For Immediate Release: December 21, 2015
DEC Named to Co-Lead Status on Pilgrim Pipeline Review
Decision Ensures Arduous Review of Climate, Environmental Impacts
Albany – The Cuomo Administration announced today that the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Thruway Authority will co-lead the environmental review of the proposed Pilgrim Pipeline through the Hudson Valley. The decision comes after initial concerns that the Thruway Authority alone would serve that role, thus seriously undercutting the intensive environmental analysis such a potentially dangerous project requires.
The determination came after extensive advocacy from Environmental Advocates and its organizational partners, as well as state legislators and local officials, to ensure DEC’s lead role in the process.
The following statement is attributable to Conor Bambrick, air and energy director for Environmental Advocates of New York:
“The climate, health, and environmental risks posed by this pipeline necessitate a lead role by DEC. Governor Cuomo and his administration recognized the importance of getting it right, and we thank them for responding to the public’s concerns.
Now, before a decision on whether to proceed can occur, there are several bars that developers will have to meet under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).
Governor Cuomo has committed to achieving very aggressive climate pollution reduction goals. Reducing carbon pollution 80 percent by 2050 means that in just 34 years there will be no more fossil fuels burned in New York. As the state’s environmental watchdog, the DEC will be responsible for approving or denying this project based on a variety of factors, including whether New York can meet its climate goals with the ongoing development of a fossil fuel infrastructure. We expect that – as the federal Department of State’s assessment of the Keystone XL pipeline showed – new fossil fuels and climate action are incompatible.”
With the DEC’s co-lead status, the public can expect their scope of work on this project to include, among other measures:
- Climate change test
- Assessment of impacts on environmental justice communities
- Water pollution controls
- Wetlands protection