Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Pipe Up for the Pipeline
By Jaimie Moscarello
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Tennessee Gas Company and Algoquin Gas Company are expanding their gas pipelines across the Ramapo Mountains, taking public parks in the Ramapo Mountains for their own private use.
WHAT IS A PIPELINE?
A pipeline is a gathering system. It collects natural gas or oil that is produced underground and carries it out in large pipes. Then, the oil gets sent to a refinery and processed into gasoline, diesel, home heating oil, jet fuel, and raw materials that make fertilizers, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and plastics. Finally, the material ends up in distribution centers, like gas stations or other stores.
The Ramapo Mountains are the oldest rocks in the nation. They used to be the tallest, but have eroded over the years. In the past few months, miles of trees have been cut down to make room for the pipelines.
Tennessee Gas Association began working on their expansion in March 2011 through 23 miles of New Jersey and 105 miles through Pennsylvania. The pipeline crosses through the Appalachian Trail, Monksville Reservoir, Ringwood State Park, and the Ramapo Reservation.
Algoquin Gas Transmission has over 1,000 miles of pipeline that brings natural gas from the Gulf of Mexico to New England. Each year, it transports about 20 billion cubic meters of natural gas.
Spectra Energy and Algoquin Gas Transmission are both owned by the same company, Texas Eastern Transimission. Spectra Energy is working to check the areas where companies want to construct pipelines. They’ve hired Public Archaeology Lab (PAL) to look for artifacts that will show the history of the mountains. In accordance, companies won’t be able to come in and take the cherished land. So far, two shoeboxes are filled of artifacts, including buttons from Civil War uniforms and a 17,000-year-old arrowhead-like instrument. The artifacts have been donated for the Ramapough Conservancy.
The Ramapough Lenape tribe has a burial ground that takes up a section of the mountain. Chief Perry of the tribe says it may be the largest cemetery in the country, with over 1,000 bodies. There aren’t any headstones to show exactly where the bodies lay.
“Everything in the environment depends on everything else,” said Judy Sullivan, president of the Ramapough Conservancy, last week at a guest lecture at Ramapo College. She said that one person driving an ATV up the mountain disrupts the environment. When trees are cut down to open up the woods, some birds won’t cross over.
These events don’t seem like that big of a deal to us, but we really have to think about the impact we’re making on the environment when we install pipes to drill oil.
What do we do when technology fails us? What will happen if there’s a leak in a pipe?
We have to think about the impact we make on the environment.
The Ramapough Conservancy is a nonprofit corporation. Their mission statement is “We aim to preserve and restore the historical significance to the Ramapo Mountains and the people that enjoy its beauty.” Judith Sullivan and Monte Marfilius founded the Ramapough Conservancy. Since August 2011, the Ramapough Conservancy, Inc. has been a public charity.
The Ramapough Conservancy:
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference:
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission:
Spectra Energy: Use the link here to follow the pipeline:
Algoquin Gas Transmission: