News > News > Safeguard Drinking Water > Kingston and Catskill Resoundingly Reject Thruway as Authority on Pilgrim Pipelines Environmental Impact; Refer to Thruway’s Conflict of Interest

Kingston and Catskill Resoundingly Reject Thruway as Authority on Pilgrim Pipelines Environmental Impact; Refer to Thruway’s Conflict of Interest

Coalition Against Pilgrim Pipelines

December 2, 2015
Contact: Iris Marie Bloom 845-687-7810

[email protected]

City of Kingston Reiterates Strong Opposition to Proposed Pipelines, Citing Commitment to Protect Drinking Water and Climate, Reduce Dependence on Fossil Fuels

The City of Kingston, New York, in Ulster County, and the Town of Catskill, New York, in Greene County, both unanimously passed resolutions last night, Monday December 1st 2015, formally objecting to the Thruway Authority’s role as “lead agency” for the environmental review process for the proposed controversial Pilgrim pipelines project.

“I’m thrilled it passed unanimously,” said Julie Noble, Chair of the Kingston, New York Conservation Advisory Council, after the Kingston Common Council’s 9-0 vote last night.

“Once again the City of Kingston is helping to lead the charge, as we continue to move in an environmentally sensitive direction, providing leadership locally, regionally and worldwide,” Kingston Councilman Matt Dunn said as he testified in favor of the Resolution to Reject the Thruway Authority as lead agency. “Many organizations here tonight have helped us take this stand against the Thruway Authority’s attempt to inappropriately lead the environmental review.”

Ulster County Legislator Chris Allen, of Saugerties, testified, “My concern is that financial enticement to the New York State Thruway Authority creates an allure for the Thruway to permit Pilgrim pipelines to create funding for their infrastructure projects. The Department of Environmental Conservation is the appropriate agency.”

Jennifer Schwartz-Berky, legislator-elect as an Ulster County legislator and member of Kingston Citizens, thanked the Kingston Common Council for taking this step in her public testimony in favor of the Resolution last night. “We’re not going to accept deals made behind closed doors. It’s clear there’s a conflict [of interest] with the Thruway Authority. There’s a lot at stake here.”

“Kingston’s Climate Action Plan, in 2012, set goals of reducing fossil fuel dependency and increasing renewables by 2020. That’s one of the reasons Kingston passed the Resolution Opposing Pilgrim Pipelines in January 2015,” added Julie Noble, who is also the Environmental Educator for the City of Kingston’s Parks and Recreation Department.

“Your forward thinking in January 2015, when you passed the Resolution Opposing Pilgrim Pipelines, helps to guide us now,” said Rebecca Martin, of Kingston Citizens. “Almost 10 months later, the Thruway wants Kingston, one of only three cities along the pipelines’ direct path [the other two are Newburgh and Albany], to allow it to be the lead agency. Kingston is declining this request, and acting swiftly.”

Oil trains in New York State would increase, not decrease, if Pilgrim pipelines are built, according to analysis by the organization Riverkeeper and by Stephen Shafer, MD, MPH.

Millions of people in New York and New Jersey would have their drinking water put at risk by the proposed Pilgrim pipelines. This includes those who drink water drawn from the Ramapo River, the Hudson River, the Karst Aquifer, the Passaic River Basin, and many other rivers, streams and aquifers.

More on these and other topics including eminent domain; climate; the Koch Industries relationship to Pilgrim pipelines; and the type of oil Pilgrim may use, see attached “New Backgroun.” For broader factual background and overview, see attached “Backgrounder.” For arguments against Pilgrim pipelines by the Coalition Against Pilgrim Pipelines, see FAQs at

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