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New Pipeline Safety Oversight Audit by State Comptroller Confirms Widespread Natural Gas Hazards Documented in Toxics Targeting's Compilation of 114 Pipeline Explosions, Fires, Ruptures and Toxic Releases


A new Pipeline Safety Oversight Audit of the Public Services Commission was fortuitously released today by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. The audit confirms the widespread natural gas pipeline problems that Toxics Targeting recently documented.

The Comptroller reported: "According to Department of Public Service (DPS) records, between 1995 and 2014, New York had 194 pipeline incidents resulting in 23 fatalities, 123 injuries, and $77 million in property damage."


The Comptroller's audit was reportedly limited to natural gas pipelines and did not include the crude oil, gasoline and other toxic chemical pipeline hazards that Toxics Targeting documented using the Department of Environmental Conservation's own data:

Take Action Today

Governor Cuomo still has not fulfilled our request to DENY the Section 401 Water Quality Certification (WQC) required for the proposed Constitution Pipeline to be built.

I believe he will have a very hard time ignoring the Comptroller's new audit as well as the detailed DEC pipeline hazard data that Toxics Targeting earlier brought to public attention.

Please keep calling the Governor at 518 474-8390 and writing him: Personalized Form Letter Which Requests That Governor Cuomo Deny All Section 401 Water Quality Certification Applications for Proposed Fossil Fuel Pipelines in New York.

Governor Cuomo only has about one more month to exercise sole authority to DENY the Section 401 WQC. On or around 4/29/16, he would lose the privilege and FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) would almost certainly grant the Section 401 WQC because it earlier provided conditional approval for the 124-mile proposed pipeline on 12/2/14.

I reviewed FERC's incredibly complex and detailed conditional approval. There were a total of 101 speakers in the scoping proceeding and more than 750 letters were "filed by federal, state, and local agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; potentially affected landowners; and other interested stakeholders providing written scoping comments."

Toxics Targeting has been the only entity that documented New York's inability to fulfill the requirements of Section 401 of the Clean Water Act using DEC's own data.

As you will see below, a wide array of environmental concerns were raised, but they were all essentially dismissed when conditional approval was granted for the proposed Constitution Pipeline.

That is why our documented pipeline hazard information could be critically important in the coming weeks.


I believe we are making a well-founded argument that Governor Cuomo must not grant the Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the proposed Constitution Pipeline because DEC failed to prevent a total of 114 massive pipeline explosions, fires, ruptures and toxic discharges. This information proves that pipeline disasters caused extensive water quality violations all over New York that were never cleaned up to state standards.

Smile and dial. Keep writing the Governor.

It is do or die. Keep slugging. Take nothing for granted.

Thanks so much for your help.

Very best regards,


See environmental concerns that failed to persuade FERC to reject the Constitution Pipeline: 12/2/2014 FERC Conditional Approval for Proposed Constitution Pipeline

"safety of the proposed projects." See 96., page 30;

"proposed pipeline would facilitate, i.e., induce hydraulic fracturing in New York and/or Pennsylvania." See 99., page 30;

"concerns about the pipeline project’s impacts on property values." See 95., page 29;

"the benefits of the project do not outweigh harm to these landowners." See 26., page 8;

Impacts on karst features [soluble rocks, e. g. limestone], due to pipeline construction and operation, including groundwater. See 74., page 24;

Impacts on waterbodies and wetlands. See 77., page 25;

Impacts on upland forests and interior forests, including "permanent effects on forested habitats as well as forest-dwelling species such as some migratory birds;" See 80., page 26;

"potential for the pipeline project to spread noxious weeds and invasive plant species." See 84., page 27;

"Constitution will not be held to its many mitigation commitments and measures and commenters question who will enforce them." See 85., page 27;

"concerns about the pipeline project’s potential to have negative impacts on their homeowner’s insurance, such as increases in premiums, reductions in coverage, or termination of policies." See 94., page 29;

"impacts related to the Leatherstocking and Northeast Energy Direct Projects," See 102, page 32;

"additional analysis of alternatives, including a major route alternative, identified as alternative M, which would be adjacent to Interstate 88." See 108., page 34;

issue a revised draft EIS for various reasons. See 114, page 36; See 122., page 38;

"formal evidentiary hearing for the proposed projects." See 20., page 7.