GRANITE BRIDGE PIPELINE (Liberty Utilities)
Granite Bridge would connect to the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline in Stratham and run to Manchester, affecting six towns in between (eight towns total). Locating the new pipeline completely within the New Hampshire Department of Transportation right-of-way along Route 101 would minimize environmental and property impacts. It’s proposed as 16″ diameter pipeline with a Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure (MAOP) of 950 pounds per square inch (psi), most likely to typically operate at 750 psi.
Specs as stated on company website:
— 16″ diameter
— Operating pressure: 750 typical / 950 MAOP
(*This diameter and pressure is estimated to have an impact radius of about 288 ft., including the highway in the impact radius in cases of explosion)
— Depth underground: 4 ft. with some areas being deeper (using HDD)
— Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) would be used under rivers and sensitive environmental areas
— Right of way: Pipeline would be buried exclusively within the NHDOT right-of-way along Route 101. The metering stations would be located on property owned by Liberty Utilities, or located within the NHDOT right-of-way. The company website states that there would be no private property affected or eminent domain necessary.
— No compressor stations planned or necessary
— Monitoring: Liberty Utilities employees will be on-site, monitoring and controlling the LNG Storage Facility 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The pipeline and storage facility will also be remotely monitored from the office in Londonderry.
LNG STORAGE FACILITY
The LNG storage facility would consist of several buildings, located on approximately 15 acres, within the 140 acre former quarry adjacent to Route 101 in Epping. The site was selected because of its proximity to the highway, the size of the parcel and natural topography. Because the location was previously excavated during quarry operations, it provides the opportunity to construct the storage tank approximately 30 feet below grade, thereby reducing its visual impact.
At the site there would be a full containment LNG storage tank system. A full containment tank system is comprised of an inner-tank made of nickel-steel, which is specially designed to contain the cold liquid. This inner tank would be surrounded by a second layer of containment, designed to hold the entire contents of the inner tank, effectively functioning as a second outer tank in case the inner tank were to release LNG. The tank would be constructed on-site.
In addition to the full containment storage tank system, there would be buildings housing the equipment which would cool the natural gas to its liquid state and then warm the natural gas to convert it back into a gaseous state when additional supply is needed.
The site would also have an on-site control center, where employees would monitor and operate the facility, as well as backup power generators, which would ensure continued operation in the event of a power outage.
On-site there would also be a building to house the compression equipment, which would be used to compress the natural gas before it is reintroduced to the Granite Bridge pipeline. The compression equipment would run on electricity and not generate any emissions*.
Finally, there would be pretreatment equipment, which will clean the natural gas of any impurities, such as trace amounts of propane and ethane, before it is liquefied.
*This statement is gleaned from the project website. Emissions claims should be investigated thoroughly by concerned citizens during the permitting process.
Because it’s intrastate (contained entirely in New Hampshire), it’s permitting will not involve FERC. Permitting will be the purview of state agencies like the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (NHPUC), the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) and on the federal level, the US Dept. of Transportation’s Pipelines & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).
(These are the ones mentioned on the company website. There are likely to be others like Department of Environmental Services (DES), or Site Evaluation Committee (SEC), we will update when info becomes relevant & available).
INFO FROM THE COMPANY
The Granite Bridge website has a good amount of information including detailed maps and facility descriptions.
— The impact radius in the case of a pipeline rupture and explosion would include Rte. 101
— Health and safety concerns of anyone within the impact radius for the pipeline or in the immediate area of any emissions from mainline valves or the LNG facility.
— This new infrastructure, along with Liberty Utilities’ other new pipeline projects in Pelham and the Upper Valley, not only provides for expansion of fracked gas use, but locks the region into this climate-impacting infrastructure for decades to come
— This new pipeline corridor opens the door to future infrastructure expansion like natural gas electric generation plants, instead of clean energy project.