Home' Greymouth Star : February 24th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
hen Hope Rosinski’s
father gave her
a 2.4ha plot in
than a decade ago,
she was surprised to
find oil and gas pipelines criss-crossing the
Pipeline companies later secured her
permission for two more lines, one of which
has since caused flooding and consistently
leaves her land saturated.
Now she has had enough. Rosinski is
fighting the latest request for a right-
of-way, this time from Energy Transfer
Partners — the company behind the
controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.
She said ETP declined to make contract
changes she wanted or to properly
compensate her for lost property value.
Opposition to the company ’s planned
extension of the Bayou Bridge pipeline
has made L ouisiana bayous the latest
battleground in a nationwide war against
new pipeline construction.
The pushback here is one example of
the increasingly broad and diverse base of
opposition nationally, which now extends
beyond traditional environmental activists.
In Louisiana, opponents include flood
protection advocates, commercial fishermen
and property owners such as Rosinski.
Their fight follows high-profile protests
in North Dakota that were led by Native
Americans and joined by military veterans,
who together succeeded in convincing
the Obama administration to delay
Although the new administration
of President Donald Trump has since
cleared that project ’s completion, pipeline
companies are nonetheless taking the
rising political opposition seriously. Alan
Armstrong, chief executive at pipeline firm
Williams Companies, told a conference in
Pittsburgh that Trump’s action would not
hamper the protest movement.
It may even enhance it he said the day
after Trump cleared the Dakota pipeline in
Pipeline supporters argue that more
infrastructure is essential for the oil and gas
industry to provide affordable energy and
reduce dependence on foreign imports and
dirtier energy sources such as coal.
Opponents counter that pipeline
companies can not be trusted to prevent
leaks. Technology designed to detect spills
only accomplished that goal in 20% of
known pipeline leaks between 2010 and
2016, according to a Reuters analysis of
data from the US Pipeline and Hazardous
Materials Safety Administration.
Energy Transfer and its affiliates had
among the most spills of any pipeline
company, with nearly 260 leaks from
lines carrying hazardous liquids since
2010, according to the analysis. An ETP
spokesperson said most of those spills were
small and occurred on company property.
The company said in a statement that
it seeks to work with landowners and
communities to build the pipeline in the
safest, most environmentally friendly
ETP’s relations with Rosinski, however,
have apparently broken down. She said that
the firm has threatened to take her to court
for the right of way, citing legal rights of
pipeline companies to build infrastructure
for broader public benefit.
Rosinski wants to resist, but knows a
court battle could be costly and lengthy.
A single mom,” she said. “I don’t have the
ETP declined to comment specifically
on Rosinski’s case but said it typically
gets voluntary agreements on easements
from owners in about nine out of 10 cases,
without legal action.
Some pipeline protesters are driven by
opposition to any expansion of fossil fuel
development, but many have more local
and specific concerns.
Many protests so far — including the
encampment in North Dakota, led by the
Standing Rock Sioux tribe — have focused
largely on fear of water contamination.
Similar objections have cropped up in
west Texas from protesters of Energy
Transfer’s Trans-Pecos gas line, and in
Arkansas and Tennessee over the Diamond
Pipeline operated by Plains All American
Activists in Pennsylvania have been
fighting a Williams Companies pipeline
plan for three years. The company is
looking to add 297km of new pipeline to
its Atlantic Sunrise line, connecting the
north-eastern Marcellus natural gas shale
region with the south-east part of the state.
Opponents have argued the expansion
could cause an
explosion or taint the
local water that supplies
They ’re borrowing
tactics from Standing
Rock tribe’s stand-off.
46, of Lancaster,
Pennsylvania, who leads
the group Lancaster
Against Pipelines, said
residents are setting up
a camp in Conestoga,
where a right-of-way
has been granted, and
plans to live on and off
at the camp with her
“I’m exhausted and
angry about this,” she
said. “ Why do we have
to upend our lives just
to try to get justice for
Williams said it
has operated 100km
of pipeline safely in
and that the company
plans to exceed Federal
safety standards for the
“ We have also heard from thousands
of people who support the project —
individuals, chambers and business groups
— who recognise the economic benefit,”
the company said in a statement.
In Louisiana — home to massive oil
refineries and about 80,000km of pipelines
— ETP’s planned Bayou Bridge extension
would run across southern L ouisiana for
about 260km, between Lake Charles and
The state has a mutually beneficial but
testy relationship with the oil industry,
which is widely blamed for cutting through
wetlands and contributing to coastal
erosion that has left Louisiana more
vulnerable to hurricanes and flooding.
Some opponents of the Bayou Bridge are
concerned that its construction will pollute
drinking water and constrict drainage
systems during heavy rains. Others want
to see pipeline companies take better
care of the environment during and after
Jody Meche, 47, of Henderson, fears
economic damage. He has fished in the
Atchafalaya Basin for a quarter century.
For years, he has been pushing companies
to remove spoil banks caused by pipeline
construction and oil exploration because
they hurt the commercial fishing
The spoil banks act as dams inside the
basin, damaging the local eco-system by
stopping water flow.
Meche can sees the impact in the
crawfish traps he pulls up from the bayou
daily during the season, from February to
early summer. The critters resemble tiny
lobsters and are in high demand at bars
and backyard boils from New Orleans to
“The stagnant water is not good for them
at all,” Meche said. “ They don’t grow as
well, they don’t eat as much, they are very
Meche can sell large, healthy crawfish for
about $1.50 a pound. But the smaller ones
he often catches these days fetch half that,
and many in his traps these days are dead
Rosinski, meanwhile, is still fighting with
Enterprise Products Partners, the pipeline
company she said damaged her property
during construction of an ethane line a few
years ago. She said she has spent the last
year trying to get Enterprise to restore her
land and stop the flooding.
The cost to fix it could be as little as
$1200, she said.
Enterprise told Reuters it hopes to
resolve the issue amicably, but that it has
not gotten clear guidance from an attorney
hired by Rosinski.
Rosinski received the right-of-way request
from Energy Transfer Partners as she was
squabbling with Enterprise. She suggested
30 changes to the contract and requested
more compensation. ETP refused, she said,
and told her it may take up the dispute in
“I’ve done my part,” she said of her
previous agreements to allow pipelines
through her property. “ They ’re consuming
4 - Friday, February 24, 2017
We appreciate the value of the Letters to the Editor
column as a public forum for West Coasters and
welcome your opinion and suggestions.
Letters may be submitted by post, fax or e-mail and
must include your name, address, phone number
and — except for e-mails — your signature. Noms
de plume are not accepted.
Please keep your letters honest, respectful and
within 300 words. Letter writers will generally not
be published more often than weekly. The Editor
reserves the right to edit or not publish letters,
especially those that are offensive or too long.
Post to PO Box 3, Greymouth, fax to 768 6205 or
e-mail to email@example.com
uLetters to the editor
1771 - Encyclopaedia Britannica first
1875 - 102 die when steamer
Gotenburg hits a reef south of
Townsville, North Queensland.
1887 - Paris and Brussels become
the first two capital cities to be linked
1905 - Death of French novelist
1920 - Nazi Party is organised in Germany.
1946 - Juan Peron is elected for first of three
presidential terms in Argentina.
1981 - Buckingham Palace announces the
engagement of Prince Charles and Lady Diana
1991 - Hours after last-minute Soviet
diplomatic efforts fail, allied forces launch a
ground offensive against Iraqi forces in Kuwait
2014 - Harold Ramis, a comedy actor, director
and performer best known for his role in
Ghostbusters, dies aged 69.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Charles V, Holy Roman emperor, king of
Spain and archduke of Austria (1500-1558);
Wilhelm Grimm, German author (1786-
1859); George Augustus Moore,
English novelist (1852-1933);
Chester Nimitz, US admiral and
commander of the Pacific Fleet
(1885-1966); Alain Prost, French
race car driver (1955-); Steve
Jobs, American computer pioneer
(1955-2011); Todd Field, US actor-
director (1964-); Floyd Mayweather,
US boxer (1977-); Lleyton Hewitt, Australian
tennis player (1981-).
“Great events make me quiet and calm; it is
only trifles that irritate my ner ves.” — Queen
Victoria, British monarch (1819-1901).
“ For one believes with the heart and so is
justified, and one confesses with the mouth and
so is saved.” — (Romans 10:10).
Harbour Board is
faced with a giant-size
headache because of
continuing acts of vandalism. Last weekend
two of its dinghies were sunk and working gear,
pile heads and timber were thrown deep into
the Erua Moana Lagoon.
Yesterday morning workmen found broken
bottles scattered all over the extended western
tip of the south breakwater road — a task that
was completed the day before to allow busloads
of tourists to turn on the narrow section.
“ We do the job to encourage tourism in the
district and this is the sort of thing we come
up against,” said a disgruntled harbour board
engineer-manager Mr J M MacRae today.
Mr Jim Henderson of the NZBC Open
Country programme spent the day at the
Barrytown sports on Sunday. He inter viewed
Greymouth archer Les Robertson who took
part in a demonstration shoot at the sports
day and competed in a trophy match, using
an armoury which is a conglomeration of
imported materials and made up for him by
former New Zealand champion Westport ’s
Mr Robertson admitted that Karoro 17-year-
old Robert Thorn, who already has both South
Island and New Zealand titles behind him, was
too good for him on the day.
Atop his giant mount Johore, Greymouth
Lions representative Robert Miller crossed
the line first in yesterday ’s elephant race down
Mackay Street. Holding on grimly for second
was PRO Pat Nailer riding Abu while radio
announcer Reon Murtha vainly tried to get a
bit more out of Jumbo, the third place-getter.
The race netted over £70 for the Strongman
uFood for thought
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Figh ng the pipeline
A fisherman dumps out a catch of crawfish at the Atchafalaya Basin near Butte LaRose, Louisiana.
In regard to the mayors and chairs
dumping John Sturgeon from
Development West Coast, kudos to
Westland ’s Bruce Smith for admitting
that the vote was unanimous. The
pathetic sidestepping comments
from the others does them all a
Clearly, because Westport’s mayor
tabled the motion he also voted against
Mr Sturgeon, which leaves the Grey
District Mayor and regional council
chairman as other participants who
(despite one saying it was not a vote but a
consensus), to agree.
I would have thought that all involved
in the vote or consensus would have been
big and strong enough to state their case
publicly. It is regrettable that is not the
Re the last two articles in the
Greymouth Star. As elected members of
our community why are we not entitled to
know who ‘dumped’ (terrible wording, by
the way) John Sturgeon?
This man has given more to our
community, in years and time, than
any of these four men. Most, if not all,
would have still been at school when Mr
Sturgeon started contributing/representing
our community. Surely our elected leaders
are accountable to us, the ratepayers and
members of the West Coast?
Mr Kokshoorn, Mr Smith and Mr
Howard were completely non-committal
in their answers (they should run for
Parliament). Mr Robb’s comment, ‘mayors
and chairs is a confidential forum’ — good
cop out. At least he was a bit more original
than the previous three.
All four need to remember who put
them into the position they are in. Shame
there is not an election coming up. They
should explain to the public how Mr
Sturgeon can possibly ‘be treated with
respect and leave his post with dignity’,
because these four men certainly are not
I find it amazing that the mayors and
chairs group has the power to make
decisions that dictate the future direction
of the Coast to the level they are.
The decision to replace John Sturgeon
four months before he was due to finish is
nothing short of an insult and a total lack
I must also say that it was with no
consultation with the councillors. I do not
know where our mayor gets his mandate
to make such a decision on my behalf.
Let me make it clear, this council
is supposed to be a democracy not a
dictatorship. One has to wonder what we
are there for when the mayors have this
power. Shame on this group.
Cr Cliff Sandrey
Grey District Council
Inland Pack Track
Greetings from Punakaiki. In response
to your article (Greymouth Star,
February 19) on the Paparoa Track and
the exit/entrance options for cyclists
at the Punakaiki end, I would like to
congratulate the conser vation board for
asking the Department of Conser vation to
have another look at a Ryall Road option.
Up until fairly recently cycling was not
allowed at all in national parks. After
much consultation it was finally allowed in
Kahurangi National Park over the Heaphy
Track, but only in the winter months. It is
hard to understand why DOC is now hell-
bent on allowing bikes on to the popular
Inland Pack Track in Paparoa National
Park, and not only that but also re-routing
quite a proportion of this historic track
(built in 1867) to make the grade suitable
The nearby Ryall Road option has a lot
going for it and recent exploration by
locals has discovered a route that has great
possibilities without requiring extra creek
crossings, and of course the Ryall Road
route is a lot lower than the Inland Pack
Track option. Although I am a keen cyclist
I do not go out of my way to climb hills.
Gorse has been cited as a problem by
DOC but local volunteers have removed
I have the greatest respect for the people
who work for DOC and have cringed over
the last eight years when the Government
has refused to increase their budget and
in relative terms has actually cut their
budget. This has had a serious effect on the
West Coast, where so much of our land is
in the conversation estate. It has also led
to a situation where DOC has lost their
initiative when it comes to new tracks.
Because they do not have the funding
to maintain any extra track they seem
terrified to add 1cm to their track system.
Because of a horrific disaster and with
the support of the Pike River families,
the Government has come to the party
and authorised one of the first new
government-funded tracks on the West
Coast over the past 30 years. It is a great
disappointment that in building this
wonderful track their department, DOC,
now wishes to destroy the character of a
historic pack track and re-route it to cater
It is even more disturbing when I, among
others, feel that DOC has given one-
sided information to the conser vation
board, who have been tasked with making
a decision on this matter. Good on the
board for asking for more information.
The locals in Punakaiki would be more
than happy to show anyone around Ryall
Road and the Inland Pack Track so they
can see the options available.
At the public meeting in Greymouth
this week about home help cutbacks,
the DHB management kindly answered
questions which apply to other areas of
health. The chief executive reassured us
that the new hospital will be the same size
as the ‘current hospital’.
Earlier media reports had stated that the
new hospital will have 60 beds, including
the four rehabilitation beds. In a 2014
media report, the public were informed
that the bed numbers at the time had
to be decreased to 73 from 102 due to
seismic concerns. If the new hospital will
have the same number beds as the current
hospital this means the bed numbers in
the current hospital have been decreased
from 73 to 60 beds without good a reason
or public consultation.
If there are physical spaces for the beds,
why patients with complex medical or
rehabilitation needs are being denied
access to ser vices or sent home without
appropriate care should be questioned.
The long waiting lists and the increasing
number of referral rejections is a reason to
question the appropriateness of reduction
of bed numbers.
Last year, in a media release, the
Minister of Health stated that there was
a record number of nursing staff on the
West Coast. This means a shortage of
nursing staff can not be a valid reason of
cutting back the services.
However, comments at this week’s
meeting suggested the distribution
of staff and resources may need to be
reviewed. A member of home help staff
commented that the number of home
help staff has not been increased to
match the increased demand. We were
also informed that six nursing staff were
doing the assessment for home help.
This means the number people assessing
the need for help has increased, but the
number people actually doing the work
has not increased.
The closure of the rehabilitation ward
means that some areas the number of
workers have decreased.
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