By: Katherine Massopust
PERTH AMBOY – The Amboy Guardian asked questions to Buckeye Partners, L.P. Senior Manager Right of Way, Real Estate and Damage Prevention, and Public Relations David Boone.
Boone emphasized Buckeye’s involvement with the community and the company’s commitment to Perth Amboy, “In 2016 we conducted 182 awareness meetings focusing on public safety and pipeline safety. We’ve invested over $500 million in Perth Amboy. In July 2012, we acquired the Chevron Refinery. That’s where the Perth Amboy Terminal is. We purchased Hess in 2013. The First Reserve Terminal in Raritan Bay was renamed the Raritan Bay Terminal. This pipeline will join the two pipelines at each terminal – the Raritan Bay Facility with the Perth Amboy Facility. Perth Amboy is strategically located near New York Harbor which is one of the largest markets in the world for petroleum products. Pipelines are the most efficient and safest way to move petroleum products. Pipelines reduce truck traffic.”
“This pipeline will give us the ability to load and unload in either direction. It will give us the flexibility to receive and ship products via an intermodal main. We transport on ships, trucks and pipelines. There is a rail facility at the old Chevron facility. In case of a compromise in any part of the pipeline, there are valves in the pipeline. The pipeline is vacuum sealed and the valves will shut in the compromised area and it also is monitored by our control centers in Perth Amboy and backed-up by facilities in Pennsylvania and Texas.”
Boone continued, “The E-Port Logistics Center will hopefully open at the end of 2018. All construction jobs of the facility are being done by local unions.”
“We love Perth Amboy. We are not receiving any tax incentives and are now paying full taxes. We are not participating in any PILOT program. We plan to commit to Perth Amboy for the foreseeable future.”
When the meeting began, Steven E. Some, Director, Government Relations of Buckeye Partners, L.P. started to speak and suggested an informal atmosphere.
Councilman Joel Pabon then objected: “Please have a verbal question and answer session. Someone might ask a question that someone else didn’t think of.”
Councilman Fernando Gonzalez also voiced his agreement with Pabon.
Some then agreed to a verbal Q&A Session. Buckeye Representative Claudia Correa translated into Spanish every answer given by Buckeye.
Resident Ken Balut asked the first question: “Why isn’t the Mayor here? Is the Mayor supporting this project? Did Buckeye contribute to her campaign last year?”
Some answered, “Not a dime. The Mayor stated that she had a previous engagement. You’ll have to ask her yourself if she supports this project or not. We are having this meeting upon request of the City Council. We will be having another public meeting in May. Everyone is invited.”
Resident Sharon Hubberman asked, “When Buckeye purchased Chevron, did Buckeye do any remediation on the site (for asbestos).”
An Engineer answered, “When we purchased Chevron in 2012, Chevron has a program with the EPA where they actively remediate the site. Chevron is actively working with the NJ DEP. Action (remediation) is being done as we speak day by day.”
Later, an Engineer answered some questions the Amboy Guardian had about the pipeline’s structure, “The pipeline is constructed with carbon steel. The pipeline is 16” in diameter and will move petroleum (gasoline) and diesel. It’s bidirectional. It is API5LPSL2X60.” API (American Petroleum Institute) 5L (Line Pipe Spec) PSL2 (a higher quality product than L1) X60 (60,000 Tensile (a factor when pulling it apart) It is 0.375”- 0.5” wall thickness (there is different wall thickness in different locations) Samples of the pipeline were on each of the tables. The pipeline will be at all times at least 4’ deep in the ground, mostly under cement. In case of a major emergency (i.e. terrorist attack) the pipeline can be shut down and then be turned back on.
The next meeting is TBA in May. The public is invited to attend.