Not long after Sen. Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand called for a halt in the construction of Spectra Energy’s natural gas pipeline until independent health and safety studies are conducted, the energy company shot back at the New York Democrats Friday afternoon, telling them that construction will continue.
“Algonquin Gas Transmission resumed construction on the Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) project in April and will continue with its construction, in accordance with the FERC certificate, to meet the project’s critical construction timeframes and safely transport additional supplies of clean, reliable, domestic natural gas to heat the region’s homes and businesses beginning in November of this year,” Spectra’s Director of Stakeholder Outreach Marylee Hanley told The Peekskill Post when asked about the senators’ comments.
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In calling on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to stop construction so safety reviews can take place, Schumer mentioned the pipeline’s proximity to Indian Point Energy Center.
“As I have said before, I have serious concerns with the Algonquin gas pipeline project because it poses a threat to the quality of life, environmental, health and safety of residents across the Hudson Valley and New York State without any long-term benefit to the communities it would impact,” Schumer said in Friday’s joint press release with Gillibrand. “It presents even more safety concerns given its proximity to Indian Point.”
Jerry Nappi, a spokesman for Entergy, which runs Indian Point, said safety reviews have already determined that the pipeline poses no threat to the nuclear energy center.
“Multiple comprehensive technical analyses have been performed by engineering experts who determined there is no potential impact to Indian Point from a pipeline rupture,” Nappi said. “The information has been accepted and approved by a federal agency with expertise in the matter.”
A representative with FERC declined to comment on the situation.
A “direct action” protest to stop the pipeline is scheduled to take place between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. Saturday at Spectra Energy’s Metering and Regulating Station at the intersection of Albany Post Road and Lower South Street in Peekskill.
Peekskill resident Courtney Williams, who is organizing the protest, said residents, activists and elected officials are expected to try to block construction of the pipeline.
For more information about the event, visit resistaim.com.