Dan Hust | Democrat
THE MILLENNIUM PIPELINE stretches to the south in this view from Hospital Road near Callicoon. The 190-mile-long pipe began transporting natural gas yesterday.
Millennium pipeline up and running
By Dan Hust
SULLIVAN COUNTY The 190-mile-long Millennium Pipeline began full-scale operations yesterday, including the approximately 50-mile stretch running through western and southern Sullivan County.
More than 2,000 union workers, some local, labored 24/7 most of this year to replace the natural gas transmission pipeline that has run through the area for 60 years. Doubled in size, the 30-inch pipeline can handle up to 525,400 dekatherms of gas per day.
“This is an historic day for New York State and the Northeast,” remarked Millennium President Dick Leehr. “Many years of hard work, planning, permitting and eventual construction have finally come to fruition, enabling Millennium to deliver much-needed natural gas supplies as we enter the peak of the 2008-2009 winter heating season.”
The nearly decade-long process to construct a new pipeline had to clear dozens of governmental hurdles and generated some controversy when it got large tax breaks from the industrial development agencies of every county along the route save for Tioga.
But complaints virtually disappeared when the construction crews came to town. Those without local homes rented many of the area’s available housing, & restaurants & stores noticed increased business.
About the only lament left was the busy truck traffic, emanating from Millennium’s local headquarters set up along Route 55 south of Swan Lake.
Work to return the landscape to a pristine condition (not counting the 50-foot right-of-way) will continue and end next spring, along with some environmental monitoring.
But large companies like ConEd, National Grid and Central Hudson Gas and Electric can tap into the flow at multiple points along the line.
There’s even a new hookup off County Route 114 west of Fosterdale, complementing one that has long existed near Forestburgh. Should natural gas drilling come to the area, it is likely pipes would be built to these hookups, and there’s also talk of the state Department of Transportation building a compressed natural gas fueling facility for its local fleet.