Appalachian Basin

Leatherstocking Tales (from NYRAD)

Question:  What is the value of a public hearing when a special interest group steals the floor?

Answer:  Nothing.  It’s a waste of time for everyone in attendance.

Last week, during a hearing before the Town of Sidney, a special interest group, NYRAD, used the open comment period for the Leatherstocking Gas Company, LLC, pipeline project as a way to push its anti-gas agenda. If you are not familiar with NYRAD, they are a group determined to stop gas development in NY and when given a chance to speak on any project NYRAD members often chose to make exaggerated claims, regardless of what the actual project is about.  During this particular hearing, NYRAD told these whoppers about the Leatherstocking distribution pipeline:

  • This pipeline is secretly a transmission line capable of bringing in gas from out of the area.
    Wrong.  The company will be using 6 inch High Density Polyethylene (HDPE 3406) pipe operating at pressures below 124psi.
  • Right-of-way and eminent domain will be used to steal private property.
    Wrong.  Leatherstocking will utilize a combination of public rights-of-way; generally speaking, local roads. The physical space the pipe takes is typically the pipe’s outside diameter. The trench width for a 6 or 8 inch diameter pipe is 12 to 18 inches wide, allowing it more then enough room in the typical 25 foot right-of-way for town roads. The trench would be 36 to 60 inches deep. The actual construction phase of the process will require traffic control and safety personnel while installing. Fusing and installing plastic pipe is much quicker than welding steel pipe. 500ft a day should be easy to complete.
  • Distribution pipeline projects are unregulated.
    Wrong. Distribution pipeline projects are regulated at the state and local levels with many different approvals, permits and inspections mandated during the planning, construction and operation periods. Each utility has a state approved Operations and Maintenance manual which identifies how pipe must be installed. Additionally, “Codes Rules and Regulations of the State of New York 16 public Service (B) Part 255 Subchapter C covers all aspects of safety regulation for natural gas transmission and distribution.  Also, USDOT pipeline safety regulations for natural gas parts 191,192, and 199 cover installation, operations, and drug testing of employees. Other regulation would have to do with the actual physical regulation of gas pressure in the pipe.  All pipeline system are monitored remotely 24/7 with and automated alarm system and must be installed with physical overpressure protections. The system must have relief valves installed  capable of protecting the system and its customers from system over pressurization.  Finally, each customer service line on a high pressure service anything above 1/4psi has a relief valve on it and en excess flow valve installed.
  • LLC status will be invoked to protect the company when a disaster happens.
    Wrong.  An LLC is a popular legal entity used widely through the country.  Ironically, it is a hybrid between a corporation (most protection, high taxation) and a proprietorship (low protection, low taxation). For more information click here.

Below is video of a NYRAD member spreading propaganda about gas development. Notice how blatantly off topic these remarks are and the uproar from other members of NYRAD when she is asked by the Supervisor to refocus on the topic on pipelines.

Clearing the Air

Leatherstocking‘s business model is simple; local gas for consumption by local people. Leatherstocking Gas Company, LLC, is a joint venture between Corning Gas and Mirabito Energy Products. The joint project started when a few large industrial customers Amphenol and Meadwestvaco expressed interest in natural gas to replace its current fuel sources (oil and propane). By switching to natural gas these companies will become more competitive in the marketplace and its estimated the switch is economically equivalent to about 40 new jobs.

For Leatherstocking to satisfy the needs of these anchor customers, a municipal franchise needs to be secured in every municipality this pipeline might run through. Below is an explanation:

A municipal franchise nothing more then an agreement between a municipality and a distribution company allowing (1) the utilization of existing town’s right-of-ways and (2) the ability to sell gas to local industrial, commercial, and residential customers. The municipalities of Sidney, Bainbridge, and Coventry have already started negotiations with the company citing the many environmental and economical benefits.

Questions and Answers NYRAD Doesn’t Want To Hear

How long before the local residents of Sidney can benefit from this pipeline?

How long will Leatherstocking be around and will I be able to purchase gas from other providers?

Is the Leatherstocking pipeline in Sidney the answer to jobs and growth in Delaware County?

Did you know Sidney has 70 properties on the market, declining population, and high taxes? The Leatherstocking distribution pipeline could change that by lowering the cost home ownership, making local companies more competitive, and creating new jobs.

The following videos are of the Village of Sidney’s Mayor showing support for this project and another resident speaking out against renewable energy sources because of there inefficiency and cost.

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