Kathy Welsh

Kathy Welsh

left-rail-heinKingston, NY – County Executive Mike Hein has formally filed a letter addressed to Basil Seggos, Acting Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), asking that the New York State Thruway Authority’s request to act as lead agency for the environmental review of the Pilgrim Pipeline project be denied.  Noting that the DEC “…is the agency with the most expertise and broadest powers to ensure a comprehensive and coordinated review of this project…” the County Executive also requested that the DEC step in and assume lead agency itself.

“There are inherent environmental risks associated with a 169 mile pipeline carrying crude oil through the most populous communities within Ulster County, and our residents, at the very least, deserve a thorough, comprehensive review by the agency best suited to do so – the DEC,” said County Executive Mike Hein.

“We have already raised concerns about the safety of trains carrying crude oil through Ulster County, and this pipeline project shares many of those dangers as well.  It is important to note that the pipeline will not replace the trains since they each terminate at a different point; so in fact, Ulster County’s environmental risks increase exponentially.  Due to the substantive risks involved I am also calling upon the Ulster County Legislature to pass a resolution at its next regular meeting urging the DEC to reject the Thruway Authority’s request and instead, assume lead agency status for the environmental review.”

The proposed Pilgrim Pipeline would be 169.89 miles long and run between Albany, New York and Linden, New Jersey.  It would carry both the volatile Bakken crude as well as refined oil along the New York State Thruway right of way and pass through seven of Ulster County’s towns as well as the City of Kingston.  Environmental and public safety concerns include ground water contamination, surface water pollution including the Rondout and Esopus Creeks and the Hudson and Wallkill Rivers, spill cleanup, and emergency response to a fire or explosion.

Hein – letter to Com Seggos Letter From County Executive Hein To Acting Commissioner Seggos

Hein – draft resolution DEC lead agency pilgrim pipeline Copy of Ulster County Legislature Draft Resolution

  1. It’s so great to see Mike Hein and the County of Ulster taking this important action, and for it to be covered. As the proposed Pilgrim pipelines are more in the news, please make sure to refer to the controversial twin pipelines in the plural. Pilgrim tries to use the singular, as if it’s only one pipeline, while actually they propose to build one huge Bakken Shale oil crude oil pipeline from Albany to Linden NJ and a second pipeline alongside it, which would carry flammable, explosive gasoline, jet fuel, kerosene and other dangerous fossil fuels back north. So the pipelines would run 356 miles total, plus 5 laterals and at least 4 pump stations in New York State.

    It’s a huge project, and it’s preposterous for the Thruway Authority, which lacks the environmental expertise and has a vested interest in approving the permit to get the money they need, to act as Lead Agency for the environmental review. Fox guarding henhouse, anyone? These twin pipelines are not needed, they are not wanted, and they must not be built at all. They would threaten the drinking water for millions of people, for starters, and those risks would continue to escalate for 50 years or more (Pilgrim talks about the pipelines lasting 100 years!). So this is a big fight. Thanks for covering it.

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