The proposed 442-mile Millennium Pipeline, which would deliver natural gas from Canada to Mount Vernon, New York, snakes through significant portions of the Hudson River Valley and would cut through 2.1 miles of critical fish and wildlife habitat in Haverstraw Bay.
In December 2003, Millennium was dealt a blow by the Secretary of Commerce, who issued a long awaited ruling denying Millennium’s Appeal of New York State Department of State’s finding that the proposed route of the pipeline is inconsistent with the Coastal Management Program (CMP). The ruling has the effect of precluding federal agencies from issuing licenses or permits to Millennium.
Recently, however, Millennium announced that it is appealing this decison before the U.S. Federal District Court and will be pushing forward with a two-phase development plan.
The proposed route would have take the pipeline through environmentally sensitive and productive Haverstraw Bay, requiring blasting (which had not been revealed by Millennium during the prior agency reviews.) Commerce agreed with New York, finding that there were reasonable alternatives to the route which would be consistent with the CMP. Riverkeeper submitted comments to the Dept. of Commerce in support of the New York Department of State.
Currently, we await disposition of Riverkeeper’s appeal before the D.C. Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals, challenging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) approval of the pipeline route and plan to participate in Millennium’s new appeal as a friend of the court.