Pilgrim Pipeline Holdings, LLC has proposed to construct two parallel pipelines each up to 20 inches in diameter that would run from Albany, NY to Linden, NJ along the NYS Thruway and through private property. One pipeline would transport crude oil south while the other pipeline would carry refined products north. In total, the pipelines would cover some 170 miles (including five laterals totaling nearly 13 miles), impacting 31 municipalities in Albany, Rensselaer, Greene, Ulster, Orange, and Rockland counties.
The proposal, described in more detail below has the potential for significant environmental impacts according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The pipelines and its five laterals are proposed to cross the Hudson River twice and every major tributary on the west side of the Hudson, in addition to 232 regulated streams and countless other aquatic resources. Additionally, there will be four pump stations and 215 permanent access roads and temporary access roads at every mile.
The proposal is a risk to the Hudson River, its tributaries and the communities in the path of the proposed project. Concerned with these significant risks, over two dozen cities, villages and towns have passed resolutions formally opposing the construction of the Pilgrim oil pipelines.
The Pilgrim Pipelines are two parallel pipelines proposed to run from Albany-Rensselaer for approximately 170 miles to Linden, New Jersey. One pipeline is proposed to carry crude oil south to refineries in Linden, while the other is proposed to carry refined petroleum products north, while five laterals would carry oil for 13.5 miles from the mainlines to tank farms along the Hudson River.
Each mainline would be 20 inches in diameter with the capacity to carry 8.4 million gallons per day. The northbound pipeline could be reversed to carry crude in both pipelines. In total the pipelines have a combined capacity for 16.8 million gallons per day of petroleum products.
Five lateral pipelines along the route, connecting to the Buckeye terminal in Albany (over 1 mile long); the IPT Rensselaer Terminal (.71 miles long); terminals in the Town of Bethlehem (.33 miles long); the Buckeye Roseton Terminal (over 7 miles long); and the Global Newburgh Terminal (about 4.5 miles long).
Because Pilgrim is not allowed to access its proposed pipelines from the Thruway itself, for either construction or maintenance purposes, 35 permanent access roads and many temporary access roads would need to be constructed at 1-mile intervals along the entire route. In total 215 access roads are proposed (Pilgrim Preliminary DEIS)
– 3 for Rensselaer County
– 32 for Albany County
– 38 for Greene County
– 99 for Ulster County
– 74 for Orange County
– 1 for Rensselaer
Block valves at a maximum of 10 miles apart.
4 pump stations in Albany (.17 acre), the Town of East Greenbush (nearly .5 acre), the Town of Ulster (.85 acre), and the Town of Woodbury (over 2 acres).
7 contractor and pipe yards for the duration of construction.
The potential risks and impacts from a proposed fossil fuel project as large as the Pilgrim pipelines are broad and complex. In New York alone 139 pipeline incidents have contributed to $72.7 million in property damages, 29 fatalities and 100 injuries (ProPublica).
Pilgrim Pipeline Holdings LLC (the parent company) based in New Jersey, and Pilgrim Transportation of New York (its subsidiary), were created for this project. The company itself has no track record, and the company from which its leadership is drawn—Koch Industries.
Pilgrim President Errol B. Boyle, former President, Koch Shipping, Inc.
Pilgrim Vice President for Operations, Roger L. Williams, former President Koch Oil Company and former Vice President of Koch Industries
The third principal on the team is Pilgrim Vice President for Development. George J. Bochis, a former executive and lawyer for a Florida-based real estate investment trust.
In January, 2000, Koch Industries, Inc., was made to pay the largest civil fine ever imposed under federal environmental law at that time—a $30 million civil penalty—to resolve claims related to more than 300 oil spills from its pipelines and oil facilities in six states.
John Casellini, lobbyist, Ways and Means NY. Casellini is the primary lobbyist in New York for the Pilgrim project. A veteran Albany politico, he served as the Budget Director for the NYS Assembly Ways and Means Committee, before transitioning to the private sector and ultimately creating a private consulting lobbying firm with the same name as his former committee where he served as Budget Director.
Riverkeeper, along with our fellow coalition members, are engaged in a fight to prevent the construction of the proposed pipelines. After 50 years of fighting for the Hudson River and its tributaries we have seen the region’s waters begin to recover from centuries of abuse. We understand that allowing a dangerous, new fossil fuel project could undo a half century of progress. To accomplish this Riverkeeper and our partners are:
Fighting for a comprehensive environmental review under the State Environmental Quality Review Act. A thorough and comprehensive environmental review, with extensive opportunities for public input will serve as the ultimate basis for New York State’s review and ultimately require rejection of this proposed project.
Building grassroots opposition to the proposed pipelines. Riverkeeper works closely with the Coalition against Pilgrim Pipelines- NY to educate and activate the public. We regularly hold public forums and information sessions across the Hudson Valley.
Over two dozen cities, villages and towns have formally opposed the proposed project. Riverkeeper worked closely with local activists to encourage municipalities to pass resolutions memorializing their opposition to the proposed pipelines. You can see a complete list of resolutions here https://stoppilgrimpipeline.com/resolutions/
Riverkeeper, along with Scenic Hudson, Natural Resources Defense Council and Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter, support legislation that empowers towns to have the same authority over petroleum pipelines or other state regulated pipelines as their village and city municipal counterparts. The legislation passed the NYS Assembly 109 to 33 on June 16, 2016 but failed to reach a vote in the state Senate. (read “Pass this law to empower towns on petroleum pipelines”).
7 out of 9 cities and cities with veto authority have passed resolutions in opposition:
City of Newburgh
Tuxedo Park, Village
Reaching out to property owners near the pipelines route to inform them of the risks to their properties and the threat that their property rights could be impacted by Pilgrim’s ability to gain eminent domain authority to build its pipelines on their property without their consent. See the letter and fact sheet in the section for property owners below.