29 March 2006. A writes:

Regarding the yellow signs on the TRANSCO pump station, chances are they are a FERC-required compliance item. 

Probably a Do Not Dig/Dial 911 in an Emergency type of sign.  They started mandating that the signs be in yellow, be more prominent and carry the National Response Center 1-800 number.

I worked for Southern Natural Gas Co. for several years as a district manager; because of my military background, after 9/11 I was put on an anti-terrorism task force to look at what then would become El Paso Corporation's pipeline security plan.

We identified chokepoints, critical nodes, high consequence areas, etc., in an effort to help the FERC & DOT with building their knowledge of potential threat areas in the system.

What we really did not do was determine how to harden or prepare facilities that were identified as potential attack sites.  Sure, comments were made about steps that could have been taken, but at the end of the day, cost was always an overriding factor, and other than putting up chain link fences, some additional lighting, a few cameras and some access gates (which won't stop a determined access attempt), we did nothing.

One of the more interesting findings we made was that if a terrorist had the slightest clue about how natural gas moves across the USA, they could really put a hurting on America and shut down entire cities; like isolating New York in winter, or cutting the gas flow along the Mississippi River and cutting off the entire southeast, or cutting gas flow into California along the Colorado River (wait, El Paso did that very thing in 2001 to California -- and who are the terrorists, again?)

At the end of the day our determination was, however, that terrorism, by its definition, gravitates toward a high profile, high visibility, high casualty target and that the Nat Gas infrastructure of our company, while important, did not fit the criteria for attack.

That's not to say that Nat Gas is not a lucrative target; it is but there are plenty more targets that are much more fitting for a terrorist to hit and make a scene vice stopping gas flow for a few days.

28 March 2006

Cryptome reported 7 August 2004 on Transco's inadequate security for its gas pipeline system in the New York City area. Not much has changed since then based on recent re-inspections of the facilities. For example, the Transco (owned by The Williams Company) West 135th Street pumping station remains wide open by river and by land even though the New York Times subsequently reported on the deficiencies. To ward off attack, two small yellow signs have been posted, that's it, probably done to qualify for terrorist insurance.

As with the chemical companies little is done in response to publicity about very poor security of politically well-connected industries camouflaged by homeland security blather.

Reportedly an academic researcher on the Transco gas pipeline system was told by Transco to expect no cooperation if the study was connected to Cryptome.


[Federal Register: March 28, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 59)]
[Page 15407-15408]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

[Docket No. CP06-34-000]

Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corporation; Notice of 
Availability of the Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Leidy to 
Long Island Expansion Project

March 21, 2006.
    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or 
Commission) has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) on the 
natural gas pipeline facilities proposed by Transcontinental Gas Pipe 
Line Corporation (Transco) in the above-referenced docket.
    The EA was prepared to satisfy the requirements of the National 
Environmental Policy Act. The staff concludes that approval of the 
proposed project, with appropriate mitigating measures, would not 
constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality 
of the human environment.
    The EA assesses the potential environmental effects of the 
construction and operation of three 42-inch-diameter pipeline loops 
totaling 13.4 miles (two in Pennsylvania and one in New Jersey); 
replacement of 1.7 miles of 42-inch-diameter pipeline (consisting of 
five separate sections) in New Jersey; a new compressor station in New 
Jersey; and uprate of a portion of Transco's Lower New York Bay 
Mainline C pipeline in New Jersey and Transco's Lower New York Bay 
Extension in New Jersey and New York. Transco states that the purpose 
of the project would be to provide 100 million cubic feet per day of 
primary firm capacity to KeySpan Energy Delivery (KeySpan). The project 
is fully subscribed by KeySpan with a primary term of 20 years to 
deliver the proposed volumes at KeySpan's existing Long Beach Meter 
Facilities. KeySpan anticipates a 2.5 to 3.0 percent annual growth rate 
in the demand of their firm gas customers and their subscription to the 
project would help meet the growing demand for natural gas within 
KeySpan's service territory in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, New York, 
and the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens.
    The EA has been placed in the public files of the FERC. A limited 
number of copies of the EA are available for distribution and public 
inspection at: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Public Reference 
Room, 888 First Street, NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-
    Copies of the EA have been mailed to Federal, State, and local 
agencies; public interest groups; individuals who have requested the 
EA; libraries; newspapers; and parties to this proceeding.
    Any person wishing to comment on the EA may do so. To ensure 
consideration prior to a Commission decision on the proposal, it is 
important that we receive your comments before the date specified 
below. Please carefully follow these instructions to ensure that your 
comments are received in time and properly recorded:
     Send an original and two copies of your comments to: 
Magalie R. Salas, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 
First St., NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426;
     Label one copy of the comments for the attention of the 
Gas Branch 3, PJ11.3;
     Reference Docket No. CP06-34-000; and
     Mail your comments so that they will be received in 
Washington, DC, on or before April 20, 2006.
    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing of any 
comments or interventions or protests to this proceeding. See 18 CFR 
385.2001(a)(1)(iii) and the instructions on the Commission's Web site 
at http://www.ferc.gov under the ``e-Filing'' link and the link to the 

User's Guide. Before you can file comments you will need to create a 
free account which can be created by clicking on ``Sign-up.''
    Comments will be considered by the Commission but will not serve to 
make the commentor a party to the proceeding. Any person seeking to 
become a party to the proceeding must file a motion to intervene 
pursuant to Rule 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and 
Procedures (18 CFR 385.214).\1\ Only intervenors have the right to seek 
rehearing of the Commission's decision.

    \1\ Interventions may also be filed electronically via the 
Internet in lieu of paper. See the previous discussion on filing 
comments electronically.

    Affected landowners and parties with environmental concerns may be 
granted intervenor status upon showing good cause by stating that they 
have a clear and direct interest in this proceeding which would not be 
adequately represented by any other parties. You do not need intervenor 
status to have your comments considered.
    Additional information about the project is available from the 
Commission's Office of External Affairs, at 1-866-208-FERC or on the 
FERC Internet Web site (http://www.ferc.gov)

[[Page 15408]]

using the eLibrary link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on ``General 
Search'' and enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in 
the Docket Number field. Be sure you have selected an appropriate date 
range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at 
FercOnlineSupport@ferc.gov or toll free at 1-866-208-3676, or for TTY, 

contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the 
texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, 
notices, and rulemakings.
    In addition, the Commission now offers a free service called 
eSubscription which allows you to keep track of all formal issuances 
and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time 
you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with 
notification of these filings, document summaries and direct links to 
the documents. Go to http://www.ferc.gov/esubscribenow.htm.

Magalie R. Salas,
[FR Doc. E6-4471 Filed 3-27-06; 8:45 am]