Letter: Column disregards environmental concerns

Column disregards environmental concerns

To the editor:

I write in response to The Berkshire Eagle op-ed commentary on Feb. 29 by C. Jeffrey Cook and Donald R. Dubendorf. ("The pipeline and our economy.")

Unfortunately, their observation that Berkshire County has had gas pipelines for over 60 years does not take into consideration the pipe diameter proposed for the NED. I would like to know where in Berkshire County there is 30-36" diameter gas pipe, with pressure of 1,500 lb/sq inch, pumping 2.2 billion cubic feet of gas daily?

Additionally, there is no mention of emission concerns from a 41,000 hp compressor station. No mention of the price to the environment both at the location of fracking and at these compressor stations positioned every 35 miles along a pipeline route. No mention of the massive methane emissions altering climate or the contamination of ground water throughout the states where fracking is occurring and where pipelines are being installed.

At a time when it is increasingly apparent that available, clean drinking water will be one of the major environmental concerns of the 21st century, it makes no sense at all to continue investing in such fossil fuel infrastructures. Contaminated drinking water may as well be forever.

Do we envy the residents of Hoosick Falls or Petersburg or North Bennington who have found PFOA in their water? Ground water contamination from perchlorate occurs during blasting. When pipes leak; VOCs contaminate ground water. This can mean years of exposure to known carcinogens that go undetected until abnormal health issues demand testing.

Shouldn't we learn from our mistakes? No price can be put on safe drinking water. The fact that the proposed NED route runs next to the reservoir for Pittsfield's drinking water should be a red flag. And, the fact that Kinder Morgan is already challenging a safe drinking water act passed in Rensselaer County, N.Y. should indicate to us their awareness of the problem.

Two years ago, Germany set a new record generating 74 percent of its power needs from renewable energy. Why not America? To invest in the NED, or any fracked gas pipelines is to sign ourselves up for more decades of fossil fuel and the damage it causes.

As we speak, caps for solar energy development are purposely not being lifted. Projects that were in planning stages have been put on hold; all to make fossil fuel appear to be necessary. Speaking for so many of us who would be forced to pay for this pipeline; we demand that our money be invested in the clean, renewable sources that are absolutely available to us today. We stand firm because we have everything to lose.

J.L. Bradley, Windsor


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