disagreements between
the applicant and state and local governments.
Finally, whatever criteria are used to gener-ate the ERP, FERC should make the .process as transparentto the
public as possible/lnduding the essential.elements of an emergency plan. Although the details of theWSA
and ERP are withheld from public disClosure, information regarding measures to protect the public during a
design basis event should be a part of public outreach and should be available before the issuance of a FERC
construction permit.
Shell's Sakhalin IT LNG project:
Impacts of LNG production
2002 project design included a LNG jetty of 1,400 m length, and around 160,000 m3 of dredging
2003 project design (imally implemented) involved a LNG jetty that was 800 m in length, requiring
around 1,680,000 m3 of dredging. Final amount of dredging was about 2 million m3.
(2 million cubic meters is equal to 2.6 million cubic yards)
What Avina Bay looked like BEFORE dredging work and dumping of dredged m.aterials.
What Avina Bay looked like BEFORE dl'edging work and dumping of dredged materials...
Aniva Bay - the same area AFTER....
The 2 pictures below were done in Aniva Bay, a year after dumping on the area, which, according
SEIC, should not have any negative impact (sedimentation) fl'om the dumping zone.
Now this area is almost an undenvater desert.
Bruce Campbell
1158 26th St. #883
Santa Monica, CA 90403
----- Original Message -----
FrQni:;Bruce:GamObell y,ett:,:,S'>': /j:: .. .> .. ><: :,',
To: Jody McCaffree
Sent: Thursday, June 17, 2010 12:10 PM
SUbject: Comments re: recent comments of PCGP Land Use Coastal Zone Coos County Permit Application
(File # HBCU-1--01)
June 16th, 2010
Coos County Planning Department
250 N. Baxter
Coquille, OR 97423 ,
Re: Comments regarding recently submitted comments on PCGP Land Use Coastal Zone Coos County
Permit Application (File # HBCU-IO-01)
Dear Planning Department:
It is apparent to me from reviewing earlier as well as recently submitted documents, that the
Conditional Use Permit must be denied by Coos County Planning. This is due to the obvious negative
impacts on the environment and on local residents which PCGP construction, use, and maintenance
would bring, but also due to the incompleteness of the application, and the fact that it does not abide by
related legal requirements! The recent Cascadia Wildlands submission summarizes these points very
Cascadia Wildlands also hits the nail on the head in regards to pointing out that what may be
adequate as far as meeting legal requirements on private lands along the proposed PCGP route do not
suffice in regards to activities and impacts on the largest landowner along the PCGP route within Coos
County -- the Bureau of Land Management. As pointed out, the Oregon Forest Management Plan does
not cover BLM lands, plus there have been many shifts in recent times regarding guiding regulations
on BLM land. CW pointed out that BLM's WOPR (Western Oregon Plan Revisions) was adopted in
December 2008, but then was withdrawn by the Department of Interior on July 16th, 2009. It was
withdrawn due to the bad science involved, due to BLM not being able to meet their legal mandates
with that plan, and due to the WOPR being developed hand-in-hand with the bogus Northern Spotted
Owl Recovery Plan from the George W. Bush era which was tossed out since it clearly was not based
on valid scientific analysis. CW was also correct in their contention that thus it is insufficient to cite
some sections in Jordan Cove's LNG FElS (and that document should not have been incorporated by
reference in a wholesale manner) since it was presuming that the WOPR was going to be guiding
management on BLM lands in the region (as well as other inadequacies).
Rather than the Oregon Forest Management Plan guiding activities on BLM land, recall that the
WOPRtried to withdraw about 2.5 million acres of Western Oregon BLM lands from the Northwest
Forest Plan -- but the rejection ofthe WOPR in July 2009 means that the Northwest Forest Plan is now
once again the guiding document in regards to activities which may occur on BLM lands within the
range of the Northern Spotted Owl. Thus, management on BLM land must allow for sufficient wildlife
habitat, must protect water quality, as well as provide for other needed ecosystem services. Very
serious and expensive mitigation measures would be needed to get anywhere close to abiding by legal
regulations in regards to construction, use, and maintenance of the PCGP through BLM lands in Coos
County (as well as on other BLM lands along the pipeline route).
Also related to the Northwest Forest Plan, CWrightly pointed out that a judge reinstated the NFP
requirement that Survey and Manage for species be conducted on federal forestland within the range of
the Northern Spotted Owl. Thus, these surveys must be conducted (since PCGP construction would
surely bring logging and ground-disturbing activities to BLM land within the Northwest Forest Plan
zone) before considering this application (unless the conclusion is rejection of the application), and
most likely some species would be found in some areas which would likely result in are-routing ofthe
pipeline in some areas. Thus, since we are not talking about the final pipeline route in regards to this
conditional use permit application, the application must be rejected. Please conduct the survey and
manage on the BLM lands to which the requirements apply, figure out a superior route in some areas,
and submit the final proposed pipeline route rather than such an incomplete document!
Judge Pechman (as pointed out on page 2 of C W I ~ comments) allowed for clear exemptions to the
survey and manage requirements, but it is clear that a lineal pipeline resulting in significant logging
and stream-disturbing activities on BLM lands along the proposed PCGP route do not meet any of the
criteria which allow for exemptions. And CW pointed out that Judge Pechman's decision regarding
what areas must undergo Survey and Manage (as well as what areas could be exempted from the
requirements) was still in place as ofa 2009 court decision -- and thus likely still in place or we likely
would have heard about a succeeding case on that matter.
Another fine point by CW was on page 3 oftheir recent comments which discuss how the current
PCGP proposal would illegally degrade endangered species reserves while also violating the Aquatic
Conservation Strategy. Please do not even consider the application for the PCGP (other than the
option of outright rejection) until BLM completes all their surveys and paperwork and can prove they
are following legal requirements under the Northwest Forest Plan.
Under the "Fire" section in CWls comments, it was pointed out that Staff concluded that there would
not be a likelihood of an increase in fire due to the pipeline. I cannot see how that conclusion was
reached, and CW (as well as the Western Environmental Law Center did more thoroughly in their
comments) was correct in pointing out that Staff was discussing fire potential from the pipeline itself,
rather than discussing the contribution ofthe pipeline corridor to the likelihood offaster and more
catastrophic spread of wildfire. Indeed, WELC points out that the pipeline corridor is perfect --
unfortunately perfect for spreading wildfire from ridge to ridge by increasing the probability of
wildfire, the intensity of wildfire; and raising suppression costs to battle wildfires (as well as
endangering the safety of some fire-fighting personnel). There were other fine points regarding ladder
fuels and fine slash and fire danger relating to scattering some debris along pipeline corridor -- points
which I brought up also in earlier comments to the FERC.
Another fine point by CW was that there is no allowance for a corridor of greater than 50 feet under
the Coos County zoning code. I furthermore agree that areas referred to as "Uncleared Storage Areas"
and "Temporary Extra Work Areas" need to be specified and give the time frame for how long the
areas and material would be present on those sites. For instance, how many of the USAs and TEWAs
would violate the 50 foot setback requirements from bodies of water, and such info needs to be
provided before any consideration of any action except rejection of the application for the PCOP?
It strains belief that PCOP is claiming that they are a "public utility project" and thus should have
environmental regulations relaxed so that, for instance, the requirement for maintaining 50 foot buffers
of riparian vegetation does not apply. First, Coos County residents (and possibly no Oregon residents)
will not be served by the PCGP. Second, the main company which would receive the natural gas is the
private investor-owned utility Pacific Gas and Electric. Thus, I agree once more with CW that the
conditional use permit should not allow for relaxing of environmental regulations due to this
preposterous claim that the PCGP is a "public utility project."
Another good point by CW (as well as by other commenters including NMFS) involves the woeful
lack of information in regards to hydrostatic testing of the PCGP. What water will be used from what
sources for what portions of the pipeline, and where will this water end up? What chemicals and
heavy metals would get into the environment due to hydrostatic testing? Let us get site-specific and
discuss likely locations for hydrostatic testing, and the likely impact on site-specific erosion and thus
sedimentation of nearby watercourses, on various species, and on the spread ofnon-native species
including the Port Orford Cedar root rot disease.
The National Marine Fisheries Service re-submitted some applicable comments during the recent
comment period regarding the proposed conditional use permit. NMFS points out in mid-2009 that
many environmental concerns from their December 2008 submissions have not been addressed. Some
of their key points were: A. the southern distinct population of the eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus)
was proposed for listing as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act (74 FR
10857) -- since this species occurs in both Coos Bay and the Pacific Ocean, will protections for this
species result in any shift in pipeline route or activities?; B. ifthe option of recovering Natural Gas
Liquids is to proceed, apparently it would be necessary to get a defunct rail line up and running again,
yet such activity and related impacts are not discussed in the documents; C. it appears to NMFS that
the earlier planned fish exclusion screens with fixed water delivery system to hulls of ships have been
essentially abandoned -- just because the Coast Guard pointed out some regulatory problems with the
design does not mean that such screens should not proceed and be implemented; D. will the applicant
ever respond to the repeated call by NMFS to thoroughly assess all toxic chemicals which may be
found in stormwater from Jordan Cove to be discharged into Coos Bay?; E. there continues to be a
lack of a complete mitigation plan for the damage which would occur to eelgrass, sub-tidal lands, and
stream crossings due to the proposed PCGP -- when will such mitigation plans be developed, and
should not this information be thorough and turned in before any consideration of allowing the
conditional use permit to allow construction of the PCGP? F. NMFS has some good points regarding
the fact that a mere 40 trees per acre is insufficient to produce a reasonable amount of large woody
debris to watercourses. Clearly, we do need as precise estimates as possible in regards to the likely
number of snags and downed wood to be removed in the proposed project, which would help elucidate
why the 40 trees an acre amount is definitely inadequate to have decent structure within streams to
facilitate reproduction of native salmonid species.
The Western Environmental Law Center and other commenters have pointed out that the FERC
approval of "certification of public convenience and necessity" is "on hold", and thus it seems clear
that agencies and companies related to the PCGP project do not (at least at this time) possess any land
condemnation authority, and thus it would be illegal to approve the conditional use permit application
since this is one of the elements in which the application is incomplete. WELC pointed out
convincingly that the distinctions involved with the Shrock Farms v. Linn County case have nothing to
do with consideration of this application for construction, use, and maintenance of the PCGP.
A particularly good point raised by the FLOW group is in regards to the proposed Horizontal
Directional Drill to allow the pipeline to cross the Coos River. There is a serious concern with failure
of such a crossing within this conservation management unit, and there can be serious toxic impacts
from such a failure. Not only is the bentonite clay carcinogenic to humans, but its impact on fish and
other species ofthe food chain need to be seriously considered before any' consideration of approval of
the conditional use permit. This HDD drilling lubricant and sealant can cause serious problems as
pointed out by FLOW's quoting ofthe Oregon Department ofFish and Wildlife in regards to
deleterious impacts of bentonite clay in failed HDD drillings. FLOW quotes the Application as saying
that, "construction will use appropriate measures to minimize impacts; all impacts will be mitigated."
This sounds like it was written by an attorney, rather than by biologists who understand the difficulty
of mitigation particularly if there was a toxic release ofbentonite clay due to a failure of HDD drilling
at the Coos River crossing. For instance, while there mayor may not be some sincerity in British
Petroleum and the U.S. government trying to mitigate damage from the oil gush in the Gulf of Mexico,
surely they must realize they should have had contingency plans to prevent such a leak, and they are
likely still pondering howto assist various species in various habitats. Murphy's Law is in effect in
Oregon, so we need mitigation plans and contingency plans up front, rather than relying on some
corporate lawyer's conclusion that of course appropriate measures will be taken and that all impacts
will be mitigated.
FLOW notes that the Oregon Department of State Lands has indicated concern about impacts of
pipeline construction within Coos Bay a ~ l d related turbidity problems and impacts on species. Neither
NMFS nor Oregon state environmental agencies have determined that there are adequate mitigation
measures in the applicant's plans for pipeline construction activities.
lody McCaffree made a fine point about the presumptuousness of claiming that the sizable PCGP is
a "low-intensity utility" and then claimthat all pipeline-related activities would abide by legal
requirements within zoning districts 11-NA and 13A-NA.
WELC has some well-ordered contentions that should be emphasized -- while providing good back-
up evidence for these contentions. These are that 1. the conditional use permit application does not
comply with CCZLDO regarding landowner consent; 2. the proposed activities are not permitted in
Forest (F) zones CCZLDO 4.8.300; 3. the proposed activities are not permitted in Exclusive Farm
Use (EFU) zones; 4. the surrounding uses to the proposed pipeline are too vaguely presented to
qualify under Rural Residential zones related to CCZLDO 4.2.400 and 4.2.900(7); 5. there is
inadequate evidence to garner a public utility exemption for riparian vegetation removal -- or that it is
the "minimum necessary" vegetation removal (relating to CCZLDO 4.4.400 and 4.5.180.
Several other quick points are that there needs to be a lot more information about "existing
aquaculture" which would give a better idea how such operations could be impacted by pipeline
construction/use/maintenance activities, that pipelines are NOT on the list of allowed uses in the Coos
Bay Estuary Management Plan, and that the PCGP proposal does not meet the legal criteria under
ZLDO Section 4.5.285 regarding management objectives for District 7-D.
Due to these important points and others raised in recent submissions to the Planning Department, I
join the call for the rejection of the conditional use permit application related to the Pacific COllilector
Gas Pipeline for the coastal area portion of the route for this pipeline. Thank you for your attention to
these and other submitted concerns.
Sincerely yours,
Bruce Campbell
Coos County Planning k.:partment
Coos County Courthouse Annex, Coquille, Oregon 97423
Mailing Address: 250 N. Baxter, Coos County Courthouse, Coquille, Oregon 97423
Physical Address: 225 N. Adams, Coquille, Oregon
(541) 396-3121 Ext.210
FAX (541) 756-8630 /TDD (800) 735-2900
Patty Evemden, Planning Director
June 14, 2010
Board of Commissioners
Jill Rolfe, Administrative Planner
File # HBCU-l0-0l Pacific Connector Pipeline
There was testimony that was mailed directly to the Hearings Officer so they did not
get included in your original packet; therefore, please replace your cover sheet titled
"Testimony Received between the dates of May 21, 2010 to June 10, 2010" and
include items 24, 25 and 25a as attached to this memo.
Thank you and let us know if you have any questions.
Testimony Received between the dates of May 21,2010 to June 10, 2010, Page 1
,,' - " - " " , '
Date Written
item Testimony # of
# Received From Description/Title pages
typed testimony titled "Land Use Hearing (File # HBCU
1 May 25,2010 Ron Sadler 10-01) Supplemental Testimony" 6
Comments on Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline (PCGP)
Land Use Coastal Zone Coos County Permit
2 June 7, 2010 Cascadia Wildlands Application (File # HBCU-10-01) (typed) 8
John B. Jones, III and Julie Application # HBCU-1 0-01 Pacific Connector Gas
3 June 8, 2010 Jones Pipeline (typed) 2
Philip John Keizer, Jr.,
4 June 9, 2010 M.D. MS (no title) typed letter addressed to Andrew Stamp 2
Bay Area Chamber of
5 June 9, 2010 Commerce HBCU-10-01 (typed letter on letter head) 2
Cover Letter titled Coos County Applications for
Friends of Living Oregon Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline Project (with
6 June 9, 2010 Waters (FLOW) attachments as listed) 2
State of Oregon Agency Comments on Draft
Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). Dated
6a FLOW December 2008 122
State of Oregon Agency Comments on Final
6b FLOW Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). June 2009 65
Comments of National marine Fisheries Service
6c FLOW (NMFS) on FERC DEIS. December 2008 16
6d FLOW Comments of NMFS on FERC FEIS. June 2009 5
Comments on NMFS on Biological Assessment. June
6e FLOW 2009 10
Documents related to recent massive failure of
Williams pipeline in Appomattox, Virginia in
6f FLOW September 2008. 8
Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Application # HBCU-10-01 Pacific Connector Gas
7 June 9, 2010 Pearce Pipeline (typed) 2
William and Maryann Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline Application # HBCU-
8 June 9, 2010 Rohrer 10-01(typed) 1
I 1
File N. HBCU-10-01 (typed)
E-mailed testimony titled PCGP June 10 2010 - 'I Jeff & Christie Meacham I
June 10, 2010 I Paul (Mike) Washburn I 9
10 ,
~ " " C '
Cover Letter titled Coos County Application for Pacific
11 June 10, 2010 FLOW Connector Gas Pipeline Project, HBCU-10-01 1
11a FLOW FLOW Coos Co. Comments June 9, 2010 11
11 b FLOW Excerpt, FERC Authorization PCGP December, 2009 4
12 June 10, 2010 Mark Whitlow Cover Letter 3
2002 coos County Decision (HBCU-02-04) approving
12a Mark Whitlow County's application for a 12-inch natural gas pipeline 49
Testimony Received between the dates of May 21,2010 to June 10, 2010, Page 2
2009 Douglas County decision approving the 7.31 mile
12b Mark Whitlow segment of the PCGP project in Douglas County 98
Summary of the legislative history of OAR 660-006-
0025 regarding utility facilities allowed on forest-zoned
12c Mark Whitlow lands. 6
Portion of a final decision of the Energy Facility Siting
Council (EFSC) approving the COB Energy Facility in
12d Mark Whitlow Klamath County 24
Copy of the relevant portion of the Natural Gas Act
12e Mark Whitlow ("NGA") 2
Letter dated June 1,2010 from Derrick Welling P.E.,
responding to questions raised at the hearing
12f Mark Whitlow regarding geotechnical issues 30
Letter dated June 3, 2010 from Jared Ellsworth P.E.,
Project Engineer for Pacific Connector, responding to
groundwater quality, shallow wells and seeps
12g Mark Whitlow potentially affected by the Pacific Connector Project 4
Letter dated June 4, 2010, from Randy Miller CEP,
responding to environmental concerns in aquatic
12h Mark Whitlow areas 192
Letter dated June 8,2010 from Rodney Gregory
addressing feasibility of acquiring necessary right-of-
12i Mark Whitlow way for the pipeline. 1
Letter dated June 8, 2010 from Rodney Gregory
addressing potential pipeline impacts to forest
practices, pipeline corridor fires hazards, and the
availability of homeowners insurance to proximate
12j Mark Whitlow residential owners. 5
Letter dated June 9, 2010, from Robert H. Ellis Ph.D
providing a determination of project consistency with
12k Mark Whitlow the natural resource capabilities of Haynes Inlet 127
Letter dated June 9, 2010 from Randy Miller CEP
identifying the state and federal environmental permits
required for the aquatic portions of the project and
their relationship with applicable CBEMP standards,
and providing his professional opinion that it is feasible
for Pacific Connector to obtain the necessary state
121 Mark Whitlow and federal permits 10
hand written testimony titled "My comments on
13 June 10, 2010 Don Wisely proposed LNG pipeline" and news articles 2
Comments regarding Pacific Connector Pipeline land
Western Environmental use application HBCU-10-01 (Conditional Use
14 June 10, 2010 Law Center Approval for Pacific Connector natural gas pipeline) 39
Typed testimony titled "To the Attention of Hearings
15 June 10,2010 Elizabeth C. Matteson Officer - Andrew Stamp" 2
1" ~ - ' ' ' " ' ' ' , - , , , ~ _ . - .'. _.- _. ---'.. - " ' - - . ' - " ~ ' - , , " , , ' - ' . ' ' ' ' , ' ' ' ' - ' ' ' < ' - ~ ""'C_'_"""""'''''_'''''' __'' ,-r'-""', "",/-:,:',':',',',',"00"-"-.':, .,,_:1'--' '-'- .. ...' - - , - - , - _ . _ " . , - ~ , . , ~ ... '? ..., .'- - ~ . , . _ .." .. _< ..... _-.,...
June 10, 2010
June 10, 2010
June 10, 2010
Jake Robmson
Messerle & Sons
Typed testimony titled "HBCU-10-01"
Typed testimony titled "HBCU 10-1"
.. -",.,.O',.,-.-,-,." ,,_,.', __,-,,,.. ,. F'
Typed testimony titled" HBCU-10-01 - Pacific
Connector Gas Pipeline Application)
Testimony Received between the dates of May 21,2010 to June 10,2010, Page 3
Typed testimony titled "Comments on Pacific
19 June 10, 2010 Derrick Hindery, Ph.D. Connector Gas Pipeline 2
Typed testimony titled "Pacific Connector Conditional
20 June 10, 2010 Harry & Holly Stamper Use Permit Application File # HBCU-10-01" 20
John & Mary Margaret
21 June 10, 2010 Munchrath written testimony titled "To whom it may concern" 1
Confederated Tribes of Conditional User Permit for approval to allow a 49.7-
Coos, Lower Umpqua and mile natural gas (LNG) terminal on the north spit of
22 June 10, 2010 Siuslaw Indians Coos Bav with the Douglas portion of the pipeline 3
Titled" Application #HBCU 10-01- Pacific Connector
23 June 10,2010 Jody McCaffree Gas Pipeline 239
23a Jody McCaffree Exhibit Ai - map 1
23b - part 1 Jody McCaffree Exhibit A2 part 1 - map 1
23b - part 2 Jody McCaffree Exhibit A2 part 2 - map 1
24 June 14, 2010 Seymour Glasssman Dated May 22 addressed to A n d ~ 2
Dated May 25 addressed to Andrew Stamp (titled)
Coos County Planning Commission Hearing Pacific
25 June 14,2010 Dr. Robert Fischer Connector Pipeline 1
attached Civil No. 03-1697-HO Lead Case Sierra
25a Dr. Robert Fischer Club, et al 13
Planning Department
Coos County Courthouse
250 N. Baxter
Coquille, Oregon 97423
May 21, 2010
'Er- r: n!f= D
n 't
",,= J
MAY 2 5 2010
POBox 411
North Bend, Oregon 97459
I have previously submitted written and oral testimony in this case.
During the Applicant's Rebuttal phase at the hearing on May 20, a matter came up that I
feel warrants further discussion.
A participant at the hearing had offered oral testimony regarding his concern that
installing the pipeline across the floor ofthe bay might re-activate pollutants buried in the
His concerns have merit.
Research has shown that Coos Bay contains a number of introduced contaminants,
including several chlorinated hydrocarbons. Chlorinated hydrocarbons are extremely
worrisome in that, once introduced into an ecosystem, they are not broken down by
natural processes and persist in their original form almost indefInitely. While they are not
metabolized and inactivated, they can be removed from cycling through the food chain
by, for example, becoming sequestered and buried in bottom sediments. SignifIcant
disturbances of bottom sediments, such as by trenching and burying a newpipeline,
release these contaminants to once again re-enter the food cycle where they essentially
have the effect of increasing the dosage to which living elements are exposed.
For a more comprehensive and documented discussion ofthese points, please see my
previous testimony in the Jordan Cove Marine Docking Berth land use hearing included
herewith as Enclosure #1.
Reacting to these concerns during the Rebuttal phase, the Applicant's stated they would
be sampling the sediments along the pipeline route across the bay. They statedthat an
unspecifIed standardized evaluation process would be used which apparently refers to the
protocol used by the Corps of Engineers.
That is all well and good, but one thing is highly probable. The results of the testing will
almost certainly show some level of contaminants occurring at sub-lethal doses.
It is at this point that the logic of attempting to complete the land use approval process in
the absence of a viable Environmental Impact Statement begins to disintegrate.
Let's assume, for the sake of argument, the sediments show a few parts per billion (Ppb)
each ofpolychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
Apparently nothing to worry about, these are small amounts and any released
contaminants would be washed away with the next outgoing tide. Based onthe record
currently before the Board of Commissioners, the decision would no doubt be to go ahead
and approve the pipeline installation as this small amount ofpersistent organic pollutants
recycling through the food chain should not cause any apparent bad effects.
If a viable EIS were available, in the section entitled "Affected Environment" (missing
entirely, by the way, from the Jordan Cove FEIS), we would find that juvenile Chinook
salmon currently swimming in the Coos Bay estuary carry 25 ppb ofPCBs and 300 ppb
of PAHs in their bodies. We would learn that juvenile salmon and their prey
bioaccumulate chlorinated hydrocarbons whenever they become available in the food
chain with detrimental effects on their immune systems which results in increased disease
susceptibility (Enclosure 1). In addition, at some level, genetic effects begin to appear.
In addition, rather than being flushed away on the next tide, we would learn that particles
suspended in the water column in parts of Coos Bay can take as long as 48 days to be
flushed from the estuary (Enclosure 1).
At this point, from a land use approval perspective, it would be apparent that a rubber
stamp approval ofthe project would not be warranted, as the possibility exists the
planned project could move us closer to a threshold which could initiate irreversible
catastrophic impacts on the bay ecosystem. However, the unknown probability ofthis
happening would cause a reluctance to cancel the project out ofhand.
At this point, it would be logical to refer back to the EIS once again and turn to the
sections on "Need for the project" (also missing from the Jordan Cove EIS) as well as the
section which gives a balanced and complete side-by side comparison ofthe proposed
project and all reasonable alternatives (yet again, missing from the Jordan Cove EIS).
The rationale of a logical land use decision could be developed as follows:
- If the need was dire and immediate, and iffew viable alternatives were
available, it would not be arbitrary or capricious to knowingly accept the
environmental risks to the estuary and approve the pipeline in order to better serve
the greater societal needs.
- Ifthe need was speculative and future oriented, and ifthere were viable
alternatives in place or readily available, it would not be worthwhile to risk the
real possibility but uncertain probability oftriggering catastrophic impacts to the
estuarine ecosystemand the pipeline would not be approved.
ill my estimation, the interplay of a valid and complete EIS withinthe County land use
approval process is absolutely essential in this case given the importance and possible
long-termimplications ofthe decision to be made.
I understand the legal constraints placed on the Hearing Officer by the existing County
land use approval process. I also understand this to be a somewhat arcane process
probably inadequate to function adequately in today's managerial climate.
I find that the Oregon Progress Board essentially agrees with this premise: "The State's
existing environmental data collection and management systemmust be improved to
effectively measure ecological conditions, trends or risks. Measuring ecological
conditions, trends, and risks is fundamentally different from the problems Oregon's
environmental programs were initially established to address. Resolving them will
require new approaches..... " (Oregon State ofthe Environment Report 2000, Statewide
Summary, page 3).
I ask that you apply your best creative efforts to find a way to postpone the land use
approval decision until such time as it can be more fully and logically considered within
the context of a viable and objective Environmental Impact Statement. I believe the
environmental risks involved fully justify your efforts in this area.
Ron Sadler
PO Box 411
NorthBend,OR 97459
Email: ronsad@uci.net
Phone: 541-759-4790
In the matter of: Coos County Land Use Hearing
Jordan Cove Marine Docking Berth
September 17, 2007
Coquille, Oregon
Testimony ofRon Sadler:
It is critical to remember, as was stated in a U.S. Department ofInterior report, that Coos
Bay is truly an ecosystem and one modification or activity could start a chain reaction
which could affect the whole, resulting in severe damage to certain natural resources.
The displacement, handling, and disposition ofapproximately 6,000,000 cubic yards of
excavated and dredged material from the bottom and shoreline ofthe bay is certainly an
activity that has great potential to do significant damage to marine life in the estuary,
especially salmonid fish populations. This potential for damage is especially worrisome
given what the sediments involved may contain.
Samples taken at various points in the Coos Bay estuary have shown concentrations of
toxic materials in bottom sediments exceeding levels at which ecological effects are
noted. These toxins include Tributyltin, arsenic, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, zinc,
polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PARs), ,and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
In addition, there are ongoing inputs of materials that may contribute to the accumulation
oftoxins in bottom sediments. In the year 2000, for example, there were inputs totaling
2,470 pounds ofar$enic, chromium, zinc, copper, and mercury released in Coos County.
Further, the Coos Bay estuary receives unknown amounts of aliphatic organochlorines,
chlorinated dibenzofurans, chlorinated phenols, and metabolites of each, as a by-product
ofthe release oftreated municipal wastewater. Looking further back in time, 40 years
ago there was a pulp mill located 011 the bay at Empire. Its outfall of wastewatet entered
the bay untreated via a pipe located in the middle ofthe shipping channel. The resulting
outflowresultedin a linear "dead zone" extending towards the mouth ofCoos Bay. The
types and amounts of toxins residing in the deep sediments at this location have not been
investigated to my knowledge.
The various chlorinated organic cornpounds mentioned above are known as POPs -
persistent organic pollutants. At the molecular level, they are extremely stable alld
'# ~
, .la34
virtually indestructible by natural processes. In some instances, polymer chains may be
broken by natural processes, but may recombine to form new compounds (metabolites)
even more toxic than the originals.
Most appropriate to this discussion, then, is the fact that toxic material such as metals,
PCBs, PARs, etc. once released into the environment can remain unchanged for
thousands of years. They are not biodegraded into more benign substances. They
continue to cycle through the ecosystem raising havoc until they become no longer
available to the flora and fauna through the process of sequestration.
In an estuarine ecosystem, the primary mechanismfor sequestering toxins results in them
being locked up by becoming buried in or attached to bottom sediments. There they
remain out of reach of most organisms until some disturbance releases them to r e ~ e n t e r
the food chain once again.
This is not a perfect process, however, as evidenced by conditions as they exist in Coos
Bay today. Juvenile Chinook salmon in the Coos Bay estuary presently carry about 300
ppb ofPARmetabolite concentrations in their bodies. They also carry about 25 ppb of
PCB concentrations. As testimony to the longevity ofthese types oftoxins, they also
carry about 9 ppb ofDDT concentrations, a fu1130 years after its use was banned.
It is well established that sediments in estuaries sequester and act as repositories for
contaminants. It has also been shown that juvenile salmon and their prey bioaccumulate
chlorinated and aromatic hydrocarbons, when they become available in the food chain,
with detrimental effects on their immune systems which results in increased disease
Given current baseline loadings of toxins injuvenile salmon, howmuch
room exists for additional inputs oftoxins before critical thresholds are crossed?
The dynamics of tidal flows in estuaries are often viewed in simplistic terms. It is
tempting to think of a cloud of murky water, with its associated toxins, created by
dredging being carried out of sight and out ofmind by the next out-going tide. This is
not realistic, however. Studies have shown that a particle suspended inthe water column
in parts of Coos Bay can take as long as 48 days to be flushed from the estuary.
Given the serious and potentially catastrophic effects that could negatively impact the
salmonid productivity of the Coos Bay estuary, it appears premature and inappropriate to
approve the construction ofthe marine docking berth at this time.
Several key elements of information essential to an informed and rational decision appear
to be missing at this time. Aviable decision process would require the following:
1. An intensive sampling of all areas proposed for dredging or excavation, to the
full depth ofplanned disturbance, to determine the types and concentrations of
all toxins expected in the spoils.
2. Adetailed and explicit disposal and/or storage plan for all dredged and
excavated material, with explicit requirements to prevent water or wind borne
re-deposition in the estuary.
3. Arisk assessment detailing an estimation of the net effects of unavoidable
releases of sequestered toxins on salmonid productivity.
I ask that this information be gathered and analyzed before further action is taken on the
marine docking berth proposal.
1. USDI, "Natural Resources. Ecological Aspects. Uses and Guidelines for the Management of Coos
Bay", L. B. Day, June, 1971, pg. 128.
2. NOAA, "PreliminaryNatural Resource Survey. Coos Bay, December 12, 1997, pg. 11.
3. EPA, "Toxic Release Inventory, Coos County. Oregon", 2000
4. Dr. Mary Arkoosh, National Marine Fisheries Service, Newport, Oregon, 2000.
5. Dr. Mary Arkoosh, "Effect ofPollution on Fish Diseases: Potential Impacts on Salmonid Populations",
Journal ofAquatic Animal Health, Vol. 10, June 1998, pp. 182-190.
6. Arneson, "Seasonal Variation in Tidal Dynamics. Water Quality and Sediments in the Coos Bay
Estuary", OSUMasters Thesis, June, 1976.
ascadia Wildlands
PO Box 10455 Eugene, OR 97440 541.434.1463 (tel) 541.434.6494 (fax) info@cascwild.org
June 3,2010
Planning Depatiment
Coos County Comihouse
250 N. Baxter, Coquille, Oregon 97423
,lUi'! C(; ;
\'\ I
RE: Comments Orr Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline (pCGP) Land Use Coastal Zone
Coos County Permit Application (File# HBCU-10-01).
Coos County Planning Conifilission:
Please consider these comments from Cascadia Wildlands in yom' decision on the
conditional use approval to allow a 49.7-mile natmal gas pipeline cOlmecting the Jordan
Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) temlinal on the north spit of Coos Bay with the
Douglas County pOliion of the pipeline.
We ask the Planning Commission to deny the conditional use application due to its
adverse impacts on the environment and on local citizens, and the fact that the application
is incomplete and does not meet the code criteria.
1. Northwest Forest Plan
TIns pipeline will violate the requirements of the Northwest Forest Plan on BLM lands,
which will have a ilegative impact to federal ForestlY Operations on 27%
ofthe forested
miles of the pipeline. The BLMis the largest forest landowner in the Coos County
pipeline route where Forestly Operations must provide for adequate wildlife habitat,
protect water quality and other ecosystemservices.
The proposed use would "force a significant change in, or significantly increase the cost
of, accepted ... forest practices,,2. The NOlihwest Forest Plan is what determines the
accepted forest practices on BLM land, not Oregon's Forest Management Plan. The
"management activitieS" that would be disrupted relative to federal uses are broader than
management activities on the private lands the pipeline crosses. County approval of the
existing pipeliile right-of-way will force a significant change, and significantly increase
the cost of, accepted forest practices of the Northwest Forest Plan.
1 Staff Report 12 reports that out of S9,47 miles of Forest Land the pipeline crosses in CobS County,
10.75 miles is on land.
2 Criteria Section 4.8.400 A.
peGP Conditional Use Application comments Page 1
The BLM management their land along the pipeline right-of-way under Northwest Forest
(NWFP) requires the BLMto survey for rare plant and animal species before
ground disturbing activities can begin. If surveyed species are found, they should be
protected. Known as Survey and Manage (S&M)4, surveys must be done in all forests
over 80 years of age. Since the BLM has not yet completed the surveys according to the
2001 S&M regulations, the BLMand PCGP do not yet know what impacts the pipeline
would have as it crosses public lands.
On December 17,2009, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
issued an Order in Conservation Northwest et at. v. Rey, et at., No. 08-1067 (W.D.
Wash.) (Coughenour, J.), granting Plaintiffs' motion for pa11ial summary judgment and
fmding a variety ofNEPAviolations in the BLM and USFS 2007 Record of Decision
eliminating the Survey and Manage mitigation measure. Previously, in 2006, the District
Court (Judge Pechman) had invalidated the agencies' 2004 RODs eliminating Survey and
Manage. Following the District Court's 2006 ruling, parties to the litigation had entered
into a stipulation exempting certain categories of activities from the Survey and Manage
standard (hereinafter refened to as "Pechman Exemptions").
Judge Pechman's Order from October 11,2006 directs: "Defendants shall not authorize,
allow, or permit to continue any logging or other ground-disturbing activities on projects
to which the 2004 ROD applied unless such activities are in compliance with the 2001
ROD (as the 2001 ROD was amended or modified as of March 21,2004), except that this
order will not apply to:
(a) Thinning projects in stands younger than 80 years old;
(b) Replacing or removing culverts for temporary roads;
(c) Some types of riparian and stream improvement projects; and
(d) Some hazardous fuel treatments where prescribed fire is applied.
Lineal pipelines are not included in this exception. Following the Court's December 17,
2009 rcling, the Pechman exemptions are still in place. Because the PCGP application
entails regeneration harvest, logging in stands over 80 years old, extensive road building
and trenching, the project does not meet any of the Pechman Exemptions.
Therefore, this project cannot proceed until Surveys are done on BLM lands in
accordance with the 2001 Survey and Manage ROD, and found species protected. The
FERC LNGreferenced Survey and Manage using the nowillegal 2003 Survey protocols,
which did not require surveying for many of the species the 2001-ROD requires. Once
the proper surveys are done for all required species, the final pipeline route could need to
be modified. It is pointless to grant the application now, not knowing what final route
will be taken.
3 The Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) on Management of Habitat for Late-
Successional and Old-Growth Related Species Within the Range of the Northern Spotted Owl (USDA and
USDI1994). Northwest Forest Plan. Page C-4
4 The 2001 Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) for Amendments to the Survey
and Manage, Protection Buffer, and other Mitigation Measures Standards and Guidelines in Forest Service
and Bureau of Land Management Planning Documents Within the Range of the Northern Spotted Owl
PCGP Conditional Use Application comments Page 2
Another major change in BLM lands that should be considered by Coos County is the
change in the BLM's overall management plan. The application incorporates the FERC
LNG Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) by reference. This FEIS bases
environmental impacts on the Western Oregon Plan Revision (WOPR) land allocations
on BLM lands (including BLM lands inthe CZMA). The WOPR, a new management
plan adopted by BLM in December 2008, was withdrawn on July 16, 2009 by the
Department ofInterior. Therefore the LNG FEIS needs to be supplemented with impacts
to BLMlands managed under the 1995 Northwest Forest Plan before a final decision can
be made to allowthe pipeline to be built. The FERC LNGFEIS is incomplete and cannot
be referenced in this application. When complete information is referenced, it will likely
result in a change in the right-of-way.
Another step required by the BLM is an amendment of the BLM's 1995 Resource
Management Planto allow a pipeline that would otherwise illegally degrade endangered
species reserves and violates the Aquatic Conservation Strategy. The BLMhas not yet
started this process, and when it does so, it could take another year to approve a final
pipeline route and determine mitigations for destroying salmon, spotted owl, and marbled
murrelet habitat. This would result in even more pipeline relocations.
Since the land can only be used as permitted
, all of these changes in the right-of-way
location will require the County to go through this permitting process again. Therefore, it
is premature to grant the application based on the existing right-of-way. It makes no
sense to approve an application before those plans and re-routes are finalized.
2. Safety
Before the commissioners grant this application, safety of county residents who live near
the 49.7 miles must be considered.
Rural areas have weaker pipeline safety standards that PCGP has to follow. Federal
pipeline regulations define most people in Southern Oregon as in a "Class 1 location
area" because home density is less than 10 homes within 660 feet, along a mile of the
pipeline. This is also true through most ofthe 50 miles though Coos County. In Class 1
locations, only a minimum of 10% of the welds are required to be inspected or tested,
compared to non-rural areas where up to 100% ofthe welds are inspected by techniques
such as X-ray. Also of concern in rural areas is that thinner pipes are permitted, and
virtually no internal inspections are required on the pipeline once it is in the ground.
These and other weaker regulations for Class I areas mean safety is being compromised
by the PCGP just because Coos County is rural.
The PCGP pipeline will be installed and maintained by Williams Pipeline. On September
14,2008, a Williams's natural gas 36" pipeline exploded in an urban neighborhood in
5 Criteria Section 3.3.300
6 CFR Title 49, Part 192, Transportation of natural and other gas by pipeline: Minimum Federal Safety
Standards: <http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgiltitextttext-idx?c=ecfr&sid=b024b0040734d9320
fdb3a1 c1 aeaf3e1&rgn=div5&view=text&node=49:>
PCGP Conditional Use Application comments Page 3
Texas. A huge explosion erupted into a fireball that demolished two homes and blistered
siding on homes 400 yards away7. If it could happen in 2008 in Texas to a Williams
pipeline, it could happen in Oregon.
The 49.7 miles in Coos County has the unique geological features of the rugged Coastal
mountain ranges which has steep and unstable slopes, clay soils, rocky terrain, and
earthquake potential. Safety-wise, constructing this pipeline throtlgh this area is
questionable at best, ifliot foolhardy.
The application failed to consider how many families along the 49.7 miles will be
"boxed-in" by the pipeline, with no access or escape route except over the pipeline.
Accidents happen, vandalismhappens, leaks happen. For rurall'esidents that are trapped
behind afaulty pipeline, accidel1ts could be fatal, especially since the gas is unordorized.
The County should consider other impacts to HIraI families, slIch as their ability to build
new structures near the pipeline, above or below ground, impacts to wells, pasul1'es, and
family forest lands. Because ofweaker pipeli11e regulations in rural areas, the pipeline
l;ight-of-way will violate criteria section 4.8.400 B.
3. Fire
The StaffReport found that the pipeline would not significantly increase fire hazard. The
applicant and the staff only considered the fire hazard from a potential release of gas
fro111 the pipeline. They failed to consider how the pipeline corridor alone could influence
the spread ofwildland fire. Aclearcut cOlTidor containing only dry, flammable brush,
cOlIld spread a wildfire though Coos County forests at a speed greater than without the
ylearcut corridor, and thus disrupt Forestry Operations on all land ownerships within the
Coos County pipeline corridor. .
This application will "significantly increase fire hazard or significantly increase fire
suppression costs".8 The pipeline clearcut right-of-way could. act like a wick and spread
wildland fire fmiher along the right-of-way path from its source; ang thm; to the adjoining
forests, faster than if the right-of-way did not exist. This increased fire risk is a safety
issue to local residents, and a potential increase in fire-suppression cost.
There is an abundance of science that backs tlp this claim. For instance, the WEEP report
for the 2002 Tiller fire, (near the pipeline route in the South Umpqua watershed)
detelmined that "The YOl111g vegetation, including plantations, experienced a
disproportionately high amount of stand.,replacement mortality caused by crown fires as
compared to older, unmanaged forests... Plantations had a tendency to Increase the rate
of fire spread and increase the overall area of stand-replacement fIre effects by spreading
to neighboring stands.,,9 The pel}1etually young vegetation of the pipeline right-of-way,
7 www.newsadvance.com/lna/news/locallarticle/
some appomattox residents return home after explosion/83921
8 Criteria Section 4.8.400 B.
9 Wildfire Effects Evaluation Project. UNF. March 2003 Page 4.
PCGP Conditional Use Application comments Page 4
similar to a plantation, will also increase the rate of fire spread, this time following the
young vegetation, bringing fire along the pipeline route and into adjoining forests.
Numerous scientific studies have documented that tree plantations or young vegetation,
because they lack the resistant prowerties of native forests, have a tendency to bum hotter
in forest fires and spread quicker.
The vegetation and young trees in the pifeline right-
of-way is dense, packed close together, making them more inclined to bum.
increased susceptibility offorest openings, such as the pipeline route, to severe fire is also
due to the fact that they have warmer, windier and drier conditions than natural forests. 12
In a study of fire severity in northwest California, researchers found that tree plantations
of any age were "more receptive to combustion" than other forests. The study found:
...tree plantations had twice the burn severity of closed-canopy forests. Fire severity
tended to increase with plantation age... Plantations of any age are more receptive to
combustion than co-occurring forests in our study area. Because plantations are often
established following high-severity fire, a self-reinforcing relationship is possible. An
ecological analog may exist where exotic species invade and become abundant
through positive feedback with fire. Plantations in or study area have grown to cover
about one-third of the roaded area burn in 1987, increasing the likelihood of future
positive feedback effects. In concert with climate change, these landscape dynamics
provide reason to expect the trend of increasing fire size to cOIitinue, especially in
roaded areas. 13
Plantations have similar properties to the pipeline conidor - dry, sunny, dense vegetation.
The study "found high fire severity in plantations" and "found that plantations and
adjacent vegetation burned more severely than natural forests.,,14 While Pacific
Connector might remove the vegetation within the right-of-way occasionally, it will be
there more often then it won't be there.
Another reason the pipeline route can act as a wick, spreading wildland fire quickly, is
that vegetation removal will leave behind tons offme fuels, exasperating the fire danger.
All ofthis violates criteria section 4.8.400 B.
4. Right-of-Way exceeds 50-feet.
Right of ways over 50 feet are not allowed under county zoning code
The code makes
no distinction between temporary and permanent right-of-ways. PCGP will require at
10 For instance: DellaSala, D.A., D.M. Olson, S.E. Barth, S.L. Crane and SA Primm. 1995. Forest health:
moving beyond rhetoric to restore healthy landscapes in the inland northwest. Wildlife Society Bultetin 23(3):
346-356. Ingalsbee,T. 1997. Fires burn hotter in tree farms. Headwaters Forest News 7(2):10-11
11 Frost. E.J. and R. Sweeny. 2000. Fire Regimes, Fire History and Forest Conditions in the Klamath-
Siskiyou Region: An Overview and Synthesis of Knowledge. Available at:
<http://www.worldwildlife.org/forests/attachmentslfireJeport.pdf. . .
12 Countryman, C.M. 1955. Old-growth conversion also converts fire climate. Fire Control Notes 17(4):15-19.
13 Odion, Frost, Strittholt, Jiang, DellaSala, Moritz. Conservation Biology Vol. 18, No.4, Aug. 2004. Patterns
of Fire Severity and Forest Conditions in the Western Klamath Mountains, Ca. Pg. 933-934
14 OCUon, Frost, Strittholt, Jiang, DellaSala and Moritz. Conservation Biology Vol. 18, No.4, Aug. 2004.
Patterns of Fire Severity and Forest Conditions in the Western Klamath Mountains, California. Pg. 935
15 Criteria Section 4.8.300(F)
PCGP Conditional Use Application comments PageS
least a 95-foot right-of-way to build the pipeline. Potentially a 300' right-of-way (100' on
either side of the 95-foot right-of-way) is needed in certain areas.
95-feet is needed to give access to heavy equipment digging the pipeline trench, and later,
this width will again be needed when repairing the pipeline. A 95-feet wide clearcut will
be needed through all forested areas, and re-clearcut in the event a repair is needed that
involves digging up the pipe (which is fairly common). The applicant never admitted that
the 50-foot limit would be almost doubled.
In areas that are very steep, or where the pipeline will turn, a 150' -wide clearcut would be
required, interfering with significant forestry operations for decades, or centuries,
depending on the purpose of the forestry operations. In some areas, "Temporary Extra
Work Areas" (TEWAs), sometimes acres wide, would need to be taken from the
landowner and clearcut. In other areas, strips up to 100' wide on either side of the 95'
wide clearcut would need to be taken from the landowner so that slash, rocks, and other
debris from digging the pipeline trench could be permanently stored, called "Uncleared
Storage Areas". While the application implies that Uncleared Storage Areas are
"temporary", in fact, right-of-way debris like tree stumps and boulders will be stored
there permanently, permanently rendering the land unusable for other purposes, like
forestry operations.
These right-of-ways in excess of 50' are needed by PCGP to install, maintain and repair
the pipeline for the life of the pipeline, and could be taken by eminent domain ifthe
landowner does not agree. Years from now, if a part ofthe pipeline needs repairing,
PCGP can again ''take'' a 95' or 150' wide strip ofland and rip up any trees planted or
other so-called mitigations outside of the 50' wide right-of-way. The criteria requires a
50' wide right-of-way limit
This application requires far more and thus is not allowed
under the current zoning code provisions.
PCGP admits that the right-of-way outside ofthe 50' width is a significant long-term
"take" of people's lands and forest conditions. Although forested areas located outside of
the permanent maintenance corridor, which were cleared during construction, would be
revegetated and allowed to regenerate to their original state, it would take multiple
decades for these areas to reestablish to pre-construction conditions; therefore, impacts in
these areas are considered 10ng-termP
5. Application is inadequate in other ways
The application failed to give the acres of "Temporary Extra Work Areas" (TEWAs) in
each land-type. The Planning Commission should know howmany extra forested acres
need to be clearcut and how many extra grazing land acres need to be disturbed for
TEWAs. The application states TEWA's will be "reclaimed", but it could be decades
before the soil compaction and other disturbances are restored.
15 Criteria Section 4.8.300(F)
17 LNG EIS 4.4-37
PCGP Conditional Use Application comments Page 6
The application discloses that TEWAs will more likely be placed on very steep side
slopes in forested locations. This increases the likelihoodoflandslides from the pipeline
clearcut corridor, as clearcut slopes have twice the probability of management-caused
landslides. IS
Likewise, the number of Uncleared Storage Area (UCSA) acres have not been disclosed
in the application. UCSAs are not cleared of overstory trees, but they are cleared of
understory trees and brush, have soils compaction because of heavy equipment use, and
also can take decades to recover brush and soil cQnditions. UCSAs might never fully
recover because the forest debris stored there will remain there permanently, such as
large stumps and boulders.
For TEWA's, FERC has given an exemption for the 50' set-back for almost all
waterbodies onthe pipeline
FERC also gives an exemption inthe EIS so that every
Uncleared Storage Area (UCSA) can violate the 50' setback requirement. The Coos
CountY application fails to disclose howmany of the TEWAs and UCSAs will violate the
50' setback for waterbodies.
Mitigations offered are also inadequate. The application claims that only 30 feet centered
over the pipeline will be maintained as a cleared corridor through forested areas. The
remaining 20 feet of the permanent right-of-way as well as the disturbed temporary
construction easement will be reforested. What the application doesn't say is that anytime
there is a pipeline problem, all the mitigation is ripped up, the replanted trees are cut
down, the sediment barrier are taken up, and the so-called "temporary construction
easement" is used again. As happened recently on the Medford lateral, a small subsidence
or underground landslide, caused many feet of that pipeline to be uncovered. Any of the
49.7 miles of pipeline through Coos County could also be uncovered at any time inthe
future, over and over again. All trees and sediment barriers and other mitigations will be
removed, impacting streams, fmm land and forest land.
The application failed to fully describe the pipeline hydrostatic testing procedures and
impacts. The company will use millions of gallons ofwater to pressure test the pipeline,
and then discharge the water into a sub-watershed different from where it was collected.
This has the potential to spread disease, kill fish, and cause soil and stream-bank erosion.
The application failed to describe a safe, plentiful source of water for hydrostatic testing,
or a safe way to discharge the millions of gallons ofwater to prevent soil erosion and
spreading of disease. This is especially important to consider in this area of Port Orford
Cedar root rot, which spreads in water and mud transferred from an infected watershed to
an uninfected watershed.
PCGP claims this is a "public utility project", and as such enjoys relaxation of
environmental protections, such as the 50-foot riparian vegetation protection.
This is not a public utility project. No gas generated in Coos County will be exported. No
16 Oregon Department of Forestry. 1998
19 FERC LNG DEIS 4.3-38
PCGP Conditional Use Application comments Page?
gas imported from overseas is to be delivered to the public in Coos County, thqs Coos
County will receive no economic or service benefit from reducing environmental
protections in the riparian zone. Instead, Coos County residents will just receive
environmental problems, such as lower fish populations that have economically sustained
the county, with no public benefit. In fact, Coos County residents are giving up their
environ.mental protections and their land for the benefit ofRussian 01' other Foreign gas
companies. None of the county residents ate expOlting their own products. The
couditional use permit should not waive the 50-foot riparian vegetation set back
requiremeneo 01' other waivers allowed a "public utility project".
The goal of the American people is to reduce or eliminate our dependence on foreign
imports of fossil fuels. LNG is counter to this goal, bringing gas in from places like
Russia. Therefore, ifthe United States meets our goal to eliminate our dependence for
energy from foreign governments, this pipeline will be useless.
The application claims that the gas supplied by this pipeline is "necessalY for public
se1'vice,,21. We disagree. This does not comply With Criteria defi.nition ofnecessalY for
public service. There is hot a need fo1' LNG in Oregon. In reality, there is far less
domestic demand for LNG than PCGP discloses in their application. For instance, the
application failed take into a.ccount the Ruby pipeline a 42-inch natui'al gas transmission
pipeline beginning at the Opal Hub in Wyoming and terminating at Malin, Oregon, the
same location as the PCGP pipeline. Ruby is designed to serve Northern California also,
with an initial capacity of between 1,300 and 1,500 :MMcf/d
, Once the Ruby pipeline is
built, bringing prolific supplies of domestic natural gas to the California market, we have
no need to increase our energy dependence on foreign governments, making this PCGE
pipeline applicati.on unneceSSalY.
In conclusion, Cascadia Wildlands 1'equest paliy standing in the proceedings, for the
reasons stated above. The pipeline's route through Coos County impairs our mission to
protect and restore the watersheds of the Coquille river basins and to reduce global
warming impacts on our climate.
Francis Eatherington
Cascadia Wildlands
P.O. Box 10455
Eugene, OR 97440
frallcis@cascwild.org 541~ 6 4 3 - 1 3 0 9
Please send responses to Our field office at:
886 Raven Lane, Roseburg, OR97471
20 Criteria Section 4.8.750 11
21 Criteria Section 2.1.200. Utilities
22 Nqrthwest Gas Association 2008 Outlook, http://www,nwg13.org/pub-,docs/gasoutiook08.pdf, p. 25.
pCGP Conditional Use Application comments Page 8
John BJones, III and Julie Jones
89056 Whiskey Run Lane
Bandon, OR 97411
Coos County Planning Dept.
250 N. Baxter
Coquille, OR 97423
Re: Application # HBCU-10-01
Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline
Dear Mr. Andrew Stamp and Coos County Planning Dept:
fUN r' 201[)
June 7,2010
We are writing out of concern with the proposal by Pacific Connector Gas
Pipeline to cross 383 water bodies in Coos County per the Pacific Connector's
Clean Water Permit Application that was submitted to the Army Corps in May of
2009. Now, the Final EIS on page 4.5-84 states The Pacific Connector pipeline
would cross and affect 249 water bodies. There appears to be a significant
difference in the number of water body impacts here. Which is it? And why the
change, since the route has not changed?
We were wondering how the LNG tankers could possibly enter into and out of
Coos Bay with all the special security exclusion zones around LNG tankers and
not have any adverse impacts to the current ships using the harbor for the
shipment of wood chips and logs. This would adversely affect an already viable
business and commerce for the harbor. There already exists a 1,500 foot
exclusion zone on either side of LNG tankers t h ~ t coulq extend two miles in front
of LNGtankers and one mile behind that would also threaten our commercial
chip andlQgging ships that enter here and devastate the local fishermen. There
would too many restrictions on the mouth of the port for access for fishermen,
tourists, sailing vessels and recreation in the bay.
These LNG pipes that would cross forest zoned lands, private family farms, Coos
Bay Wagon Road Grant Lands (whose timber sales go into the County Fund),
estuary, Watershed, natural habitats for marine and wildlife, and oyster bed farms
are too significant of major impacts. There is a large variety of threatened and
endangered species that call home to Coos Bay. This pipeline would degrade the
critical habitats and streams for salmon and numerous other species by the foot
print of the pipes belowthe water and on land causing potential land slides and
sediment run off into the water bodies.
Re: Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline Application
# HBCU-10-01
What about releases of LNG? Just think of the fire hazard. The hazard zone for
this pipeline is approximately 900 feet in circumference from the center of the
pipe. This would take into account 1,800 feet across. These impacts are
immense. Afire could devastate our forests, family farms and spread so quickly
given the dry season and remote locations of some the LNG pipe areas. Look at
the mess we have in the Gulf of Mexico. Accidents happen. Releases of LNG
into our Bay, rivers, creeks, streams, forests and estuaries would devastate the
biological ecosystemthat nurseries 1,OOO's or more of critical fish and animal
habitat. The devastation to Clausen Oyster Farm submerged tide flats could
potentially put the family out of business. The unknowns are too many and LNG's
high ignition potential being so volatile is much too risky for our area.
Why would we want an LNGterminal in our port and a gas pipeline to serve only
those in California? There are no benefits to the residents of Oregon. The long
term impacts are too over powering and far too great for this small county to
absorb. Please deny Jordan Cove Terminal and the pipeline application. We look
fOlWard to hearing from you.
Cc: Andrew H. Stamp, Atty at Law
4248 Galewood Street
Suite 16
Lake Oswego, OR 97035
Philip John Keizer, Jr., MD, MS
2300 N.14th Street
Coos Bay, OR 97420
Andrew Stamp
Coos County Planning Department
250 Baxter St
Coquille, OR97423
June 8, 2010
Dear Mr. Stamp:
JUN 0 D2010
As you suggested during the May 10th hearing, I have reviewed the information
submitted by the applicant just prior to the hearing and I do not find a comprehensive
Emergency Response Plan (ERP). Paragraph 68 on page 84 of Docket No. CP07-441-000,
et al. states the ERP shall be filed with the Secretary for review and written approval by
the Director ofOEP prior to initial site preparation. I assume this to mean the ERP has
not yet been drafted. The ERP is a vital component and should not be put offuntil the
last moment and then pushed through in haste. A case in point is the Shoreham Nuclear
Power Plant built on Long Island, NY. The plant was nearly completed when it was
determined the ERP was inadequate. This resulted in significant delays to the project and
eventual conversion ofthe plant to fossil fuel instead of nuclear fuel at great expense to
the local rate payers. We can avoid a similar travesty by planning ahead. The ERP should
be finalized before Coos County gives any permission or permits to proceed with the
Also listed are minimum requirements ofthe ERP. While these requirements are good
things to consider, they fall short ofa complete list of minimum requirements. These
appear to be more directed to the ships and the terminal than the pipeline. I do feel that
the pipeline, terminal and vessels are mutually dependent upon each other. Like
conjoinedtwins sharing a vital organ, none' would survive without the others. Therefore,
a comprehensive ERP would include all three.
The ERP should outline a clear chain of command in order to avoid confusion between
various local, county, state and federal agencies. Coordination should be made with local
ham radio operators. Clear escape routes need to be established for evacuation ofthe
public. This is ofgreat concern for people living and working near the pipeline which
could easily cut off exit routes in the rural areas. The pipeline should also be directed
around the rural residential areas to avoid this specific problem. Analysis needs to be
made on effects ofweather and different scenarios need to be considered for various
Pasquill categories. Emergency drills should be planned annually. These should include
all groups, not just the pipeline and terminal staff.
Multiple system failures need to be considered. For example, what if the pipe breaks at
one of the control valves. What if the remote safety valve control system fails. What if
the monitoring system fails, etc.
During the hearing, you asked me what I thought a worst case scenario would be. I have
now had more time to think about it. There are likely several different scenarios which
could be consideredj and for emergency planning and drills, different scenarios should be
played out. While these are unlikely events, they are still possible and it is prudent to
prepare for the worst so as to be best able to handle any actual emergency situation.
Having thought out and planned for a low probability, high consequence event leaves us
better prepared for a higher probability and lower consequence event. And, ifthe worst
happens, we have a plan.
As for the LNG portion, the original analysis was assuming 12,500 m
I believe FERC used
23,000 m
. The proposed volume is 148,000 m
. A leak from the terminal was assumed to
be limitedto 10 minutes at full preSSUl'e. Any analysis is only as good as the assumptions
made. It only stands to reason that ifthe full volume of LNG was to be lost and the
appropriate weather conditions existed, a far worse disaster would be upon us and the
proposed safety zones would be too narrow.
One possible worst case type scenario would be an earthquake causing multiple pipeline
failures, breach and loss ofthe full volume ofLNG in the terminal and an approaching
LNG vessel. The earthquake could also disrupt communications. Bridges could be out
prohibiting traffic along highway 101 both north and south. Abridge failUl'e or pipeline
secondary fire could close highway 42. Multiple secondary fires would start in both
residential areas as well as in the forests. Fires from the terminal and vessel could disable
the airport, Coast Guard Air Station and the North Bend Fire Department. Residential
fires could trap physicians, nurses, EMTs, and other emergency responders. Fires could
trap students at North Bend High, North Bend Middle and Sunset Middle Schools. This
is just one possible scenario and other equally bad or perhaps worse could be considered.
My purpose today is not to compose a complete ERP and worst case scenarios, but rather
to point out this has not yet been done. Therefore, I urge you to rule against this project
based upon inadequate emergency planning and to require a comprehensive ERP before
reconsideringthe application. The applicant has demonstrated a past practice of
submitting voluminous material just before deadlines. This impedes the public review
process. Therefore, I further suggest public notification ofthe ERP completion and a
public comment hearing after reasonable time for the public to reviewthe document. We
are, after all, the people living with or perishing from this project.
Philip John Keizer, Jr., MD, MS
June 9,2010
Patty Evernden, Planning Director
Coos County Planning Department
Coos County Annex
201 N. Adams
Coquille, OR 97423
RE: HBCU-l0-0l
Ms. Evernden:
JlJN n ~ ) 2U1U
The Bay Area Chamber of Commerce supports the conditional use request by
Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline to allow a 49.7 mile natural gas pipeline connecting
the Jordan Cove LNG terminal on the North Spit of Coos Bay with the Douglas
County portion of the pipeline. The Chamber endorses the pipeline route of the
applicant which considers the social, environmental and economic impacts it will
have, while treating landowners fairly and with respect.
We find the Coos County Planning Department staff report on HBCU-l0-0l was
well written, with a good analysis and proposed conditions which adequately
address the public good. We support the conditions as specified within that .
report and urge the approval of the requested coniditional use permit.
Coos Bay is Oregon's largest costal deep-draft harbor and its economic value to
commerce in Southern Oregon is currently underutilized. With the demise of our
natural resource based economy, over the last 30 years, our county consistently
ranks among the highest in the state for unemployment. This $1 billion
investment in our area will directly benefit the entire sbuthern Oregon region.
The additional $19 million in property taxes will help provide needed services
across the county.
145 Central Avenue Coos Bay, Oregon 97420
(541) 266-0868 Fax: (541) 267-6704
The Bay Area Chamber of Commerce is a non.:.profit; professional business
organization made up of the Coos Bay, North Bend, and Charleston communities.
The Chamber works for a healthy economic climate of good jobs, capitol creation
and efficient government. The Chamber's strength lies in the number and
diversity of its membership. With over 650 members strong representing every
aspect of this area's economy, we use their vast collective experiences and energy
to make a positive difference in our community.
Thank you for this opportunity to participate in this process for this important
Lucinda DiNovo
Bay Area Chamber of Commerce
Friends of Living Oregon Waters (FLOW)
P.O. Box 2478 Grants Pass, OR97528
(503) 890-2441
Coos County Planning Department
250 N. Baxter
Coquille, OR 97423
JUN () 9 2Ulu
"'> coos COUNTY
Re: Coos County Applications for Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline Project
(Submitted via email and mail)
Dear Coos County Planning Department and Hearings Officer:
We submit these attachments in support of previous comments on behalf of
Friends of Living Oregon Waters (FLOW), which has members who live, work, and
recreate in the vicinity of the Jordan Cove LNG terminal and Pacific Connector Gas
Several of these documents were referenced in written comments submitted on
May 20,2010. Additionally, the Hearing's Officer requested that the comments
submitted by the State of Oregon regarding the project be provided in full. We have also
provided comments of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) regarding the
Documents included in this submittal:
1. State of Oregon Agency Comments on Draft Environmental Impact Statement
(DElS). December 2008.
2. State of Oregon Agency Comments on Final Environmental Impact Statement
(FElS). June 2009.
3. Comments of National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on FERC DElS.
December 2008.
4. Comments ofNMFS on FERC FElS. June 2009.
5. Comments ofNMFS on Biological Assessment. June 2009.
6. Documents related to recent massive failure of Williams pipeline in Appomattox,
Virginia in September 2008. (Print one original with color photos).
Additionally, FLOW and other community members and organizations plan to file
additional comments before Thursday, June 10.
Monica Vaughan,
P.O. Box 2478
Grants Pass, OR 97528
Decep1ber 4; 2008
Ms. D. Secretary
Federal Ellergy Regu.latory Commission
888 First Sf. NE, fun lA
Washington DC 20426
Re: Q01tlmellts oftlle State ofOregoll
Draft Environmental Impact Statement
Joi'dan Cove Energy Project, LP Docket No. CP07-444
Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline, LP Docket Nos. CP07-441, CP07-442 aild CP07-443
Secretary Bose:
At my direction, State ofOregon natural resource agencies have been engaged in a
rc'"iew ofthe proposed Jordan Cove Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) import terminal and the
aSsociated Pacific COlmector Ijipelille. Oregon's comments on the braft Envirolinlental Impact
Statement for these projects are attached. My primary motivation fol' a detailed stilte review of
this document was to ensure that state standards Md concerns are addressed by the developer and
the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
As Gove1'1lor ofthe State ofOregoll, I believe that locilting an LNG import terminal in
Oregon 1)1U8t be supported by a comprehensive review oran potentialiinpacts ofthe facility in
tIle State. That is the function ofthe Jordan Covetpacific Connector DEIS. In this regard, I
conclude that the Jordan CovelPacific Connector DEIS is incomplete and fla\ved in a number of
respects, as more fully explained below and in the attached comments. '
Qregol1 has al). effeCtIve systeni for siting latge facilities that balances the fol'
JWW reSOl.lfCeS effectively with environmental protectional1d adequate safety standards.
That siting process involves all interested Oregon natural resourceagellcies in the review of any
facility. As a result of Oregon's unified siting process, state natural resource agencies have
attained a high level ofexpeltise tn evaluating applications 811d contdbuting not only to the
analysis Ofthe enviromnental hnpacts but also to the design arid adoption of appl'opi'iate
mitigation meilsures. Even though Oregon's energy facility siting process for LNG tennfnals is
currently preempted by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, as result of this experience and expeliise,
Oregon is uniquely situated to provide comments on this proposed facility.
STATE CAPITOL,SALf:M 97301-4047 (503) 378-3111 FAX (503) 378-4863 ny (503) 378-4859
Ms. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary
pecetnber 4, 2008
Page Two
The State retains permitting atlthoi"ity dV<:<l' LNG tei"minals in the areas ofwater qUality,
a:ir quality, coastal zone management and in cases wlwre sff.ite approval is needed for .
construction of tenninals or appUlienunt stmctures on state lands. In many instances the DEIS is
the best evidence abolll the applleant's plans for compliance with these federally delegated
progl:ml1s-. In their CoiUlllents, the QregOll agencies iilVolved have identified deficiencies that
present hut'dles to the ultiinate approval of the project by those Mencies.
As the specific commetlts will reflect, many conclusions in the DEIS are founded OIl
assertion.s and unenforceable promises, hot on sound science, analysis a1id
facts. The Commissioil should bot 111ake a decision t6 Iicens<:< tIllS- LNG tenninal 011
t1}einadequate envirolUnental teeOl'd cUlTel1tIy befote the CO
It is well-established that the final HIS, as the foundatiQn for the licensingdecision by
hiust be cOlliplete. Thus, anyillitigation plan or other clOC1l1Ueilt that Will be l'eIied on by
FERC to detennine that the facility meets liceilsing cliteda must be included in the DEIS atl-d
Irculated for mel3.ilingful review before adoption of the final EIS. Furthennore, such plans and
documents must be referenced in liCense conditions in the final decision. The State ofOregon
has asked twice for an extension ofthe puplic comment period to allow the applicants to submit
eOlliplete i11f01111atioll and the mitigation plans called for in the DElS. FERC has chosen not to
ptovide that n1inimum level of public review. The only remedy will be a suppleniental DElS.
As flU c:xal11ple oIthe bfthe OEis to support aaeisioh, lal'ge PQrtjQilsofthe
mit1@tiOll for habitat, wetlands, archeological impact, landslide protection and emergency
plalllung are still unknown. Indeed, many suppOliing documents for the decision will be
Pi'oduced after the oppOtiullity for C01mnent on the DEIS has closed. This is a fundamental
ptocess flaW. 11'etom11lend delaying the Final Envir01Ulleiltal Impact (FEIS) until the
tettninal desigt.l a11d pipeline 1'oute are finalized, mitigation pteUl$ with i1)ctrics are written, and
l'esponse protocols (Jan pe defined; and afteL' paliies have had all
opportunity to comment of the efficacy of those plans. I fuliher reconunend that when the FEIS
is pi'esElllted, it clearly pi'esent the i'equired inf011llation used to develop and alticulate measurable
pi"oject specific conditions that demonstrate how the facility would meet Oregon's statidards.
FERC l.11ust ptovide adequate assurance that the facility will be constructed, operated,
maintained, and decommissioned aSl'equircd by Oregon's Energy Facility Siting standards.
Liquefied Natul'al Gas ternlitlals also introduce a range ofrelatecl issues assoCiated with
ilatural gas pipelines that cany LNG from tenninals to serviCe ateas, sometimes at gt:eat
dl$fallces. The sodal and envirQllmelltal impacts ofthese pipelines are of as tm;tch concem to the
State the terminals themselves. Accordingly, sJate agencies have also identified and evaluated
the environmental and social impacts of these pipelines through federal and state permitting
processes. Further, because pipeline companies who obtain a FERC license have the power of
Ms. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary
December 4, 2008
Page Three
eminent domain, I have insisted that that power be used carefully and with the utmost respect for
property rights. That includes fair compensation and full mitigation of impacts to propeliy
owners, as well as recognition of need to be responsive to citizens concems and public requests
for information and maps of these pipeline projects. I have communicated these expectations to
pipeline project sponsors and will continue to monitor progress in this mattei',
Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector have provided evidence that the proposed project will
offer substantial economic benefits to the local community, including:
Ellhancedcapacity for Coos Bay (!lew bar pilots, new tugs);
Increased tax revenues for Coos, Douglas, Jackson, alld Klamath Counties;
Terminal constructions jobs (average monthly workforce of430, peak of 929);
Pipeline construction jobs (peak workforce of 1,844 with average 3 to 8 month job)
Operational jobs (39 permanent local hires for the teoninal, 5 for the pipeline)
Those ccon01nic benefits iuust be balatlced ,vith the environmental impacts of the facility
arld pipeIil1e.
I highlight the following major concerns regarding the DEnS, which ate addressed in
nl0re detail in the accompanying comments.
a. The need for the facility has not been establisIled and the alternative analysis is
inadequate. The DEIS does not adequately ailalyze market data and natural gas supply trends to
support the claim by the developers that additional supplies of LNG are needed in the Pacific
Northwest. Nor does the DElS contain a comprehensive alternatives analysis that takes a hard
look at othCl' alte111atives include no action, energy conservation, expansion of existing
infi'astructure, and potential new sources of natural gas. The DEIS fails to adequately address any
change in the need for the project, given that FERC has already conditionally approved an ii11pOrt
te11ninal in Oregon at Bradwood Landing,
b. bEls to demonstrate that the proposed locatiou oCthe tel'Illinal complies
with Federal Aviation Administration requirements. The proposed tenninal and LNG
stotage tanks appear to be located within, or very close to, a horizontal distance of one mile fi'OlU
the ends ofthe Soutlnvest Oregon Regional Airport runways, contrary to 49 CFR 193.2155(b).
Most ofthe altemative locations proposed in the DEIS are well within that distance. There is no
discussion in the DEIS of height requirements in the vicinity of the airport either. I am very
concemed about the safety of the citizens of North Bend and Coos Bay, given the terminals'
close proximity to an airpOli. Through a Connect Oregon II grant, Oregon has made an
investment in the Coos County Airpolt District of $624,000 for the construction of the first air
traffic control tower at the Southwest Oregon Regional Airport. This investment will create
Ms. Kil1lberly D. Bose, Secl'etary
December 4, 2008
Page Four
mOre accesS opportunity for econo1i1ic development in the region. The DEIS needs to
address those safety COllc;el11S; any impacts on the airport and must demonstrate that the temlinal
facility can comply with Federal Aviation Administration requirements.
C,. ..... I;a$$; tb nElS depends on assertions thatniitigatioll win be proVided, but
tile oftJle mitigatiou arc unknown. The State ofOregol1 is deeply troubled by the
Commiss-ion's process and the lack of infonnation contained in the DElS for a project of this
inagnitude. In the previous LNG import tenninalmatter in Orego11 (Bradwood Landing)? PERC
defen'ed detailed consideration ofenvlronmei1tal hnpacts and hoW they would be mitigated l,lhtil
\Vella.fter (he DElS cOi1lll1ent period In order to be effective, a 1i1itigatiOl1lu?a.sure ll1\lst
be supported by analytical data. demonst1'ating why it will adequate buffer again$t
the imp(j,cts that l11ay resylt 1'0111 the authorized a9tivHy. FERC's reliance on its Office
of Energy Projects to modify approved operations does not provide ellough l)h')tectioll under this
standard. The public must be able to i'eView; in advance, hOw specific measures will bring
pl'ojects into compliance with ehvironmentill staiidards. Because the details for mitigation are
I)1js$ing, neithet the State nor the Commission can presul11e the mitigation Will be feasible or
d. The proposed project '''ouid have adverse b11lHtds on ail' and Watel- quality
'wildlife habitat in the Coos, Coquille, Umpqua Rogue Illig Klamath watel'she<J.s, Proliosed
dredging for the tenllinal, fuming basin and pipeline construction will Cause damage to
Watershed function, water quality sensitive species and habitats, and these impacts h,;we not
been adequately evaluated or addressed in DEIS. Supply ships ami vaporizers will contli.bute air
pollutants. Cumulative impacts need to be thoroughly ahalyzed. The 379 Sil'CaUI crossiiigs and
230 miles ot'pipeline with associated 16sS of riparian vegetation will have impacts 611 Watei'
quality_ .
The projyct will <:llso impact 594 acres ofCategory 1 that will be either removed ot
litodified by constlUctiOl1 impacts. Category 1habitat is "ineplaceable, essential habitat for a
fish 6j' \vildlife species, population, ot a uliique asseinblage of species and is limited 011 either a
physiographic province or site-specific basis, depending on the individual species, population or
uniqlle assemblage." 1his Categoty 1habitat consists of: 561 acres of coniferous old growth and
late successional forest (a 1'01ti011 ofthis acreage with spotted owl and marbled munclet use); 24
acres ofvemal pool wetlands; 6 acres of mature oak woodlands; and 3 actes ohare plant ilabitat.
Undel' Oregon law, ifil11pacts to Category 1habitat calhiot be avoided, the project cannot be
Yet PERC only proposes the applicants deyelpp a mitigation plan that way include a fund
to compensate for the Project's temporal and permanent riparian vegetation and aquatic hripacts
Ms. Kilnberly D. J3ose; Sectetal'Y
December 4, 2008
Page Five
fi'Olll constmction and operation of the project. This and other proposed mitigation Ineasures are
wholly inadequate to offset the damage that will be done.
The DErS does ltot adequately recog1iiie tbe state's Nile itt cn1Cl'gency
prcparcdness; No ellfotceable cOlnmitment has beel1l118de for Emergency Response resollrces
necessary to operate at the proposed facility; nor were safety and secUl'ity impacts to the local
CQinWlunities adequately assessed. Astatement in the DEIS defen'ing this issue to local
respol'lders is iIiadequate.
f. The .QEIS must contain mitigation recommendatiol1s requiring Cove to
u1itigflte C02 emissions and to provide financial assurance to retire the facility. A detailed
, e11ghieeti!lg estimate of site retirement costs should aM assui'allce gained that those
c()sf$ will he covered, before FERC iSS\leS a Final EIS. Without that ass\H'al1cc, the State has no
prof9tf<m against ban1a.uptcy or abandolJnlent of the facility.
In summary, I believe that the state and the Commission must fairly address all the
benefits811d costs associated with LNG. For the Commission to make LNG siting decisi01ls in a
,;acuum without the best available illfol111ation fll1d scientific data does a huge disservice to the
people of Oregon. UltiInately, the decision to sHe terminals j"equites the fiJll el1gagement of the
federal government, the state and the communities where facilities are proposed. Only by
working together tlu'ough the siting, environmental assessment and pennitting processes can we
make sound decisions about the appropriateness of any proposed LNG terminal.
I look forwal'O to YO\lr resbl\ltiort of OtegOli's cOl1cerhs.

Oregon State Agency Comments
Jordan CovelPacific Connector DEIS
December 4, 2008
click on agency name to go directly to comments
Jordan CovelPacific Connector DEIS
Oregon Agency Comments
Oregon State Agency Comments
Jordan CovelPacific Connector DEIS
1. Oregon Dept. of Energy
NEPA requires agencies considering "major Federal actions significantly affecting the quality of
the human environment" to prepare and issue an environmental impact statement. The statement
shall provide full and fair discussion of significant environmental impacts and shall inform
decision-makers and the public ofthe reasonable altematives which would avoid 01' minimize
adverse impacts or enhance the quality of the human environment. NEPAfurther demands the
agency takes a 'hard look' at the potential environmental consequences ofthe proposed action.
The DEIS as it cUlTently stands, is flawed and legally deficient because it fails to rigorously
explore alternatives, includes an inadequate environmental assessment of the impacts of the
proposedproject and fails to adequately address cumulative impacts. The overall level ofdetail
in the DEIS is woefully inadequate. Much of the DEIS contains only general inf01mation about
environmental and resource effects. There is little or no linkage between the factual information
supporting the FEIS and the conclusions in the document. Because ofthe lack ofadequate
Supp011ing inf01mation in the DEIS, the FERC has required imp01tant environmental information
to be provided before the end ofthe comment period. As outlined inthe November 21,2008
letter from Mike Grainey, Director of Oregon Department of Energy to FERC Secretary
Kimbel1y Bose, much of that inf01mationhas not been before the end ofthe comment
The comment period has now come to. an end and still much of that information has not
been submitted or was finally submitted just today without any time for review. Hence, an
adequate consideration ofall those aspects has thus far evaded necessary public comment.
The DEIS itself is incomplete and flawed as outlined in prior comments. It cannot be cured by
issuance of an FEIS. FERC must issue a revised Supplemental DBIS with an opportunity for
further public comment.
Purpose and Need (section 1.3)
FERC nevel' actually explains what the pUlpose and need ofthe project is. Instead FERC
describes the objectives of the project as:
Provide a new access point fol' overseas LNG supplies through a new LNG import
terminal located on the southern Oregon coast that can accommodate industry-standard
LNG carriers;
Jordan CovelPacific Connector DEIS
Oregon Agency Comments
Provide a new source ofnatural gas to Pacific Nol1hwest, nOlihern Califomia, and
nOlfuern Nevada markets to diversify the supply sources for these markets to meet future
demands; and
Serve multiple markets through an interstate pipeline with interconnections with newand
existing pipeline infrastructure.
(see DEIS 1.3)
As stated in our July 10, 2008 letter to Governor Kulongoski, we stand by the conclusions in our
May 7 report to the governor on demand; for future natural gas inOregon, an evaluation of
alternatives,. and an assessment ofthe life cycle carbon emissions compared to coal and non.:.LNG
Oregon will continue to need increased supplies of natural gas for the
foreseeable future, in part because of population growth.
Natural gas sources inNorth America, mainly from western Canada and
the Rockies, are likely to provide natural gas at less cost than natural gas from
any of the LNGterminals cUl1'ently proposed in Oregon,
Natural gas from NOlfu America has less life-cycle carbon dioxide impacts
than LNG.
Oregon Dept. of Energy, Oregon Dept. ofJustice, and Jordan Cove Energy Project are cUll'ently
(Nov. 2008) developing a Memorandum ofAgreement that addresses C02 emissions and
standards for the eventual retirement ofthe facility. Our intent is to have enforceable conditions
in place that emulate the Oregon standards that would be in place but for the Energy Policy Act
of 2005. Standards for these conditions are found in Energy Facility Siting Council rules, OAR
Chapter 345, Division 22.
Note: DLCD andDEQ also commented on the needfor LNG
Alternatives (page 3
PERC has already conducted an alternatives analysis on the Jordan Cove Project that detelmined
that "[t]here are no clear environmental advantages of the Jordan Cove LNGProject ovel' the
Bradwood Landing Project; therefore, it is not a preferable alternative." Bradwood Landing
FEIS 3-271. FERC acknowledges that: "The purpose of the Bradwood Landing LNG Project is
to provide up to 1.3 Bscfd ofnatUl'al gas to markets in the Pacific Northwest through newsources
of imported LNG, Therefore, the Bradwood Landing LNGProject could be an alternative to the
proposed JCE & PCGP Project.' Jordan Cove DEIS 3-25.
PERC never actually reaches a conclusion on whether the OregonLNG or Bradwood Landing
proposals would 01' would not be an environmentally preferable systemaltemative to the Jordan
1Northern Star Energy LLC and Bradwood Landing LLC, FERC Docket Nos. CP06
366, CP06
376, CP06-377, CP06-365 (hereinafter Bradwood Landing)
Jordan CovelPacific Connector DElS
Oregon Agency Comments
Cove Project. FERC simply describes the projects and never makes a detelmination. Instead,
FERC suggest that it is "unclear ifthe Bradwood Landing LNGProject could meet all ofthe
objectives of the JCE & PCGP Project, because it would not directly connect to the Avista LDC
systemserving southern Oregon." Jordan Cove DEIS 3-25. The stated goal ofa project
necessarily dictates the range of 'reasonable' alternatives, and an agency cannot define its
objectives in unreasonably narrowterms. FERC is impermissibly defining the project in
unreasonably narrowterms by apparently rejecting an altemative ifit cannot meet the preferred
altematives specifications. This is not a proper alternatives analysis. Connecting with the Avista
LDC system is not the purpose and need of the project.
FERC also notes "ifnatural gas were to be provided by the Bradwood LNGimport terminal to
markets innorthernNevada 01' northern California, it would have to be transported longer
distances through the existing G1N systemthan the Pacific Connector pipeline." DElS 3-25.
Yet, FERC has not conducted an analysis ofwhether transport through existing systems is
preferable to the creation ofa new230 mile long new pipeline. .
FERC has in a sense satisfied the "need" for the Jordan Cove Project by its approval ofthe
Bradwood Landing project. FERC has essentially made its altemative selection already. FERC
must explain in the DElS why there is still a need for another LNG import terminal facility, given
FERC's approval of Bradwood. FERC lllust explain why, ifit prefers Jordan Cove, that Project
is now environmentally preferable to Bradwood Landing. FERC cannot simply approve each of
its import tenninal alternatives piece-meal while at the same relying on the same need
FERC Alternatives (page 3-1).
FERC's alternatives analysis is impelmissibly constrained by its selection criteria. The FERes
evaluation criteria for selecting potentially reasonable and environmentally preferable
altematives include whether they: are technically feasible, reasonable, and practical; offer
significant environmental advantage over the proposed project; and meet the objectives of the
p r o j e c t ~ as described in section 3.1. DEIS 3-1. As described below, FERC has impermissibly
and repeatedly relied upon the project description to reject alternatives, rather than the stated goal
ofthe project. Moreover, FERC relied upon its own selection criteria ("offering significant
environmental advantage over the proposed project") to remove alternatives fi'om Ruther
consideration before even conducting the requisite environmental analysis. Those cursOlY
dismissals, unsuppOlted by agency analysis or fact, do not satisfy PERC's NEPA duty to consider
a reasonable range of alternatives.
The alternatives analysis fails to incorporate accurate information about other projects that may
provide natural gas at lower cost to the region. Realistically, FERCmust conduct a detailed
comparative analysis of LNG import terminal and pipeline projects currently proposed in the
region and the potential for domestic supply and pipeline altematives. Such an analysis is
necessary to determine whether the Jordan Cove project and pipeline represents a superior
Jordan CovelPacific Connector DEIS
Oregon Agency Comments
facility from an economic, environmental and social perspective.
FERC has not satisfied its obligation to consider a true no-action alternative before deciding to
allowthe Project to proceed.. FERCstates "it would be purely speculative to predict the resulting
effects and action that could be taken by other suppliers or users of natural gas in the region as
well as any associated direct and indirect environmental impacts." DElS 3.1.1. As a result,
FERC does not conduct that analysis. A general statement about uncertainty does not satisfy the
procedural requirement that an agency take a hard look at the environmental effects of an action.
While FERC might explain specific projections with reference to uncertainty; it may not rely on
a statement ofunceliainty to avoid even attempting the requisite analysis. See id. Fresh
consideration of a no-action alternative in this case is consistent with the agency's obligation to
take a meaningful look at the environmental consequences of the proposed action at a point early
enoughto conttibute to the decisionrnaking process, and not simply "rationalize 01' justifY
decisions already made." 40 CFR 1502.5;
FERC fails to consider the altemative ofpostponing action until an environmental analysis has
been completed onthe othel' LNG or pipeline projects proposed in Oregon. By postponing action
pending finther study, FERC could then conduct a comparative regional analysis to determine
which alternative best meets the needs ofthe Pacific Northwest with the least environmental
impacts. The failure to examine this viable altelnative renders the entire environmental impact
statement inadequate.
FERC has impermissibly conflated the no-action alternative and the postponed action alternative.
No-action and postponed action will have different impacts and should have been treated as
separate alternatives.
DEIS The analysis ofrenewable energy sources is fundamentally flawed because it does
not make' a comparison ofthe Project to a pOltfolio ofconservation and altemative sources.
Instead, FERC compares the amount ofenergy each alternative energy source could separately
produce to the Project in order to reject them (e.g. "At this rate, thousands ofacres of solar
collectors would be needed." DEIS 3-8; "...it would take 4,337 wind turbines to produce an
equivalent amount of electricity that could be generated using the total capacity ofthe natural gas
fl.-om the JCE & PCGP Project." DEIS 3-8 - 3-9). Those altemative energy sources are not
operating in a vacuum. A reasonable alternative is an energy p01tfolio consisting ofa variety of
different alternative energy sources. FERC's alternative analysis must reflect that reality and
hence must conduct further analysis on a portfolio of alternative energy projects as a reasonable
alternative to the Project.
DEIS The Coos Bay terminal site alternatives are not true altematives because they
could never support an LNG telminal. They are located within a horizontal distance ofone mile
from the ends ofthe Southwest Oregon Regional Airport runways, contrary to 49 CFR
193.2155(b). FERCneeds to select actual alternative terminal locations.
Jordan CovelPacific Connector DElS
OregonAgency Comments
Cumulative Impacts IDEIS 4.13)
Acumulative effects analysis must provide a useful analysis ofthe cumulative impacts ofpast,
present, and future projects. It must not only describe related projects but also enumerate the
environmental effects of those projects. It should provide adequate data of the time, place, and
scale and explainindetail howdifferent project plans and harvest methods affect the
environment. It must consider the interaction ofmultiple activities and cannot focus exclusively
on the environmental impacts of an individual project.
Here, the DEIS does not include an adequate discussion ofthe direct effects ofany ofthe
cumulative impacts it identifies. FERC must do more than merely state that past projects
-contributed to environmental harms. Nor does the DElS contain the requisite level of detailed
explanation. The DElS contail).s a table summarizing cumulative effects in broad terms, but it
does not offer quantified or detailed data about those effects. DElS Tables 4.13.1-1 and 4.13.1-2.
Nor does it list 01' discuss past activities- only Current 01' Proposed Activities. General
statements about possible effects and some risk do not constitute a hard look absent a
justificationl'egarding why more definitive information could not be provided. The DElS DOEs
not supply sufficient data ofthe time, type, place, and scale ofpast, present and future activities.
Even ifFERC is unable to indicate with any great degree ofceltaintythe results of the various
projects because the cumulative effects analysis requires an agency to predict future conditions,
uncertainty is an inherent part ofthe process. Therefore, a general statement about unceliainty
does not satisfy the procedural requirement that an agency take a hard look at the environmental
effects of an action. Although FERC might explain specific projections with reference to
unceliainty, it may not rely on a statement of uncertainty to avoid even attempting the requisite
The DElS is paliicularly inadequate in looking at past effects. NEPArequires adequate
cataloguing of relevant past projects in the area. The DElS must give a sufficiently detailed
catalogue ofpast, present, and future projects, and provide adequate analysis about howthese
projects, and differences between the projects, are thought to have impacted the environment.
FERC's DElS fails to describe past activities and previous environmental harms caused by these
past activities in sufficient detail to promote an informed assessment of environmental
considerations and policy choices by the public and agency personnel upon review ofthe DEIS.
The DEIS fails to take a hard look at the cumulative effects ofseveral pipeline crossings within
particular watersheds, many of which are 303(d) listed. Ifstreams are not meeting standards
now, it is unclear how impacts on riparian and upland vegetationfrom pipeline placement and
maintenance would affect them. The cumulative impact of all crossings of streams (permanent
or intennittent) whether through Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD), alternative 01'
conventional construction techniques, on temperature and sediment impacts within the various
watersheds has not been adequately addressed. The cumulative impact from these tributary
impacts on the already temperature-impaired lower rivel'S is also not analyzed.
Jordan CovelPacific Connector DEIS
Oregon Agency Comments
2. Oregon Dept. of Energy - Emergency Response Planning
After completing the review ofthe FERCDEIS for JCEP, you will fInd that these comments are
consistent with those made for FERC's DEIS for Bradwood Landing. Like the Bradwood
Landing DEIS, the JCEP DEIS' also recognizes the need to develop an emergency response plan
and a cost-sharing plan to ensure funding to state and local agencies fOl' project-specific safety
and security management costs. Unfoltunately, both DEIS' fail to provide ODOE permit
conditions to ensure that the final JCEP Emergency Response Plan meets state standards for
protecting the health and safety of Oregonians in the event ofan LNGemergency at the terminal
or along the 12-mile transit route involving the vessel.
ODOE's primary concern is that without specific guidelines enforceable by permit conditions for
developing the emergency response plan and a cost-sharing plan, FERC will create a process
flawthat opens the door for LNGdevelopers in Oregon to submit a final Emergency Response
Plan and receive FERCapproval without the necessary equipment, systems, and personnel
resources to implement the plan putting the lives of Oregonians at risk.
Here are some specific concerns and recommendations to FERC's JCEP DEIS:
4.12.5 LNG Carrier Safety
Page 4.12.40 - FERCRecommendation: Throughout the lite ofthe facility, Jordan Cove should
ensure that thefacility andany LNGcarrier h'ansiting to andfrom the facility comply with all
requirements setforth by the Coast Guard Captain ofthe Port Sector Portland, including al1l'isk
mitigation measure in the WSR,
ODOE Concern: While the U.S. Coast Guard's (USCG) WSRfocused on the navigation safety
and matitime;security risks posed by LNGmat'ine traffic, and the measures needed to responsibly
manage risks ;for the proposed project, the WSRprovides no guidelines to re-evaluate these risks
and the impacts to the community should JCEP decide to expand or make other changes to the
ODOERecommendation: ODOE recommends FERC include as a condition ofthe permit
language in section 4.12.5 that states: Throughout the life of the facility, Jordan Cove should
ensure that the facility and any LNG cat1ier transiting to and from the facility comply with all
requirements set forth by the Coast Guard Captain ofthe P0l1 Sector Portland, including all risk
mitigationmeasure recommended in the WSR. This includes working with COTP and the
Oregon Depm1ment ofEnergy (ODOE) to assess potential impacts to state and local emergency
response capabilities, resources, and activities as a result of the proposed project change 01'
expansion, LNG developers will cover all costs incurred by ODOE and local emergency
response organizations as a result of the proposed expansion or change. Propose expansion and
changes to the project include, but is not limited to:
a. Increases to the current shipment schedule
Jordan Cove/Pacific Connector DEIS
Oregon Agency Comments
b. Increasing the CUlTent carrier vessel size
c. Increases to the CUlTent emergency planning zones
d. Constructing additional LNGstorage tanks on site
e. Expanding CUlTent dockside capabilities
f. Other as appropriate
4.12.6 Emergency Response and Evacuation Planning
Page 4.12.42 - FERCRecommendation: Jordan Cove should develop an Emergency Response
Plan (including evacuation) and coordinate procedures with"the Coast Guard,' state, county, and
local emergencyplanning groups; fire departments; state and local law enforcement,' and
appropriate federal agencies. This plan should include at a minimum:
a. Designatedcontacts with state and local emergency response agencies;
b. Scalable proceduresfor the prompt notification ofappropriate local officials and
emergency response agencies basedon the level andseverity ofpotential
c, Proceduresfor notifyingresidents andrecreational users within areas of
potential hazard;
d. Evacuation routes/methodsfor residents andother public use areas that are
within any h'ansient hazard areas along the route ofthe LNG marine h'afjic;
e. Locations ofpermanent sirens andother warning devices; and
f. An "emergency coordinator" on each LNGcarrier to activate sirens andother
warning devices.
The emergency response plan should befiled with the Secretaryfor review andwritten approval
by the Director ofOEPprior to initial sitepreparation. Jordan Cove shouldnotifY the FERC
staffofall planning meetings in advance andshouldreport progress on the development ofits
Emergency Response Plan at 3-month intervals.
onOE Concern: ODOE commends FERC f01' requiring the JCEP to complete and receive
approval by the Director of EOP on their emergency response planprior to initial site
preparation. FERC should require this of all developers proposing to build LNG impoli
terminals in Oregon.
UnfOl1Unate1y, FERC's minimum guidelines for developing an LNG emergency response plan is
vague and omits many clitical elements of emergency response planning found the Federal
Response Framework and Oregon state standards and guidelines for emergency preparedness,
response, and recovery for nuclear, biological, chemical, and all-hazard emergencies.
onOERecommendation: Section 4.12.6 on Emergency Response and Evacuation Planning
should read: As a condition o f t h ~ permit, Jordan Cove should develop an Emergency Response
Plan (including evacuation) and coordinate procedures withthe Coast Guard; state, county, and
local emergency planning groups; fire departments; state and local lawenforcement; and
Jordan CovelPacific Connector DEIS
Oregon Agency Comments

appropriate federal agencies. This plan should include at a minimum:
a. Designated contacts with state and local emergency response agencies;
b. Scalable procedures for the prompt notification ofappropriate local officials and
emergency response agencies based on the level and severity ofpotential
c. Procedures for notifYing residents and recreational users withinareas ofpotential
d. Evacuation routes/methods for residents and .other public use areas that are within
any transient hazard areas along the route of the LNGmaline traffic;
e. Locations ofpermanent sirens and other warning devices; and
f. An "emergency on each LNG canier to activate sirens and other
warning devices.
g. Thirty days following the issuance of a FERC pelmit, LNG developers will
provide a comprehensive fire and response plan for the impolt terminal fm' aDOE
and local emergency response organizations review and approval. The planmust
meet state and National Fire ProtectionAssociation (NFPA) standards for a four-
minute response to a 1st Alarm Fire at an industrial facility as shown in Table
7.2.1 below. The proposed plan will include a resource list which details the
location and number offacilities, personnel, equipment, and apparatus provided,
and other peltinent information as appropriate.
Table 7.2.1 - - Required Resources for a "Medium-Hazard Occupancies" Response. This
includes apartments, offices, mercantile and industrial occupancies not normally requiring
extensive rescue or fhe-fighting forces.
At least 3 pumpers
I ladder truck (or combination apparatus with equivalent capabilities)
Other specialized apparatus as may be needed or available
No fewer than 16 fire fighters, 1chiefofficer, 1safety officer, and a Rapid
Intervention Team (4 - 5 fire fighters on standby at event scene).
Note: Refer to Volume 1 - NFPAHandbook, 19
Edition, Chapter 2, Section7, Organizing for
Fire and Rescue Services.
Upon state and local approval ofthe plan, all personnel, training, facilities, equipment, systems
and supplies provided to ensure effective fire and rescue response to the import tenninal must be
inplace prior to consbuction and maintained throughout the life of the project by the LNG
a. Prior to construction, LNG developers will provide a comprehensive marine
fuefighting plan for ODOE and local emergency response organizations review
and approval. This proposed plan will be consistent with U.S. Coast Guard and
state standards and requirements for responding to shipboard fires and other LNG
Jordan CovelPacific Connector DEIS
Oregon Agency Comments
carrier events along the transit route. The proposed plan will also include a
resource list which details the location and number of personnel, equipment, and
apparatus provided, and other pertinent information as appropriate. Upon state
and local approval of the plan, all personnel, equipment, and resources provided
to marine firefighting must be dedicated to LNG response, in place pdor to
operation and maintained throughout the life ofthe project by the LNG developer.
b. Prior to construction, LNG developers will provide a comprehensive shore-side
security planfor ODOE and local emergency response organizations review and
approval. The proposed plan will assess and identify additional local law
enforcement personnel and resources needed, ifany, as a result of the project.
This includes, but is not limited to LNG developer expectation oflocallaw
enforcement to conduct shore-side patrols, provide traffic control during
evacuations, and respond to reported suspicious activity from 911 calls or those
captured on security cameras as the LNG carrier is in the channel and at the
import terminal. Upon state and local approval of the plan, all personnel,
equipment, and resources provided to enhance security on shore must be
dedicated to LNGresponse, inplace prim' to operation and maintained throughout
the life ofthe project by the LNGdeveloper.
c. Pdor to construction, LNG developers w i l ~ provide a comprehensive water-side
security plan for ODOE and local emergency response organizations review and
approval. The proposed plan will assess and identify additional local law
enforcement personnel and resources needed, ifany, as a result ofthe project.
This includes, but is not limited to LNG developer expectation oflocallaw
enforcement to conduct water-side patrols and enforce LNGvessel security and
exclusion zones along the channel and at the impOlt terminal. Upon state and
local approval ofthe plan, all pel'sonnel, equipment, and resources provided to
enhance security on the water must be dedicated to LNGresponse, in place prior
to operation and maintained throughout the life of the project by the LNG
d. Prior to construction, LNG developers will provide a comprehensive public
waming systemplan for the region for ODOE and local emergency response
organizations reviewand approval. The proposedplan will include the following
alert and notifications systems, but is not limited to:
Reverse 911 (24-Port) Systemfor the host county - The systemwill include the
following capabilities: high volume calling; compatible with majOl' mapping
systems; E911 data ready; multiple devices (recorded voice messages, text
messages to wireless receivers, and digital pages); geo-dimensional calling; full
networking capabilities; off-site back-up notification; remote launching capability;
and other capabilities as appropriate.
Jordan CovelPacific Connector DElS
Oregon Agency Comments
Sirens - Outdoor siren systemthroughout the entire transit route covering all three
zones ofconcern up to the imPOlt terminal. The systemwill include the following
capabilities: multiple high intensity warning signals; live and digital voice
messaging with flat frequency response from 200 - 2000 Hz for clear voice
reproduction; 360-degree coverage with no sound variation in the horizontal plane
(106 to 125 dBc at 100ft/30m); continued emergency operation regardless of
primary power outages, and other capabilities as appropriate. LNG developers will
include a map ofthe proposed number and locations of sirens showing the coverage
area ofeach proposed siren for state and local reviewand approval.
Reader Boards - Reader boards located along the highways in the host county to
provide event information, direct traffic, and facilitate evacuations. LNG
developers will include a map of the proposed number and locations ofreader'
boards for state and county approval. Reader board specifications must be
consistent with the Oregon Department of Transportation reader boards located
throughout the state.
Upon state and local approval ofthe plan, all equipment and systems provided to enhance the
host county's public warning systemmust be in place, tested, and operational prior to import
terminal operation and maintained throughout the life of the project by the LNG developer.
a. Prior to constluction, LNG developers will provide a comprehensive plan for a
remote gas detection systemfor the region for ODOE and local emergency
response organizations review and approval. The proposed plan will include a list
with a breakdown of all proposed fixed and portable gas detectors and designated
locations for the equipment. The plan will include infOlmation about the
following systems, but is not limited to:
Fixed Gas DetectOl's - Fixed gas detectors will be provided in all high risk and
high population areas alohg the entire transit route in the host county. Fixed gas
detector capabilities will include remote wireless operations and the ability to
provide readouts in multiple locations.
Portable Gas Detectors - LNG developers will provide three layers ofpoliable gas
detectors. 1) All emergency responder vehicles inthe region will be provided a
methane gas detector. 2) Methane gas and oxygen meters will be assigned to all
fire tiucks, and 3) Multi-meters will be provided to hazardous materials responders.
Upon state and local approval of the plan, all fixed and pOltable gas detectors and systems
provided must be in place, tested, and operational prior to imPOlt tellninal operation and
maintained throughout the life ofthe project.
a. Prior to consttuction, LNG developers will provide a comprehensive plan for an
Jordan CovelPacific Connector DEIS
Oregon Agency Comments
interoperable communications systemfor the region for ODOE and local
emergency response organizations reviewand appl'Oval. The proposed plan will
be compatible with state and local communications capabilities and include the
following systems, but is not limited to:
Repeaters and Cell Towel's - Specify the number ofrepeaters and cell towers
needed to ensure uninterrupted cell and radio coverage along the entire transit route
to the covering all three zones of concern. LNG developers will
pl'Ovide a map of the proposed repeater and cell tower locations showing the
.coverage ai..ea of eachproposed repeater and cell tower locationfor state and local
review and approval. .
Incident Command - Specify the number and locations ofintrinsically safe
handheld radios to be provided to lawenforcement, and other responders to an
LNGmishap. Include information on FCC licensing requirements and proposed
frequencies, antenna system, base station console, and other pertinent infOlmation.
Emergency Operations Centers - Multiple federal, state, and local emergency
operations centers (EOCs) may be activated in response to an LNG mishap. EOCs
support the incident command. LNG developers will specifY the primary and
redundant backup communications systems to be used to ensure uninterrupted
communications between the import telminal and the federal, state, and local
EOCs. This includes, but is not limited to a dedicated phone system, video
teleconference system, satellite phones, Internet, e-mail, and other technology as
Upon state and local approval of the plan, all equipment and systems provided to enhance the
region's interoperable communications systemmust be in place, and operational prior to
import terminal operation and maintained throughout the life ofthe project by the LNG
a. Prior to construction, LNG developers will provide a comprehensive plan fOl'
upgrading and equipping the host county primary EOC fo1' state and local emergency
response organization review and approval. The proposed plan will ensure adequate
work space for affected federal, state, and local emergency responders rep0l1ing to the
EOCjointly responding to LNGemergencies at the import tenninal or along the
transit route.
ODOE also requires the host county EOCto be located outside ofthe three zones of concern. If
the host countis EOC is within the three zones of concern, LNG developers will work with the
host countyto complete one of the following tasks:
a; Relocate the EOe to a facility outside ofthe three zones of concern. The relocated
Jordan CovelPacific Connector DEIS
Oregon Agency Comments
EOC will be equipped to accommodate affected federal, state, and local emergency
responders reporting to the EOC jointly responding to LNG emergencies at the import
terminal or along the transit route.
b. Pre-designate an altemate EOC and ensure this location has sufficient work space to
accommodate affected federal, state, and local emergencyresponders reporting to the
EOCjointlyresponding to LNG emergencies at import telminal 01' along the transit
route. This includes equipping the pre-designated alternate EOC with the same
capabilities as the primary EOC to ensure a seamless transition to the alternate EOC if
a LNG mishap prevents the use ofthe primmy county EOC. Pre-designating and
equipping an alternate EOC ensures the host county can maintain direction and
control oflocal protective actions and decisions, providing a sustained response
throughout the duration ofan LNG event.
Upon state and local approval ofthe plan, the facility, equipment and systems must be in place,
tested, and operational prior to import terminal operation and maintained throughout the life of
the project by the LNG developer.
a. Prior to construction, LNGdevelopers will provide a comprehensive plan for pre-
designating and equipping a Joint Information Center (TIC) for ODOE and local
emergency response organizations review and approval. The proposed plan will
identify a location for the TIC outside ofthe three zones ofconcern. The proposed
plan will ensure adequate space and equipment for conducting news conferences. The
proposedplan will also ensure adequate work space for public information officers
from federal, estate, and local emergency response organizations reporting to the TIC
to coordinate the release of emergency infOlmation and instructions.
The of the JIC is to ensure the coordination ofevent information among the federal,
state, and local agencies responding to the event. The goal is to provide a consistent message to
news media and the public. The TIC will be the location for news conferences;' coordinating
news releases from responding federal, state, and local jurisdictions as well as the LNG
developer; addressing public and media inquiries; and other public information activities as
appropriate. Failure to provide a central cleming house to manage the receipt and dissemination
ofemergency information may result in misinformation, inconsistent information, and
unconfirmed infOlmation getting out to the public and news media creating public panic,
confusion, and mistlUSt.
Upon state and local approval ofthe plan, the facility, equipment and systems must be in place,
tested, and operational prior to import terminal operation and maintained throughout the life of
the project by the LNG developer.
a. Thirty days following the issuance of a FERC pelmit, LNG developers will provide a
comprehensive training plan for ODOE and emergency response organizations
Jordan CovelPacific Connector DEIS
Oregon Agency Comments
review and approval. The proposed training plan allows state and local organizations
the ability to detelmine whether the project's training programis adequate for
preparing tbis region's emergency responders and decision-makers for an LNG
emergency at the import terminal and along the transit route. The proposed training
plan will include, but is not limited to:
Construction of an LNGFire Training Center inthe host county - It is more cost
effective to build an LNGtraining facility locally and bring in instructors from
Texas A& M or other accredited training institutions than to send fire fighters to
training in Texas or elsewhere in the country, LNG developers will work with state
and local emergency respondel's to determine location and facility design and
Type oftraining to include, but is not limited to: 1) Incident Command System; 2)
facility security; 3) oil & hazmat spill response; 4) LNG for fire fighters, emergency
responders, and law 5) marine fire fighting; 6) general LNG training;
7) advanced LNG ftre fighting; 8) hospital training; 9) tabletops, drill, and
exercises and other training as appropriate.
Schedule oftraining detailing the type of training, required training hours, and
number of anticipated trainees from LNGdevelopers, state, and local agencies,
Upon state and local approval of the plan, the facility, insttuctors, equipment and systems must
be in place, tested, and operational prior to construction and maintained throughout the life of the
project by the LNG developer.
a. Thirty days following the issuance ofa FERC permit, LNG developers will provide
funding to the host county for hiring a full-time County LNGPlanner & Fire
Response Coordinatol'. The position description for the County LNGPlanner & Fire
Response Coordinator will include 1) drafting the county LNG emergency response
plan; 2) working withfirst responders to prepare for LNG vessel arrivals and
depattures; 3) working with first responders, the state, and LNG developers to
conduct plan review, coordinate training, exercises, public and 4)
pelforming other LNG emergency preparedness activities as appropriate, The County
LNGPlanner & Fire Response Coordinator must be hired and trained prior to
construction. Funding for this position will be maintained throughout the life of the
project bythe LNG developer.
b. Prior to constructioJ.l, LNG developers will provide a comprehensive plan to address
bumvictims as a result ofan LNG emergency at the import telminal or along the
transit route for ODOE and local emergency response organization review and
approval. The plan will be consistent with the capabilities outlined in the Burn Mass
Casualty Plan for the Oregon Burn Center at Legacy Emanuel Hospital. Specifically,
Jordan CovelPacific Connector DEIS
Oregon Agency Comments
LNGdevelopers will provide area hospital(s) with the personnel and resources
necessmy to implement the Burn Mass Casualty Plan's 72 Hour BumPlan - Care of
BumPatients in a Non-Bum Hospital. This includes, but is not limited to:
Identifying resources and procedures necessary for treating burn victims if
immediate transfer to a regional bumcenter is not feasible. This includes ongoing
resuscitation and care.
Identify medical supplies, pharmaceuticals, and equipment needed to support a
triage station capable ofn'eating 5 victims with severe bums. This includes pre-
packed medical resources.
Communications capabilities including 800 rnhz trunked radio and web-based
clientlsel'Ver applications to coordinate communications between the event scene
and the Columbia Memorial Hospital and serve as the patient information tracking
mechanisminevents involving multiple burn victims.
Staffing requirements for care of burn patients in a non-burn hospital.
Upon state and local approval ofthe plan, the facility, personnel, equipment and
systems must be in place, tested, and operational prior to impOlt terminal operation
and maintained throughout the life of the project bythe LNG developer.
c. LNG developers will provide timely notifications (within 15 minutes of event onset)
to ODOE in the event of an incident at the impOlt telminal and along the transit route
with potential impacts to the health and safety of site workers, the public or the
environment. This includes security threats and any other event that may generate
media attention.
LNG developers will maintain ongoing communications with and provide event information to
decision-makers at the ODOE EOCthroughout the duration of an emergency. This includes, but
is not limited to information about the emergency classification, facility conditions, LNGrelease,
mitigationmeasures taken, vessel information, meteorological data, protective action
recommendations, maps, and other pettinent emergency infOlmation as appropriate.
d. LNG developers will work with ODOE and local emergency response organizations
to maintain program readiness. This includes ensuring that the state and local
decision makers and responders are prepared to respond to an LNG crisis at the
impOlt terminal and along the transpol1 route. This includes:
PlanUpdate - Coordinate the reviewand update ofemergency response
plans at all levels annually or as needed. Revisions will include improvements
identified through training, drills, and exercises.
Drills and Exercises - Schedule and coordinate drills and exercises as
Jordan CovelPacific Connector DEIS
Oregon Agency Comments
~ Annual Tabletop DIm - To talk through the LNG developer response as well as
federal, state, and local responses to an LNGemergency at the import terminal and
along the transit route.
~ Annual Full Scale Exercise - To evaluate the actual response capabilities of LNG
developers and federal, state, and local emergency response organizations as
discussed inthe Tabletop Drills. For full-scale exercises, LNG developers will
work with ODOE to establish an Exercise Planning Team. This Teamwill include
representatives from the LNG developer, U.S. Coast Guard, ODOE, county
government, and local emergency response agencies as appropriate. The Exercise
Planning Teamwill develop the exercise objectives and limitations, the extent-of-
play, and the scenario. All information pertaining to drill and e x e r c i ~ e scenarios
are t ~ be kept under the custody ofthe trusted agent for each organization and not
to be released to participants. The Teamalso organizes control and critique ofthe
~ Qualterly Communications Exercises - Testing LNG developers' initial
notification methods with offsite federal, state, and local emergency response
agencies. This includes primary and backup communications methods.
Communications exercises can run in conjunction with qumterly impolt terminal
g. LNG developers will work with ODOE and county governments to ensure LNG
public outreach is conducted inhost communities and throughout the state as
needed. This includes but is not limited to:
Public meetings or workshops
Presentations to community and business groups, elected officials,
schools, and other audiences as appropliate
News Media
Provide pre-plinted materials about JCEP and LNGto libraries, schools,
businesses, government offices, and other locations as appropriate. This
includes but is not limited to brochures, fact sheets, and calendars.
Other public outreach activities as appropliate
Safety Hazards (DEIS 4.12) - DOE appreciates the modeling the applicant has recently
performed on tsunami risks to the telminal facility. However, the model currently provided is
inadequate, because it "does not demonstrate the impact to an LNGtankel' in the slip. The
applicant should explain what would likely happen to an LNGtanker in the slip or explain why
an LNGtanker could never be in the slip when a tsunami hits. The applicant should also explain
how it expects to respond upon receiving notice of a potential tsunami.
Jordan CovelPacific Connector DElS
OregonAgency Comments
The DEI8 fails to discuss the risk ofanchor strikes to the pipeline as it crosses watelways,
palticularly Coos Bay. If the applicant proposes to somehow prevent boats from anchoring
above the right ofway, the method for doing so, and the impacts to recreational and commercial
waterway users and the environment, need to be discussed in detail.
3. Oregon Dept. of Parks and Rec, SHPO
. From Susan White, 8&0: liThe cultural resource survey and evaluation is still on-going, so our
comments only pertain to what has been submitted to us thus far. I do not anticipate another
draft ofthe cultural resource evaluation report prior to December 2nd, so unless I submit
something else in the meantime, this would be the SHPO comments regarding the archaeology of
the project.
The comments (which were sent directly to Paul Flledman in July 11,2008 letter from SHPO)
are in the form of
a cover letter and table responding to resource report #4 - Cultural Resources
(Attachment #1) and
"trinomial tableII showing various historic and prehistOllc sites and theil' potential
eligibility for National Registry ofHistOlic Places listing (Attachment #2).
4. Oregon Water Resources Department
The Oregon Water Resources Depmtment (OWRD) is concemed that despite several contacts
with project representatives, there seems to be a very limited understanding or acknowledgement
of Oregon Water Law. This is apparent in the numerous comments regarding water use. We are
willing, and encourage, meetings with the applicant to discuss these issues and explore options
leading to their resolution.
Section Service Water Systems. Pg 2-32 Water for Terminal operations will be supplied
by Coos Bay NOlth Bend Water Board (CBNBWB). No issues
Section2.1.3.5 Ballast and Cooling Water Pg. 2-11 20 - 50 million gallons of water per ship
with through a proposed screen system and floating filtered water system. On-shore diversions of
waterjor Ballast and Cooling use will require apermit, storage ojwater on landfor Ballast and
Cooling use will require apermit.
Section Service Water Systems. Pg. 2-32 Hydro-test tank water, Fire pond water fl'Om
CBNBWB system. Unless obtainedfrom a Municipal supplier, water used in the processing of