Pilgrim Pipeline Holdings LLC announced on November 18 that they had filed for permits with New York officials to move forward with building the Pilgrim Pipeline, an environmentally destructive project between Albany, NY and Linden, NJ. Less prominent was the fact that they filed documents with the NY Thruway Authority and the Department of Environmental Protection in August. What have they been hiding for 3 months? (You can see their filing documents here.)
Worse yet, they want the Thruway Authority to be the “lead agency” to perform the required environmental review for the project. Now, the Thruway Authority may be very good at what they do, but “what they do” is operate and maintain a toll highway — not ensure the safety and protection of our land and water resources. They don’t appear to be very good at informing the public, either, since they didn’t tell us about the filing over the last 3 months, either!
Pilgrim has proposed a very aggressive construction schedule — starting in April 2016 — that would provide nowhere near an adequate review process including environmental assessment and public input. Their application even says that their parallel pipelines carrying crude oil, kerosene, and other refined petroleum products will have “no impact” on community fire services!
A 30-day ‘clock’ has started (occurring during the busy holiday shopping season) for deciding whether or not the Thruway Authority will be the lead reviewer for the project, rather than the more sensible assignment of the DEC to this critical task. Fortunately, local officials and activists are stepping up to the plate crying ‘foul’ to this wacky scheme. The Supervisor of New Paltz has even suggested that her town, as one of the ‘affected agencies’, could apply to be the lead review agent.
Some have even speculated that the Thruway Authority is interested in promoting the pipeline, and reaping fees for letting the pipeline traverse its property, as a means to help fund the construction of the Tappan Zee Bridge. (There has yet to be any public disclosure of how the state is going to come up with the $4 billion needed for the bridge.)
21 New York municipalities so far have passed resolutions opposing the pipeline. Now it is time to take the next step and get them to convince state officials that that letting a highway authority lead an environmental review is a foolish idea and not in the public interest.
- Fill in the contact form below, with your name and the name of the town you live in, and we’ll forward your contact info to a local CAPP organizer who can tell you more about how you can get your town to stand up to Pilgrim and the Thruway Authority, and for a sensible environmental review.
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Working together, the voices of so many concerned citizens cannot be ignored!