WGFD Grossly Unprepared for Crestwood Emergency

Jeremy Weir Alderson, editor and publisher of the No Frack Almanac, today
released a special report on the preparedness of the Watkins Glen Fire
Department to combat potential emergencies related to the proposed expansion
of the Crestwood gas-storage facility in Reading, NY.

Some highlights of the report:

  • Only nine members of the WGFD are qualified to take offensive action to extinguish a hazmat fire.
  • The WGFD has never exchanged a single piece of correspondence with Crestwood on any subject and has never corresponded with anyone anywhere about the potential dangers of salt-cavern gas storage.
  • The WGFD does not have in its possession a map of the Crestwood facility or a diagram of the shut-off valves for the part of the facility that is already operational, as would be required by standard firefighting practice.
  • Though the Schuyler County Emergency Services assure the public that they do “Comprehensive all hazards pre-disaster planning” and “Pre-disaster mitigation planning,” when it comes to Crestwood, they can present no evidence that they have done any such planning at all.
  • In response to a Freedom-of Information Law request covering the past five years, the WGFD could not produce a single document from Crestwood listing the hazardous materials it has on site, even though, according to New York law (NY.GMU.LAW 209u), such documents are supposed to be filed annually.
  • The WGFD admits to having taken $15,000 ? of which at least $10,000 was solicited from Crestwood (and its predecessor company, Inergy), but claims to have no record of those transactions and, thus, can present no evidence that that’s all they took.

“Would Smokey Bear take contributions from the Carelessly Thrown Match
Association?” asks Alderson.  “Based on the evidence that the WGFD, itself,
provided, the WGFD’s’s stated position that it is prepared to handle
possible Crestwood emergencies is simply untrue.  These types of facilities
are accident prone, and the people who are supposed to protect us are
endangering us and themselves instead.”

The full report can be accessed at:  http://www.nofrackalmanac.com

DEC To Hold Issues Conference on Application for LPG Storage Facility in Schuyler County

August 11, 2014:  Based on extensive public interest regarding a proposal to construct and operate an underground facility for storage and distribution of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in the Town of Reading, Schuyler County, State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced that an issues conference will be scheduled through DEC’s Office of Hearings to determine if there are any significant and substantive issues that require an adjudicatory hearing.

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News from Seneca Lake

Here in the Finger Lakes region of New York State,  Houston-based Crestwood Midstream intends to store — in abandoned salt caverns located beside 635-foot-deep, trout-filled Seneca Lake — 2 billion cubic feet of compressed natural gas (methane) and 88 million gallons of liquefied petroleum gases (propane and butane).  According to Joseph Campbell, of Gas Free Seneca,

“It’s tantamount to burying giant cigarette lighters along the shorelines of paradise.  But apparently Crestwood doesn’t care that Seneca Lake is a world’s top lakeside destination. As promised to shareholders, the corporation intends to turn the Finger Lakes into ‘an integrated natural gas storage and transportation hub for the Northeast’.” Continue reading

Additional News to Consider. . .

  • Overseas, Germany plans to adopt regulations that will rule out shale fracking for the foreseeable future.  The government wants to ban hydraulic fracturing in shale rocks and coal beds at depths less than 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) and prohibit all types of fracking in water protection areas.  The country has long recognized the benefits of moving away from fossil fuels and has a track record of increasing success using wind, solar and geo-thermal sources of energy.  They now generate 37 percent of their daily electricity from wind and solar and analysts predict that number will rise to 50 percent by 2020.  A recent “record” was set (for a day) when 74% of all electricity generated in the country was produced by these alternate sources.
  • The US Navy appears to have achieved the Holy Grail of energy independence – the process pulls carbon dioxide (the greenhouse gas driving Climate Change) out of the ocean. The new fuel is initially expected to cost around $3 to $6 per gallon, according to the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, which has already flown a model aircraft using the fuel.

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LNG Risk Assessment

A new two-page fact sheet has been released by AAF. Clearly stated and fully sourced, it provides a different view of those high-tech gas liquification facilities and tanker superships touted on all the API TV commercials.

A selection of facts drawn from the paper:

  • Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is methane in the form of a bubbling, super-cold liquid (minus 259 degrees Fahrenheit). By contrast, Compressed Natural Gas is highly pressurized methane vapor.
  • LNG is the form that natural gas takes when it is exported overseas on tanker ships. To a lesser extent, LNG is used as vehicle fuel in, for example, long-haul trucks.
  • If LNG spills into water, it explodes.
  • If LNG spills on the ground, it turns into rapidly expanding clouds of vaporizing methane that can asphyxiate by displacing oxygen and flash-freeze human flesh.
  • If ignited at the source, these vapors become flaming “pool fires” that burn hotter than other fuels and cannot be extinguished.
  • Drifting in the wind, an ignitable vapor cloud can threaten large populations.
  • Highly volatile LNG cannot be odorized, so there is no warning of a leak.
  • The ongoing prohibition on LNG facilities in New York State was the result of a deadly explosion in 1973 that blew apart an empty LNG tank in Staten Island and killed 40 people.

Read the full report here and feel free to distribute it to those in search of enlightenment.

Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson Cries NIMBY and Sues the Frackers

Rex Tillerson is the chairman, president, and CEO of Exxon Mobil Corporation. Under Tillerson’s leadership Exxon acquired XTO Energy, making Exxon the biggest natural gas producer in the U.S.

Go ahead, look it up.  I’ll wait.  And here is some “About” text from the XTO web site you can confirm:

XTO Energy Inc. was founded in 1986 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Safely and responsibly extracting natural gas from U.S. shale and other tight formations is our principal business. We also produce crude oil and natural gas liquids in the United States.

We’re the nation’s largest holder of natural gas reserves, and we have one of the highest drilling success rates in the industry.

We operate throughout the United States, from the Great Plains to Appalachia. You’ll find us in places such as Montana and Pennsylvania, Utah and Louisiana, and Texas and Ohio. We own interests in approximately 40,000 producing oil and natural gas wells across the country.

XTO Energy Inc. and Exxon Mobil Corporation merged in 2010.

In March 2013, Rex and his wife, in conjunction with five other well-to-do neighboring couples from Bartonville, Texas, filed a lawsuit.  According to petition No. 2012-30982-211 filed in the district court of Denton County, Texas, Rex and Renda live on their Bartonville ranch, named Bar RR Ranches, LLC, which has a fair market value in excess of $5 million.

Whom are they suing?  The defendants are the “BARTONVILLE WATER SUPPLY CORPORATION; ITS GENERAL MANAGER AND ITS BOARD OF DIRECTORS.”

Why? The plaintiffs wish to enjoin the water company from building a 750,000 gallon water tower that “will loom over the Plaintiffs properties at a height of 160 feet – the equivalent of a 16 story building.” And furthermore, the plaintiffs claim the water company intends to “sell water to oil and gas explorers for fracing shale formations leading to traffic with heavy trucks on FM 407, creating a noise nuisance and traffic hazards.”

We certainly are sympathetic to the Tillersons’ and their neighbors’ fears, honest American citizens, Texans moreover, with ordinary sensibilities wishing to simply live their lives in peace, quite, and good health in their own homes/ranches. Or as they most eloquently put it: Continue reading