News By Tag
* Energy Pipeline News
* Petroleum Pipelines
* Jfk Airport
* Buckeye Pipeline
* More Tags...
News By Location
Terrorist plot to blow up Buckeye line to JFK was unlikely to work, experts say
Terrorists thought an explosion anywhere along pipeline to JFK airport would set off a chain reaction that would kill “millions,” but they were misinformed.
By: Anvil Publishers, Inc.
According to Noel Griese, editor of Atlanta-based Energy Pipeline News newsletter, some media reports and those allegedly involved apparently believed a bomb placed somewhere along the pipeline would create a chain reaction, with flames traveling through the pipeline and igniting all points and tanks served by the line.
"There's been a lot of overblown statements concerning the consequences of blowing up a pipeline," said company Vice President Stephen Muther. "Pipelines can usually be repaired and put back into operation within a matter of days."
He added that daily foot and aerial patrols guard the pipeline and that all security measures are approved by federal authorities.
"We feel we have adequate security provisions in place to protect the pipelines," Muther said.
He admitted, however, that the line has experienced “mishaps.”
Although the tanks at Kennedy Airport are connected by a network of underground pipes running from New Jersey through Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens, an exploding tank should not ignite the pipeline, another Buckeye official said. The pipes, which carry jet fuel, gasoline and heating oil, have valves that can be operated from headquarters in Pennsylvania to cut off the flow if sensors indicate that there might be a leak or rupture, said Roy Haase.
Each of the fuel tanks at Kennedy “is its own self-contained unit” 200 to 300 feet from the nearest road, said Stephen Sigmund, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the airport.
Anthony E. Shorris, executive director of the New York Port Authority, disputed the suspects’ notion, as stated in the criminal complaint, that the tanks had minimal security during the daytime. At a news conference on June 2, Shorris said, “There are Port Authority police patrols that are regularly in place around all of them.” He said the tanks were also equipped with alarm systems and firefighting equipment.
Still, when the New York Police Department learned of the plot, officers began monitoring the pipeline from helicopters and boats, said Raymond W. Kelly, the police commissioner.
Haase said that Buckeye employees inspected the pipeline every day, on foot and in cars. They are not usually looking for terrorists, he said, but for contractors digging too close to the pipes.
He said there had not been a significant fire involving the pipeline in its 41 years of existence. During that time, he said, billions of gallons of fuel have moved through the pipeline, which originates in Linden, N.J. From there, two pipes, each 12 inches in diameter, run east through the heart of Staten Island and under New York Bay to a junction in the New Lots section of Brooklyn. One pipe carries jet fuel for planes at Kennedy and La Guardia Airports and one carries diesel fuel for trucks, heating oil and gasoline.
From New Lots, one branch goes north to a terminal at Long Island City and on to La Guardia. The other continues east to Kennedy and on to a terminal in Inwood. All told, Buckeye delivers more than eight million gallons of petroleum to the city each day, Haase said.
“We have security and safety measures in place and those features are very well known to the Fire Department, the Police Department, the F.B.I. and Homeland Security,” he said.