Placitas Pipeline Stakeholder Meeting

On MAY 9TH Stakeholders meeting Discussion with Commissioner Holden Rhodes, Elaine Cimino and NM PRC Pipeline Safety Bureau Chief Jason Montoya.  The meeting was held at the Call811 facility offices in Albuquerque, NM thanks to the State Agency being able to provide access to accommodate an open and transparent discussion on the issues of pipeline exposures in Placitas NM and the High Consequence Areas (HCAs) and the options for the Community to address an pipeline Mitigation Plan and address public safety and state of emergency to move an elementary school and Senior Center.
Operators were invited but they did not show and issued a statement prior to the meeting.
Several regulators were invited to make suggestions to the stakeholders and options to address this issue. REgualtoatros Included DOT PHMSA, BLM ABQ District office,  US ACE, the NM legislative Delegation Staff and a representative from the Office of the Attorney General attended the meeting.

Outcomes of meeting
Regulators recommendations on Pipeline DOTPHMSA, NM PRC, USACE, BLM, OAG
Discussion took place regarding the concerns of protecting the Water supply for the Upper Middle Rio Grande basin by working to help mitigate the issues from Erosion and Flooding that is causing the risk and threats to the pipelines. Considerations were given regarding IM risk integrity, responsibilities of the Operators, County, and Citizens/residents.
Despite a Mill tax that failed and succession from ESCAFCA district the responsibility now falls to the County for flood control. The operators, the County can apply for federal dollars through the USACE that will be able to address the Pipeline mitigation for flooding and erosion control.  Several homes in the area are at risk of being undermined, these homeowners are in the HCA and flood impact zone informed of risk and threats.
The County would have to also apply for matching fund for the LEPC upon which Common Ground Community Trust (CGCT)and other groups in the Area Las Placitas Association and Eastern Sandoval County Association along with state and federal regulators would be a part of to work on a Prevention and Mitigation plan for County. We want the prevention and mitigation plan, not a preparedness plan, which is different.
A suggestion was recommended that a Watershed Coalition organize to address the needs of the Watershed and move forward with a plan that addresses the issues. Las Placitas Association and Coronado Conservation and Soil District can apply for funding for Watershed Coalition, a Watershed District already exists and BOR funds may also be available that may be used for planning as a cash match, possibly.
Bill Woldman Senator Tom UDALL office suggested a meeting with the federal officials, officials of the County and Stakeholders to discuss planning and funding moving forward.  Various Groups a consulting with each other about these alternatives.
THE BIG NEWS — The BLM Albuquerque District Office will be coming forward with the RMP for Buffalo Tract soon. Very Soon.
CGCT will be contacting operators to assess the Potential Impact Radius (PIR) on the Senior Center and Elementary School and we will request that they submit mitigation plans on those areas in the HCA to DOT PHMSA and the NMPRC. Note: there are the following needed:
  • IM risk assessment on Pipeline PIR Impacts
  • Mitigation plans and an assessment on the NM PRC intrastate
  • Risk assessment for the impact of moving school, senior center vs. moving the southern route of the Pipeline. ($ est $60M) With the closure of existing pipeline to reroute for Safety reasons.
  • Apply for funding for LEPC for State
  • Apply for Funding for flooding Mitigation (USACE Community plan Dept) through USACE
  • Apply for funding for Watershed Coalition to integrate planning efforts BOR.
County will need assessment of the cost of financial responsibility on flooding issue and encroachments if they are unsuccessful at the mitigation planning or when a spill and explosion occurs.  A cost-benefit analysis must be done as well on the impacts of these projects.
Suggestions for Tribal Consultation were recommended for the Sandoval County Pueblos. There was representation from Santa Ana Pueblo, thank you!