Federal Regulators: Millennium Pipeline in New York May Be Riddled With Faulty Welds

Aug 3rd, 2011 | By Mark | Category: Lead Articles, Natural Gas Leaks

NatGas Consulting

Federal regulators suspect that the Millenium natural gas pipeline in New York may be riddled with faulty welds after discovering a leak in the pipeline and reviewing construction records of the line, installed in 2007 and 2008

Federal regulators suspect that a major natural gas pipeline in New York may be riddled with faulty welds and have ordered the pipeline’s operator to take immediate protective action to prevent a tragedy, according to documents obtained by NaturalGasWatch.org.

The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PMHSA) issued the order on July 6, in connection with a leak that was discovered in the Millenium pipeline, which runs between Steuben County and Rockland County in southern New York, in January.

During a routine surface patrol, Columbia employees noticed bubbles emerging from a creek located in a remote part of Tioga County, near the Schneider Road, and identified a leak that ultimately resulted in the release of more than 1.3 million cubic feet of natural gas into the environment.

The New York Department of Public Service  (NY DPS) subsequently inspected the line and determined that the leak resulted from a defective weld that joined two segments of the 30-inch pipeline.

The Millennium Pipeline is a New York-based interstate natural gas pipeline serving the northeast. Millennium is anchored by its customers National Grid, Consolidated Edison of New York, Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corporation and Columbia Gas Transmission L.L.C. It is jointly owned by affiliates of NiSource Inc., National Grid and
DTE Energy.

From the federal corrective order:

The weld was characterized as a “double-joint” weld, which refers to a mechanized weld that was made to join two lengths of pipe in a staging yard, prior to shipping to the final installation site. Records indicate that the double joint section containing the anomaly did not pass visual inspection and was set aside at the double joint rack where the welding activities were being performed. It appears that during the course of the construction project for the line, the subject pipe section was inadvertently picked up and subsequently installed in the pipeline.

The NY DPS subsequently reviewed records filed by the pipeline’s owner, Millenium Pipeline Co., LLC in connection with the pipeline’s construction, discovered three additional welds that were potentially inadequate as well and concluded that the integrity of entire pipeline could not be trusted.

From the PHMSA order:

These issues and the inconsistencies in NDT [non-destructive testing] documentation raise concerns as to the integrity of the welds throughout the Milenium Pipeline System. … PHMSA is particularly concerned with the integrity of the welds in the Affected Sections, including, but not limited to, the two double joint welds and the one tie-in weld that were not adequately evaluated. Other welds with similar defects may develop also leaks and potentially lead to a rupture of the pipeline. … After evaluating the foregoing preliminary findings of fact … it appears that the continued operation of the affected pipeline without corrective measures would pose a pipeline safety risk to public safety, property and the environment.”

As a result, the PHMSA ordered the pipeline’s operator to take immediate corrective action. Specifically, the PHMSA directed Columbia to develop a plan to assess the integrity of the pipeline and the welds, along with a detailed and specific timeline for carrying out the plan, and to submit it to the PHMSA for review and approval.

The PHSMA also stated that all remediation work must be completed by Dec. 30, 2011.

In addition, Columbia must submit monthly reports to the PHMSA detailing the progress that has been made in the repair work. The reports are due during the fourth week of each month.

Victor Gaglia, the Vice President for Operations at Columbia, told NaturalGasWatch.org that Columbia is working with the PHMSA and the NY DPS to develop a plan.

“From our perspective, working together with the agencies to give all the stakeholders confidence is important,” Gaglia said. “We’re working collaboratively to meet everybody’s expectations.”

Tags: , , , , ,

16 Comments to “Federal Regulators: Millennium Pipeline in New York May Be Riddled With Faulty Welds”

  1. [...] the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration found. An order issued by the agency — first reported Wednesday by NaturalGasWatch.org, a website that tracks gas pipeline safety — said other sections of the pipeline also appear to [...]

  2. [...] Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration found. An order issued by the agency—first reported Wednesday by NaturalGasWatch.org, a website that tracks gas pipeline safety—said other sections of the pipeline also appear to [...]

  3. [...] Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration found. An order issued by the agency — first reported Wednesday by NaturalGasWatch.org, a website that tracks gas pipeline safety—said other sections of the pipeline also appear to [...]

  4. [...] Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration found. An order issued by the agency — first reported Wednesday by NaturalGasWatch.org, a website that tracks gas pipeline safety—said other sections of the pipeline also appear to [...]

  5. [...] the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration found. An order issued by the agency — first reported Wednesday by NaturalGasWatch.org, a website that tracks gas pipeline safety—said other sections of the pipeline also appear to [...]

  6. [...] the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration found. An order issued by the agency — first reported Wednesday by NaturalGasWatch.org, a website that tracks gas pipeline safety—said other sections of the pipeline also appear to [...]

  7. [...] Federal Regulators: Millennium Pipeline in New York May Be Riddled With Faulty Welds – Natural… Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in news. Bookmark the permalink. ← Account of a Pipeline Leak [...]

  8. [...] the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration found. An order issued by the agency — first reported Wednesday by NaturalGasWatch.org, a website that tracks gas pipeline safety—said other sections of the pipeline also appear to [...]

  9. [...] the news that New York’s Millenium Pipeline, which services the state’s Southern Tier, may be riddled with faulty welds and of dubious integrity — or, as the investigating authorities at the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety [...]

  10. [...] —first reported Wednesday by NaturalGasWatch.org [2], a website that tracks gas pipeline safety—said other sections of the pipeline also appear to have been installed without proper evaluation. [...]

  11. [...] —first reported Wednesday by NaturalGasWatch.org, a website that tracks gas pipeline safety—said other sections of the pipeline also appear to have been installed without proper evaluation. [...]

  12. [...] PHMSA action declaring the Millenium Pipeline a significant public safety risk was first reported by NaturalGasWatch.org on Aug. 3, [...]

  13. John Odland says:

    An upstate community of 9/11 First Responders are finding their well-being compromised at the hands of a large gas corporation. Millenium Pipeline plans to build a gas compressor station in their residential neighborhood. The Minisink Gas Compressor poses to diminish their home values and potentially cause serious health risks. Rob Coppola, a former New York City Fireman, and 911 first responder, will have to walk away from his home “My home will be directly next to this gas compressor station. My family and I will be forced to leave our home. Not to mention I have suffered a lung related injury that was directly related to the pollutants of 9/11. I’m not going tell my children that this thing is safe as the city told us ten years ago as we breathed in extremely harmful toxins.” There are approximately 150 homes within a half mile from the site of the proposed Minisink compressor station, some just over 600 feet away. What makes this compressor station even harder to accept is alternative plans exists which would prevent the compressor station from being built in Minisink. Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand and State Senator Bonacic have all ignored their calls for help.
    John Odland
    Minisink Valley

  14. John Odland says:

    Fending Off Goliath
    Residents in the Town of Minisink, New York have been relentlessly fending off Millennium Pipeline LLC, a subsidiary of NiSource Inc, since last August. Millennium Pipeline currently has an application in with the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission to construct a natural gas compressor station within their residential neighborhood in the Town of Minisink. Once residents became aware of this reality a dedicated group of community members have been educating themselves in regards to the compressor station. These residents have learned of Millennium’s alternative and expansion plans. The residents have noted their findings to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission whom now seem to be taking a closer look at Millennium’s application for the Minisink Compressor Station. FERC has recently questioned Millennium about the resident’s discoveries and is taking them very seriously. Minisink residents have recently approached Congresswoman Nan Hayworth with these findings. As a result the Congresswoman has called FERC requesting a timeline and questioned them in regards to the alternative plans that the residents uncovered. It appears Millennium Pipeline has reckoned with the wrong town. If the residents are successful in having this compressor station moved it will be a true David and Goliath story. Penniless community members against a multibillion dollar company.
    John Odland
    Minisink Valley

Leave a Comment

Blog Directory
Add blog to our directory.
Beyond Fossil Fuels: Alternative Energy
Powered By Ringsurf
The Blog Farm