News > News > Preserve River Ecology > Crude Oil Transport > Statement from Riverkeeper’s Kate Hudson regarding overwhelming opposition to Pilgrim Pipelines

Statement from Riverkeeper’s Kate Hudson regarding overwhelming opposition to Pilgrim Pipelines

For Immediate Release: Dec 16, 2015
Contact: Cliff Weathers, Communications Director
914-478-4501, ext. 239, [email protected]

Concern over the potential impacts of the proposed Pilgrim Pipeline crude oil and gas pipelines has prompted 58 towns, cities, and counties in New York and New Jersey to go on record opposing this project, with the majority of New York towns and counties challenging the NYS Thruway Authority’s intention to be the lead agency overseeing an environmental review for the pipeline. The proposed pipeline largely follows the NYS Thruway corridor on a 178-mile route to Linden, N.J. Pilgrim has now applied to obtain permission from the Thruway to access that corridor, for which, if granted that permission, it will pay fees to Thruway.

New York’s State Environmental Quality Review Act requires that affected municipalities respond to the Thruway Authority’s bid for lead agency by December 16th, 2015, 30 days after receipt of the Authority’s November 16, 2015 letter indicating its intent.

Opposition has come from the cities of Albany, Kingston, and Newburgh; the counties of Albany, Greene, Ulster and Rockland; the Albany County towns of Bethlehem and Coeymans, the Greene County towns of Athens, Catskill, Coxsackie, and New Baltimore; the Ulster County towns of Esopus, Marlborough, New Paltz, Plattekill, Rosendale, Saugerties and Ulster; the Orange County towns of Cornwall, Harriman, Newburgh, New Windsor, Tuxedo, and Tuxedo Park; and the Rockland County towns of Hillburn and Ramapo.

Riverkeeper, New York’s Clean Water Advocate, joins with these municipalities in opposing the Thruway Authority’s attempt to gain control of the environmental review of this project, in which it has a financial interest in seeing proceed.

The Department of Environmental Conservation, not the Thruway Authority, is clearly the most qualified agency to lead the environmental review of a plan that affects 29 New York State towns in six counties.

Kate Hudson, Riverkeeper’s Director of Cross-Watershed Initiatives said: “Not only will private property have to be seized for this project to move forward, there are likely to be significant impacts on sensitive community and environmental resources from both the construction and the operation of these pipelines. As proposed, the pipelines will be constructed in a 100 foot wide swath through aquifers, threatening municipal water supplies for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, as well as the integrity and value of the many farms and rural and suburban residential homes in their path and proximity. And while these pipelines would put our critical resources and public safety in harm’s way, they’re not even needed. Pilgrim’s construction would just as likely not reduce the amount of crude oil currently moving through the mid Hudson Valley by rail and barges on the Hudson. In fact, in light of the lifting of the crude oil export ban being considered by Congress, the pipelines might simply increase the amount of oil moving through New York State, leaving New York communities to face substantial risk and no benefit.”

Read two letters by Riverkeeper and other coalition groups calling for the DEC, not the Thruway Authority, to lead the environmental review:

Letter to Governor Cuomo on Pilgrim Pipeline review

Letter to DEC on Pilgrim Pipeline review

Tell Gov. Hochul to block invasive species at the Erie and Champlain canals
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