Terminal by Terminal, the Teppco Pipeline Plans a Return

With repair work on the Teppco pipeline almost complete, propane dealers in Eastern New York will no longer face the long lines at the terminal in Watkins Glen, shown above. (image: BrooklynBoy1968 via flickr.com)

It’s been a slow return for the Teppco propane pipeline that sprang a leak in upstate New York this August. Completion dates for the repair work have been bumped back. Meanwhile, retailers have been fretting about the region’s propane supply, as transport trucks faced long lines at the pipeline’s lone functioning terminal in the state at Watkins Glen. Some dealers even considered making runs to Ohio, rather than face the waits at the Glen.

But this month, the pipeline should be back. In its weekly petroleum roundup, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) looks at the progress, and makes a mixed review. Propane was expected to be flowing down the pipeline from Watkins Glen to Harford Mills as of yesterday. However, the supply point there can load only three trucks an hour, and the long lines upstate will likely continue. New York has issued an hours-of-service exemption through the end of the month, which will relax the hourly work limits on drivers left twiddling their thumbs at Harford Mills.

The terminals farther east on the Teppco line are expected to be back soon. The EIA says that the terminal in the town of Oneanta should be back in service this week, pending approval on the repairs from a regulatory agency. And service to the final station, in the town of Selkirk, could be back by next week.

That will be welcome news to the region’s propane dealers and their customers.

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