• ECHO Action Editor

Preschool emergency evacuation site is in Granite Bridge Pipeline "Incineration Zone"

Updated: Oct 5, 2018

Connie Mercier

Auburn, NH

In the event of an emergency, I'm supposed to evacuate 30 kindergarten and preschool students to a location in the Granite Bridge Pipeline "Incineration Zone".

As the director of the school, I am required by the State of NH to write an emergency/disaster evacuation plan for my young students. 

The pipeline would be within sight of our school and inside the “incineration zone”. That means if there is a leak or accident, we will suffer the most severe explosive/fire damage.

Imagine 30 frightened, crying children, not to mention the baby goats, chickens and dogs we have on our property, as we attempt to evacuate using the nearby bus company, to get to the church we're assigned to evacuate to, and they're ALL in the incineration zone.

Liberty Utilities' Granite Bridge Pipeline would be a 16 inch high velocity gas conduit, running along Route 101 from Manchester to Stratham, with a giant Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) tank in Epping.

Pipeline incidents have risen over 331%* since 2009. Liberty Utilities had a 2.2% leak rate in 2017, has been fined for failure to report leaks and failure to inspect pipelines. Are you kidding me? After what happened in MA?

Why are we expanding fossil fuels, taking the health and safety risks when renewables are available?

I am opposed to Granite Bridge Pipeline, and for the future of the little people I work with each day, I support renewables instead.

Editors Note

Updated 10/5/18

* "Pipeline incidents have risen over 331%* since 2009" has been corrected to 331%. This means the pipeline incident rate from 1950 to 2009 is 331% lower than in the 2010s. An error was made in the math for the calculations provided to Connie Mercier.

The 331% incident rate is derived from the graph below, provided by the Pipeline Safety Trust.

"Incident" means any of the following events:

(1) An event that involves a release of gas from a pipeline, gas from an underground natural gas storage facility, liquefied natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, refrigerant gas, or gas from an LNG facility, and that results in one or more of the following consequences:

(i) A death, or personal injury necessitating in-patient hospitalization;

(ii) Estimated property damage of $50,000 or more, including loss to the operator and others, or both, but excluding cost of gas lost; or

(iii) Unintentional estimated gas loss of three million cubic feet or more.

(2) An event that results in an emergency shutdown of an LNG facility or an underground natural gas storage facility. Activation of an emergency shutdown system for reasons other than an actual emergency does not constitute an incident.

(3) An event that is significant in the judgment of the operator, even though it did not meet the criteria of paragraph (1) or (2) of this definition 

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