The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) defines the Hazard Zone (the Area of High Consequence in technical terms) as the area close enough to an explosive hazard within which buildings ignite spontaneously.
The Hazard Zone of this pipeline is 1,115 feet on both sides of the pipeline. Should an explosion occur, there is virtually no chance of survival within the Hazard Zone.
The image to the right shows the aftermath of an explosion of a 30 inch Williams Pipeline in Appomattox, VA in 2008. The Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline is intended to be 42 inches at a pressure of 1500 psi or greater. Williams has never built a pipeline of this size and pressure before.
Williams’ Safety Record
Click here to view or download an abbreviated list of Williams’ safety issues and violations.
Abuse of Eminent Domain
Click here to view/download our Eminent Domain Trifold which contains basic information about the use of eminent domain and the rights of landowners.
The pipeline being proposed is a Commercial Transmission Line. It is not a distribution pipeline to serve customers directly. Williams wants to create a shortcut to export terminals, including Cove Point, MD.
Much of the gas to be transported in this pipeline is already contracted for export to India and Japan, where gas prices are 4 to 5 times higher than US prices. By shipping the gas overseas for larger profits, our domestic gas prices are likely to increase. Yet if FERC gives permission for this project, eminent domain would be utilized to take our private property for their corporate gain. Williams is not a public utility, this line is not a public necessity, and therefore should not qualify for eminent domain.
Active Mine Fires
The current route of the Atlantic Sunrise intersects the Cameron/Glen Burn Colliery, considered to be the largest man-made mountain in the world and composed entirely of waste coal. This site also includes a network of abandoned mines, three of which are actively burning (see map below).
The pipeline right-of-way is roughly a half-mile from the closest burning mine, Hickory Swamp. These mine fire data were sourced from a 1988 report by GAI Consulting Inc. The time frame for the spread of the mine fires is unknown, and dependent on environmental factors. Mine subsidence — when voids in the earth created by mines cause the surface of the earth to collapse — is another issue of concern. Routing the pipeline through this unstable area adds to the risk of constructing the pipeline through the Glen Burn region.
Additional sources and accounts:
Community Talking Points
“Communities that are situated in the path of a proposed natural gas pipeline are
usually unaware of all the myriad issues that come with a pipeline. Gas companies
are not forthcoming on these topics as an educated public will at a minimum cause
the costs of installing and operating the pipeline to increase. In some cases,
environmental and operational questions have caused delays and cost increases
that have led to the abandonment of planned pipeline extensions 1 by the pipeline
company. In general, a community that is knowledgeable and is involved in the
pipeline permitting process is not something the pipeline companies encourage.
Communities that air the issues discussed here in advance of a pipeline being
imposed have some chance of avoiding the pipeline and will be in a better position
to negotiate for remediation or compensation on behalf of their constituents if the
pipeline becomes a reality.”
How to Intervene
Becoming an “intervener” identifies you as someone who may wish to dispute the decision if the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issues a permit for the pipeline. For more information, click the link below.