News > News > Preserve River Ecology > Crude Oil Transport > Pilgrim Pipelines review opens with State Determination that project could result in multiple significant environmental impacts

Pilgrim Pipelines review opens with State Determination that project could result in multiple significant environmental impacts

For immediate release:
Contact: Cliff Weathers, Communications Director
914-478-4501, ext. 239

Lead agencies cite “unprecedented” use of thruway right of way as a threat to public safety in calling for a full environmental review of Pilgrim Pipelines’ potentially extensive impacts

Ossining, NY — The Department of Environmental Conservation and Thruway Authority has issued a “Positive Declaration,” indicating that the proposed Pilgrim Pipeline project has the “potential for multiple significant adverse environmental impacts from the construction, operation and maintenance” of the pipelines. The action taken by the co-lead agencies begins the the environmental review process required under the New York’s State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).

This official “determination of the significance” of the potential environmental impacts that will result from the construction and operation of this 170-mile double pipeline confirms what Riverkeeper and over two dozen local governments across New York have argued for nearly two years: that the proposal to carry highly volatile Bakken crude oil down the length of the Hudson Valley is unprecedented and dangerous. Yesterday’s announcement cites potential significant impacts to streams, wetlands, forests, climate, Native American sites and environmental justice communities. These potential significant impacts will require close examination by the co-lead agencies, involved agencies, interested parties and the public during the public portions of the environmental review process including commenting on the draft scope and the draft environmental impact statement.

Riverkeeper, our partners and the grassroots Coalition Against Pilgrim Pipelines NY/NJ have witnessed and supported burgeoning opposition to the project over the past few years. More than 60 municipalities in New York and New Jersey have passed resolutions opposing the construction of the Pilgrim Pipelines. In New York, more than two dozen municipalities have spoken out against the proposal. Moreover, seven cities and villages in New York have veto authority over the proposed pipelines under the New York TransCorp law, and have opposed the Pilgrim Pipelines. We will encourage all impacted and concerned local governments to submit comments on the draft scope and ultimately the draft environmental impact statement.

“It is monumental that the agencies charged with approving or denying this massive and unnecessary fossil fuel pipeline project have reached the conclusion that countless communities, landowners and concerned citizens have over the last year — that the Pilgrim Pipelines project could devastate all that we most treasure about our Hudson Valley, said Kate Hudson, Director of Cross Watershed Initiatives. “Our waterways, our drinking water, the air we breath, our climate, our landscapes, our farms, the safety of our roadways, our public parks and other recreational resources, nine Environmental Justice communities who are already disproportionately impacted by environmental insults, and irreplaceable archeological sites belonging to our Native American neighbors.”

“We are gratified that DEC and Thruway have signaled, with their Positive Declaration, the beginning of the regulatory scrutiny that this project requires and have invited the public’s input. Once the litany of its impacts is confirmed, by the public in collaboration with those agencies, Pilgrim’s pipelines should be, must be denied because there are no social or economic benefits that could ever ‘outweigh’ the community and environmental harm it is likely to cause,” she continued.

“I believe the public, upon scrutinizing this proposal will understand the tremendous risks and potential impacts associated with this project. Bakken oil is one of the most explosive and volatile crude oils in the world, and Pilgrim’s backers want to push nearly seventeen million gallons a day of Bakken oil and refined petroleum products up and down one of New York’s most heavily trafficked superhighways—the potential risks to public safety are enormous,” said Jeremy Cherson, Campaign Advocacy Coordinator for Riverkeeper.

“Additionally, the potential impacts and risks of crossing the Hudson River twice, as well as 257 streams and water bodies —which includes major tributaries on the west side of the Hudson such as the Wallkill River, Catskill, Esopus, and Rondout Creeks — is an unprecedented threat to the river’s recovery. ”


Riverkeeper is calling all businesses, civic and religious organizations: sign on to the grassroots letter calling for an extended comment period on the draft scope and multiple public scoping meetings. Deadline, Friday, September 16

Join us at one of five upcoming events in the Hudson Valley to learn more about the environmental review process and how to submit comments on the draft scope, once it is released for public comment.

Thursday September 22, 7-9pm
Saugerties Senior Center (aka Frank D. Greco Multi-Purpose Bldg.), 207
Market St. (corner of Robinson St.) (map) sponsored by CAPP-NY and Riverkeeper

Thursday September 22, 6:30-8pm
Rockland Community College, The Ellipse, Room 8180, Technology Center, Suffern, NY (map) sponsored by Riverkeeper and Scenic Hudson

Tuesday September 27, 6:30 – 8:00pm
New Paltz Community Center, map (off Rt. 32 North, behind former Town Hall). Email [email protected] for info. Free refreshments.

Thursday September 29, 2016, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Catskill High School Auditorium, Catskill, NY (map)
Come to a public forum to learn about the potential impacts of Pilgrim’s proposed pipelines through our communities. Organized by CAPP-NY, sponsored by Riverkeeper and Scenic Hudson.

Saturday October 1, 2016, 12:30 – 4:00 pm
Newburgh Free Public Library, City of Newburgh (map)
Join Riverkeeper and Scenic Hudson for a keynote by Michelle Barland Smith about her experience as a victim of the Kalamazoo River oil spill and an opportunity to record your public comment on the proposed Pilgrim Pipelines.

Learn more about the project by visiting our information hub at

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