natural gas

Franklin family's lamb found decapitated after compressor meeting

Members of a politically active Franklin farming family found one of their lambs decapitated outside their home on June 2, according to an article in the Daily Star.

In act reminiscent of the "horse head" scene in the movie "The Godfather," the lamb was reportedly found headless outside the home of Linda and Pete Bevilacqua.

The Bevilacquas say that they had returned home​ after a rancorous town meeting about a proposed gas pipeline compressor station slated to be built in the Delaware County town of Franklin, which the Bevilacquas oppose.

According to reporter Joe Mahoney, the Bevilacquas suspect that there is a political motivation for the slaying:  Read more

New pipeline company wants compressors in Franklin, Schoharie

Above: Jan Mulroy of Franklin, an opponent of gas pipelines and compressor stations, delivers a petition containing over 500 signatures of like-minded residents to the Franklin Town Council. Photo by Robert Cairns. 

A farm in the Delaware County town of Franklin could be the site of a new natural gas compressor station, while the Schoharie County town of Schoharie could be home to two of them.

The stations would be placed along the route of a proposed new section of the Northeast Energy Direct (NED) pipeline, a project of Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company LLC, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan.

The new section of the NED pipeline is slated to run along a route from Pennsylvania to Schoharie County that is similar to that of the Constitution Pipeline, which received federal approval last year and is now awaiting state permits.  Read more

With 121 eminent domain cases filed, another round of hearings for Constitution Pipeline

Above: An underground natural gas pipeline right-of-way after completion. Photo courtesy of FERC.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is holding public hearings on whether or not to issue a permit to the Constitution Pipeline, a natural gas pipeline that seeks to break ground through Delaware, Schoharie, Broome and Chenango counties this year. The agency has also extended its public comment period on the pipeline until Feb. 27, 2015. 

The pipeline cleared its main federal hurdle, approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), on Dec. 2. 

Since then, it has been moving aggressively to force reluctant landowners along the 124-mile route to cooperate. The pipeline has filed 121 eminent domain lawsuits against property owners along the route who don't want the pipeline to cross their land.  Read more

Constitution Pipeline files 55 eminent domain lawsuits against Catskills landowners

Above: The proposed route of the Constitution Pipeline in 2013. Via the Constitution Pipeline's website.  

Since Dec. 12, the Constitution Pipeline has filed formal eminent domain proceedings against 55 landowners along the pipeline’s proposed 124-mile route through Schoharie, Delaware and Chenango counties, federal court records show.

The pipeline, which received conditional approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Dec. 2, has wasted no time in using the power of eminent domain to force people to allow the 30-inch natural gas pipeline to cross their land.

On Wednesday, Dec. 3, the pipeline’s law firm sent a letter to resistant landowners offering them a chance to accept compensation in exchange for an easement on their property. The letter gave the landowners until Dec. 11 to make up their minds.  Read more

New York state bans fracking

 

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At a cabinet meeting that was open to the public today, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York State Department of Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens and New York Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker announced that the practice of natural gas drilling called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, will be prohibited in New York State.   Read more

Town of Andes bans fracking waste

Above: Rush hour traffic in Andes, New York. Photo by Flickr user charltonlido, taken in 2010

With a unanimous vote, the town board of the Delaware County town of Andes passed a local law banning oil and natural gas waste on Tuesday, Dec. 9, according to Tom Joyce, the Andes town board member who drafted the law. 

The new law bans the sale, acquisition, storage, handling, treatment and processing of natural gas waste and oil waste within Andes town limits. It includes specific provisions on applying fracking waste to all roads within the town and disposing of such waste in the town dump or in the town wastewater treatment plant.  Read more

Along pipeline route, dozens of landowners receive letters threatening eminent domain

Above: An excerpt from a letter sent to to landowners along the route of the Constitution Pipeline on Dec. 3. Read the full letter at the bottom of this story or by clicking here

The day after receiving federal approval, the Constitution Pipeline sent letters threatening to use eminent domain authority against dozens of landowners who are reluctant to allow the 124-mile natural gas pipeline across their land.

The pipeline, which has been in the works for two and a half years, will run from Pennsylvania through New York's Delaware, Schoharie, Broome and Chenango counties. It received conditional approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Tuesday, Dec. 2.

On Wednesday, Dec. 3, the pipeline’s law firm, Saul Ewing, began playing hardball with landowners who have not accepted the pipeline’s offer of compensation in exchange for pipeline access.  Read more

Constitution Pipeline receives federal approval, eminent domain power

Above: A natural gas pipeline being constructed. Photo courtesy of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The Constitution Pipeline received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to build a 124-mile natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania through New York's Delaware, Schoharie, Broome and Chenango counties on Tuesday, Dec. 2. 

FERC's certificate of public convenience and necessity gives the Constitution Pipeline the power of eminent domain, which allows it to force landowners along the route to accept the pipeline's path through their property.

The pipeline's new powers are setting it up for a fight in the Catskills. Over half of the landowners along the route haven't agreed to allow the pipeline across their land. If they continue to resist, the pipeline can take them to court. 

Construction can begin as soon as the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issue permits for the project, which could happen early in 2015.  Read more

Sidney gas drilling moratorium struck down in court

Above: Inge Grafe-Kieklak, plaintiff in a recent lawsuit challenging a Sidney town moratorium on gas drilling, demonstrates at a pro-drilling rally in Albany on Oct. 15, 2012. Grafe-Kieklak's sign, written in her native German, translates: "Gov. Cuomo, you have no right to take our mineral rights!" Photo taken by pro-drilling blogger Andy Leahy of NY Shale Gas Now; reproduced by permission.

A state judge struck down the town of Sidney's recently-passed moratorium on gas drilling last week, ruling that the town failed to follow proper procedure in enacting the law. 

The decision has been hailed by pro-drilling advocates as a victory. But because of its narrow focus, the Sidney case is unlikely to have much impact on the larger legal question of whether towns have authority to regulate gas drilling within their borders -- an issue that is still yet to be heard by the New York State Court of Appeals, the state's highest court.  Read more

Hancock family evacuates after pipeline accident

A family on Hungry Hill in the Delaware County town of Hancock was forced to evacuate their home for the night on Thursday, December 5, after workers building the new Millennium Pipeline natural gas compression station knocked on their door and told them there had been an accident on the site.

The station in Hancock has been under construction since October, and is being built to increase pressure and gas output on the Millennium Pipeline, which stretches across New York State's Southern Tier from Steuben County to Rockland County.

According to Millennium spokesperson Steve Sullivan, workers on the site were connecting another line to the main line when something went awry, forcing the workers to vent millions of gallons of gas from a 10-mile-long stretch of 30-inch pipeline into the atmosphere.

"They needed to vent the gas for safety purposes," Sullivan said. "It was a mechanical issue."

There was no fire at the site, Sullivan said. He said that the family was advised to leave their house for their own safety.  Read more


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