Waypoint 9: The Iroquois Pipeline Partnership
Beneath the waters of Long Island Sound, the Iroquois Pipeline Operating Company sends natural gas from Canada through 411 miles of piping supplying New Yorkers with fuel. None of this would be possible, however, without the 11.3 mile long section running through Newtown. Construction of this segment began in 1989 and was completed in 1991, despite some protest from Newtown locals. Controversy reignited in 2007, when Iroquois requested permission to create a pipeline loop, a parallel section of piping meant to increase the possible storage of gas in the system. This was necessary to Iriquois’ overarching strategy to send an extra 200 million cubic feet of natural gas through its network each day. This proposal was approved, and an additional 1.6 miles of pipeline were constructed in the lower Paugussett State Forest, so as to avoid encroachment on private homes. However, Iroquois has provided Newtown with valuable donations and resources to support environmental recreation and management, including work on Al’s Trail. The pipeline can be seen on Al’s Trail at the McLaughlin Vineyards section—in fact, you are currently standing over thousands of gallons of natural gas moving at up to 30 miles per hour!