Sunday, May 29, 2011

Letter from Commerce City Council Jim Benson to Mr. Osborn of Xcel regarding Proposed Pipeline

Mr. Osborn:

Thank you for your email regarding this matter and thanks to Monique for advising you of my concerns.

As we discussed with Mr. Gibson when he appeared before council to advise of this project, I anticipate that there will be organized resistance if the line is to go down 104th Ave from Potomac to Gun Club as proposed. As Mr. Gibson is aware, many city council members were not pleased with this plan.

The statement was made that every attempt had been made to avoid residential areas, yet this line would divide the North Range of Commerce City in half. Almost all of the pipeline would be in my jurisdiction, Ward II. The line would come within about 40 yards of Stuart Middle School, maybe closer, within a block and a half of Landmark Academy (elementary school), located on 105th, and there is another pre-school located at Landmark and 104th only about a half block south of 104th. I live about 5 houses north of 104th.

I know that Xcel has an easement just south of 104th where the huge 230kv electrical towers are located, but it is obvious that electric towers pose far less risk than a 24" natural gas pipeline under pressures between 750 and 1000 psi. Because you have an easement, it means the pipeline would cost you less money to build at this location, and I can understand that you want to do what will increase your bottom line. You have a business to run. I have the people in Ward II to represent.

Leakage in a pipeline of this nature, even a slow undetectable leakage, however, could cause an extreme risk not only to our residents, but to school children due to the proximity. This is a bad idea, not only from the viewpoint of safety for our schoolchildren and residents, but also from the viewpoint of public relations.

Mr. Gibson mentioned that there would be neighborhood meetings in the North Range to discuss this matter. I anticipate that these meetings will be well attended in these areas. Please advise when a meeting can be held and please try to give me at least 3 weeks notice. I hope that Xcel has not already made up its mind on this matter and that the input you will receive at these meetings will have a major influence on your plans.

Would it be possible for Xcel to prepare some alternative plan(s) for this pipeline so that we might discuss those.

Also, I would like to ask for the following information:

1. Please furnish a map of all natural gas pipelines going through the cities of Greenwood Village, Cherry Hills Village and the Denver Country Club area.

2. Please furnish a map showing the proximity of all of your pipelines in the Denver metro area that would come within 150 yards of a school.


Jim Benson

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