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People’s Dossier of FERC Abuses: Safety Threats Ignored

FERC Ignores Critical, Even Catastrophic, Safety Concerns

(Download printable copy of “People’s Dossier of FERC Abuses: Safety Threats Ignored” with attachments here)

FERC routinely overlooks critical safety issues. For example, FERC has approved construction of the Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) pipeline (FERC Docket CP14-96) adjacent to the Indian Point nuclear facility on the Hudson River, bringing the total number of neighboring pipelines to three. Nuclear safety experts have warned FERC that a rupture in the AIM pipeline at Indian Point could result in a radioactive release greater than that at Fukushima, rendering the region and likely New York City uninhabitable. FERC has approved the project despite its knowledge of the unique national security risk that the pipelines sited at the Indian Point nuclear facility pose to the 20 million people within the 50-mile impact radius of the plant.

According to Richard Kuprewicz, pipeline safety expert, the mitigation measures proposed (such as burying the pipe two feet deeper and adding concrete slabs above the pipe) are unlikely to offer protection. In addition, a former chief consultant for the Indian Point power plant put the probability of a nuclear failure at Indian Point due to a pipeline incident in the range of 1 in 1,000 to 1 in 10,000 per year–a very dangerous level that not only shocks the public conscience, but is not in keeping with regulatory goals according to expert testimony (Attch 1Attch 2Attch 3)

FERC also fails to adequately consider the safety record of pipeline companies in its reviews.  For example, in considering the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline (FERC Docket CP13-492) being proposed by the Williams Company, FERC did not give due consideration to the massive gas leak and explosion at its liquid natural gas facility in Washington state.  Workers were injured and hundreds were forced to evacuate their homes when 599,340 gallons of liquid natural gas leaked or exploded. (Attch 4)

Complete People’s Dossier: FERC’s Abuses of Power and Law 
available here.