Pilgrim Pipelines to Undergo Intensive Climate, Environmental Justice Review

For Immediate Release: September 15, 2016

Pilgrim Pipelines to Undergo Intensive Climate, Environmental Justice Review

DEC and Thruway Authority to Review Pipelines that Are Inconsistent with Cuomo Climate Commitments in State Energy Plan

Albany – The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), along with the New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA), announced they will undertake and prepare a draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS) for the highly controversial Pilgrim Pipelines project. A Draft EIS is an intensive and highly detailed review of a proposal’s impact on our climate, clean air, clean water, environmental justice communities, and much more. When the initial application was submitted to NYSTA to determine whether such a review was needed, the Cuomo Administration responded to concerns on the need for the DEC to take on co-lead status, given the agency’s responsibilities over our environment and public health.  

The pipelines, being pushed by Pilgrim Transportation of New York, Inc., will span nearly 170 miles from Albany to New Jersey, traversing through six New York counties, and along with a proposed oil heating facility at the Port of Albany, would permanently relegate Albany to be a global crude oil transport hub.

The following statement is attributable to Conor Bambrick, air & energy director for Environmental Advocates of New York:

“As a matter of law, the state needs to conduct this review. But in practical terms, there is no way Pilgrim Pipelines pass New York’s climate test. Through the 2015 State Energy Plan Governor Cuomo has boldly stated that New York is moving entirely away from fossils fuels by 2050. The project sponsors know this, but are intent on remaking Albany into ‘Oilbany’ and continue to push a project that communities along the route have rejected and that is completely out of line with New York’s cleaner, healthier future.”

We applaud the DEC and Thruway Authority for undertaking a Draft EIS; the public can expect next steps to include:

  • Pipeline proponents disclosing a complete scope of the environmental and public health impacts of their proposal, followed by the state leading a robust public review and comment period.
  • Then, based on data, concerns, and independent analysis, the Cuomo Administration will prepare the Draft EIS, which includes but is not limited to, a climate change test, assessment of impacts on environmental justice communities, water pollution controls, wetlands protections, and much more.

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