Request Completion Date of Governor Cuomo’s Risk Assessment
NORTH SALEM, NY — May 3, 2016 — Frightened New York residents reacted to Spectra Energy’s massive methane gas explosion April 29, 2016, on its nearby Texas Eastern pipeline in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, by calling on Governor Cuomo and President Obama to immediately halt construction of Spectra Energy’s Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) pipeline and complete the NYS risk assessment.
On February 29, 2016, Gov. Cuomo announced that four New York State agencies, the Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of Health, Public Service Commission and Department of Homeland Security would conduct a risk assessment of the collocation of AIM’s huge 42” diameter pipeline adjacent to aging, troubled Indian Point nuclear power plant. There has been no mention of the study by the administration since February and construction of the pipeline continues. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) rejected the Governor’s request for construction to be halted.
For three years, Spectra justified construction of the pipeline in this perilous location by stating that “they have operated safely for over 50 years.” Local residents feel that the most recent Spectra pipeline explosion shows that there is indeed great risk to the 20 million people in the 50-mile radius of Indian Point.
Suzannah Glidden, author of this article, and Westchester resident shared these thoughts of her own, “Even when Indian Point is closed, its highly radioactive spent fuel rods remain onsite making the risk too indefensible to allow AIM next to a nuclear power plant. Nowhere else in the country is a gas and nuclear energy collocation permitted so why here near New York City? Governor Cuomo’s risk assessment will undoubtedly prove its untenability.”
FERC’s project go-ahead for AIM was based on an egregiously flawed analysis not conducted independently but by the owner of Indian Point, Entergy, and signed off on by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Nuclear expert Paul Blanch has repeatedly pointed out that emergency shut down is not controlled locally but from Houston, Texas from where response time would be well beyond what is cited in the analysis. Furthermore, pipeline expert Richard Kuprewicz of AccuFacts states that the impact radius could far exceed the estimates provided by Entergy and the NRC.
Blanch and Kuprewicz have extensively studied the AIM project whose findings should be reviewed and included and who should be consulted in the assessment. Paul Blanch stated, “The risk assessment must be conducted in accordance with the Code of Federal Guidelines issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as specified in 29 CFR 1919.119 Appendix C. This is critically important.”
Rockland resident Gale Pisha said, “These federal agencies are doing the bidding of industry and are completely failing to protect us. The Governor of our state and President Obama must shut down this intolerable project while the NYS risk assessment is conducted. We await the assessment’s results.”
“Has the risk assessment been started and when is it going to be finished?” asked Putnam resident Jerry Ravnitzky. “The juncture of Indian Point and the AIM pipeline creates a prime target for terrorists. Was it just political posturing of Governor Cuomo or is he going to keep his commitment to conduct this risk assessment of putting the pipeline at Indian Point nuclear power plant?”
Spectra has long claimed it has operated safely in our area and that safety is their first concern but NYC resident Ling Tsou said otherwise. “Spectra has had many accidents and now this big one that could happen in our area. Look at their track record of 25 reported accidents on this same Texas Eastern pipeline that feeds into the Algonquin pipeline. Building a 42-inch diameter high-pressure AIM gas pipeline right next to the Indian Point nuclear power plant is a disaster waiting to happen. Spectra Energy, FERC and NRC are gambling with New Yorkers’ lives which is unconscionable. Governor Cuomo must honor his primary mandate to keep his constituents safe. He must have AIM halted and conduct the NYS risk assessment to study AIM’s potential catastrophic danger to all of us.”
Stop the Algonquin Pipeline Expansion (SAPE) is a grassroots organization with a mission to educate our fellow citizens and elected officials about the negative impacts associated with Spectra Energy Corporation’s Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) Project. SAPE opposes the AIM gas expansion project because it may exacerbate climate change, endanger our safety and quality of life, contaminate water, air and soil, cause harm to domestic animals and wildlife, and threaten farmland and property values.
To learn more visit SAPE2016.org