WHAT IS NORTHEAST ENERGY DIRECT?
Northeast Energy Direct is a large pipeline expansion project being proposed by Kinder Morgan Energy’s subsidiary, Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. It includes the large new natural gas transmission line that, earlier, had been referred to as the Northeast Expansion, which would include new looping along the 200 line from a gas hub in Wright NY to Hancock, MA, then a new path from Hancock north and eastward to Northfield, MA, across southern NH, to a hub in Dracut, MA. The larger project also includes new pipeline from TGP’s 300 line in Pennsylvania, up through Susquehanna Co. and into NY state to the hub in Wright, providing a direct path from the fracking fields of PA to the gas hub in eastern MA and the connecting Maritimes and Northeast pipeline in Maine.
» See documents filed with FERC describing this proposal
The TGP Northeast Energy Direct pipeline is proposed to be a 30″ inch high-pressure natural gas transmission line. With it’s PA to NY leg (called the “Supply Path”) and NY to MA leg (called the “Market Path”), it would be bringing gas directly from the fracking fields of PA through to the eastern hub in Dracut MA, with a direct connection to the Maritimes & Northeast pipeline in ME. The M&NE pipeline has recently applied for a permit to reverse direction, bringing gas up to export facilities in the Canadian Maritimes. According to their company’s memo, intended customers are local distribution companies, electric generators,industrial end users and developers of liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) export projects in New England and Atlantic Canada.
This proposed path would run through some of the states’ most sensitive eco-systems including conservation lands, wildlife reserves, state parks as well as farmland, towns and even crossing over or under the Connecticut River.
This project, aside from causing environmental disruption during the construction phase, would post many hazards if there are leaks, ruptures or explosions – all scenarios that happen regularly on similar high-pressure pipelines throughout the country. A large pipeline that runs at high pressure has a large “impact radius“, in which substantial damage to structures is unavoidable.
Points of concern along a major transmission lines are “blow down” facilities where releasing raw gas to relieve pressure on the line occurs are part of regular operations.
This happens at:
— Compressor Stations
— Metering Stations
— Pigging Facilities
— Valve Stations