News in brief
REGION — After several weeks of testing, the Millenium Pipeline has received permission to go back to normal operations.
A U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) report released in July of this year showed that a weld near the border of Broome and Tioga counties had sprung a leak earlier in the year, releasing an estimated 1.3 million cubic feet of natural gas into the atmosphere. The report also showed that the inspection documents for the weld in question were missing, and pinpointed three other welds for which inspection documents were missing as well.
Millennium and PHMSA signed a consent agreement in late September in which the company agreed to conduct new weld inspections to verify the integrity of the suspect portions of the pipeline by the end of the year. During the inspection period, Millennium reduced pressure on the pipeline by 20%.
The missing inspection records were never found.
“We have received the stamp of approval to return to normal operating pressures,” said Millennium Pipeline spokeswoman Theresa Gibbon. “Our integrity confirmations revealed that no additional anomalies were found, no weld defects of any kind were found. Our digs didn’t reveal anything out of the ordinary or unusual to be of concern.”
Grants target Main St. and agribusiness
MONTICELLO, NY — A countywide Microenterprise Assistance Program (MAP), made possible with a $185,000 grant from New York State’s Community Development Block Grant Economic Development Program, has been announced.
“The program will provide grants between $5,000 and $35,000 for business start-ups or existing enterprises with five or fewer employees,” said Jonathan Rouis, chairman of the Sullivan County legislature. It will target two types of small businesses: “Main Street” goods and services, located within downtown, village or hamlet business districts; and agriculture-related businesses.
The dual focus also leverages the existing funding available through the county’s Main Street Revolving Loan Fund and Agri-Business Revolving Loan Funds.
Conditions of the grant include requiring participating businesses to contribute at least 10% of the cost of the project and to create one new job offered to or made available to persons from low- or moderate-income households.