Tennessee Gas Pipeline and Rindge’s water resources

Published: 4/13/2016 7:00:13 PM

Tennessee Gas Pipeline has applied to the N.H. Department of Environmental Services for a permit that will allow it to disturb, disrupt and in many ways mutilate southern New Hampshire's pristine rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, wetlands, vernal pools, and conservation areas to install the NED pipeline.

The Tennessee Gas Pipeline company has a terrible track record when it comes to how it treats the environment. The damage it inflicts in the process of installing a pipeline is well documented. One has only to look no further than its pipeline installations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. As an example, there were 32 documented sediment discharge violations on the 300 Line Project in Pennsylvania; this leads one to wonder how many problems went undocumented? It should be noted that the environmental inspectors report only to Tennessee Gas Pipeline company.

Converse MeadowConservation Area

You may ask, why is this relevant? Tennessee Gas Pipeline, in its permit request to the N.H. Department of Environmental Services, states that it plans to remove 744,287 gallons of water from an "unnamed water source" in Segment I near Mile Post 26.40 in Rindge. Well, anyone who has looked at Tennessee Gas Pipeline's NED project maps will quickly realize that the "unnamed water source" is the MacGregor Meadow, which is part of the Converse Meadow Conservation Area. The water body in question is indicated as "highest ranked habitat in New Hampshire" in the latest N.H. Wildlife Action Plan maps. The Tennessee Gas Pipeline map, not the application, identifies Converse Meadow and even goes so far as to delineate the area where they plan to take the water!

Rindge went through a great deal of trouble and expense to create the conservation area because residents wanted to protect the area's most significant aquifer. Tennessee Gas Pipeline, didn't even bother to contact the town nor the Conservation Commission. In fact, it is safe to say Tennesee Gas Pipeline has tried to hide the fact that it wants to take almost three-quarters of a million gallons of water out of Converse Meadow, use it to hydrostatically test its pipeline, then discharge the water polluted by the contaminants in the pipe back into Converse Meadow. Remember folks, these are the people who told us they wanted to be good neighbors.

Now, let's examine the water removal and discharge process. Anyone who lives on a lake or pond understands the threat of invasive weeds. In other cases perhaps you have launched a boat, canoe or kayak and seen the signs posted by the state or town, warning about causing the migration of milfoil and other invasives. Please understand that once they are introduced in a water body, it is next to impossible to eradicate these weeds. It is a fact that Tennessee Gas Pipeline is planning to take water for hydrostatic testing from water bodies to the west of Rindge that have milfoil. Do you think the people who call themselves good neighbors are going to scrupulously clean their pumps, tankers and equipment, before they arrive at Converse Meadow?

Just when you think you were getting to the end of this horror story, your bubble will be burst. Our "good neighbor people" tell us not to worry, the water will be returned to its origin. They will use hay bales to disrupt the flow. Is this is to prevent erosion and filter the toxins out of the water? Talk about state-of-the-art pollution control.

Tennessee Gas Pipeline is asking the N.H. Department of Environmental Services for a waiver of relevant sections of Env-Wq 2100 for water withdrawals associated with hydrostatic testing of pipeline and slurry production. The company wants the Department of Environmental Services to waiver parts of the laws that were created to protect our environment and water. How is Tennessee Gas Pipeline even allowed to remove water from an area of conservation only to return it in a condition far less than the pure water originally obtained?

Jan Griska lives in Rindge.


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