The proposed Pipeline 34 Replacement Project will replace a 3-mile portion of 8-inch natural gas pipeline with a newly constructed 10-inch steel pipe, install three above ground valve sites, and install related pipeline inspection equipment.
The project will be installed between Walnut Street in the City of Oswego and Dutch Ridge Road in the Town of Scriba, Oswego County, New York. This project is part of National Grid’s commitment to upgrade aged infrastructure, which will allow for a more reliable and resilient natural gas system for existing customers in the greater Oswego area.
Pipeline 34 is approximately 11 miles long and transports natural gas to roughly 8,200 customers in the greater Oswego region. A majority of the 8-inch section of this pipeline, approximately 3 miles, was identified to be constructed of pipe manufactured using a welding technique known as lap welding.
Pipe that was manufactured using this method is still safely in operation today; however, this type of pipe manufacturing is no longer used. Lap welded pipe can be less consistent and could be less reliable as compared to pipe fabricated using other methods. Additionally, this type of pipe can be difficult to repair if damaged because of how the pipe seams join together. Replacing this portion of Pipeline 34 with pipe manufactured according to current standards is the most effective way to increase the long-term reliability of our infrastructure.
In addition to replacing the lap welded pipe, the replacement of this 8-inch section of pipeline with 10-inch pipe will result in a consistent diameter between National Grid gas regulator stations. With this consistent diameter, we can use preferred and modern inspection methods to perform assessments of the pipeline. This infrastructure upgrade is based on proactively identifying and updating our natural gas infrastructure to continue to serve our customers.
The Project team is working with various state and federal agencies to receive approval and certification for the Project. These include:
The Project is subject to Article VII of the New York State Public Service Law, which requires an environmental and safety impact review of the siting, design, construction, and operation of major transmission facilities in New York State. National Grid will apply to the New York State Public Service Commission for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need under Section 121-a of the New York State Public Service Law. Other state agencies, such as the Department of Agriculture and Markets and the Department of Environmental Conservation, are parties to the Article VII process.
If a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need is granted, the Project will be constructed in accordance with conditions established by the New York State Department of Public Service. National Grid will ensure that appropriate members of the community, including affected landowners, will be informed prior to the start of construction.
National Grid will adopt relevant Best Management Practices from the February 2006 New York State Public Service Commission’s Environmental Management and Construction Standards and Practices (EM&CS&P). This document details the environmental management practices and construction measures allowed for these types of projects.
Permits from other agencies and municipalities are required before construction can start.
Throughout the Article VII Application review period, the public will have opportunities for involvement and comment on National Grid’s Pipeline 34 Replacement Project.
Interested persons who wish to participate as parties in this case may file for party status. This may be done through the New York State Department of Public Service (NYSDPS) web site. From the home page of the NYSDPS web site (www.dps.ny.gov ), a prospective party should click on "Search.” On the Search page, the "Search by Case Number” box should be filled in with the number for this case (18-T-0487). This will bring the user to the main Document and Matter Management (DMM) page for this case. On that page, the prospective party should click the button at the upper right labeled "Request for Party Status” to get to a web page with instructions for the procedures to follow to become a party. An application to become a party to this case can be filed anytime while the case remains open with the Commission. You can contact National Grid directly with a question or comment. For more information about the Project, please send us an email or call us at 1-833-731-1954.
National Grid performed an External Corrosion Direct Assessment (ECDA) on an adjacent pipeline and determined that an approximate 3-mile section of 8-inch pipe needs to be replaced due to outdated welds, specifically lap-welds. This is the only known section of lap-welded pipe in National Grid’s transmission system.
This project is based on proactively identifying and updating our utility infrastructure. The current pipeline is operating safely; however, replacing this portion of pipeline will increase the long-term reliability of National Grid’s infrastructure.
Yes. Several alternatives were considered for this Project. One alternative included de-rating Pipeline 34, resulting in the pipe operating below its maximum capability. However, this could adversely affect the other natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines in the area. Another alternative was to build a brand new pipeline and retire Pipeline 34, but this would have resulted in greater impacts to the area.
The Project as proposed represents the least impactful alternative that upgrades and improves National Grid’s natural gas system and its reliability.
An in-line inspection (ILI) is a technique used to assess the integrity of the pipeline from the inside of the pipe. This is performed using a cylindrical tool known as a pipeline inspection gauge (PIG). The ability to perform an ILI enables National Grid to assess the condition of pipelines in a non-destructive manner.
A PIG is the same diameter as the pipeline. It is inserted via a launcher and is moved through the pipe by the pressure created from the gas moving through the pipeline. The PIG is removed at a receiver downstream from where it was launched, and the data is downloaded and analyzed by a technician. This method of inspection is preferred because it is nondestructive and does not disturb materials such as soils or the pipe. The data is collected through the PIG and can be sent internally through the buried pipe.
Safety is our number one priority at National Grid. Below are suggestions on what to do if you suspect a gas leak.
If you suspect a leak:
Signs of a gas leak include:
Smell Gas. Act Fast. Indoors or outdoors – know what to do. From a safe location away from the smell, call 1-800-892-2345 or 911.
Planning to do any excavation? Help us protect our underground infrastructure by calling Dig Safely New York at 811 at least 2 full days before you start working.
Please visit https://www.nationalgridus.com/Upstate-NY-Home/Safety/ or download our brochure for more information on natural gas safety.
Pipeline construction includes several phases and varies depending on the specific purpose of the pipeline and the topography where the pipeline is being installed. The general construction process follows the pattern below.
Before any construction can start, the route is surveyed to mark the construction right-of-way (ROW). It is staked to show the temporary construction work space and any underground infrastructure that is in the area. This area is known as the "Limits of Disturbance.”
After the route is marked, the ROW is cleared to allow for construction activities. To minimize disturbance of the environment, only necessary vegetation is removed. After that, the route is graded if needed. Grading is generally dependent on the topography and is needed to allow construction equipment down the right of way and to avoid excessive pipe bending. Original contours would be restored as closely as possible during restoration after the pipeline construction is completed.
After the ROW is graded, the trench can be dug. The soil removed from the trenching is put in a storage area and is used to backfill the trench. The trench must be deep enough to meet the required cover per National Grid policy and New York State code. The minimum depth is three feet below ground surface for transmission pipelines. Additional depth will be required for road crossings, railroad crossings, and through agricultural fields.
Next, the pipe would be delivered, strung, bent to fit the route, and then welded together. The pipe is laid out in sections along the ROW. This process is known as stringing. The pipe is then bent using special machines to conform to any turns that are along the route. After the pipe is bent, it is welded together to create a continuous line. Quality welding is critical to building a safe pipeline, and every welder is required to be certified.
After the ends of the pipe are welded together, every weld is placed through a nondestructive testing process to ensure the integrity of the welds. These non-destructive testing practices include visual inspection by a certified weld inspector, ultrasound, magnetic particle testing, and x-ray to check the welds for deficiencies. If a deficiency is found, it is repaired. After the welds are verified, they are coated with a corrosion-resistant epoxy. Once the coating process is completed, it is placed through an inspection process known as holiday testing to ensure the integrity of the coating. If any issues are discovered, they are fixed before the pipe is lowered into the trench.
Once the welds and coatings on the welds are deemed sound, the pipeline is lowered into the trench. Sidebooms are used to lower the pipe slowly into the ground. Once in the pipe is in the trench, the excavation is backfilled with material that is non-injurious to the pipe coating. The remainder of the trench is backfilled with the original soil removed during excavation. If the original soil was rocky, extra steps are taken to screen rocks from the soil prior to placement back in the trench.
Prior to placing the new pipeline into operation, the entire installation must be hydrostatically tested in accordance with National Grid, state, and federal standards. This test pressurizes the new installation at 150 percent of the maximum allowable operating pressure of the pipeline. The pipe must sustain this pressurized test without leaking for a pre-determined amount of time. This test verifies there are no deficiencies before it is placed into service.
Finally, once the pipeline is operational, the restoration of the ROW
can start. The goal of restoration is to reestablish original conditions as
closely as possible. This involves several steps and monitoring of the area
over an extend time to verify the restoration is completed. Activities during
restoration may include but are not limited to: removing debris from the ROW,
restoring the site to original contours as closely as possible, reseeding the
area, stabilizing the soil, installing erosion and drainage features, and
adding pipeline markers with contact information to show where the pipeline is
and who operates it.