SCHUMER, GILLIBRAND LETTER TO FERC RE: ALGONQUIN PIPELINE
February 9, 2015
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20426
Dear Chairwoman LaFleur,
As the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) considers final approval of the Algonquin Incremental Market pipeline expansion (AIM) project, we urge you to ensure that the environmental, safety, and public health concerns of our constituents are thoroughly and substantially addressed before a final determination on this proposal is issued.
The AIM project is a significant expansion of the current natural gas transmission line on a route which travels through densely populated communities in Rockland, Putnam and Westchester Counties in New York. The project would replace the current 26-inch pipeline with a new 42-inch diameter pipeline, nearly doubling its current size. Our offices have received comments from impacted communities and from local elected officials who have serious concerns about the safety and potentially negative environmental impacts of the proposed pipeline expansion. We have serious questions about this pipeline, including:
1. What safety hazards it poses to the communities through which it will traverse, particularly given the pipeline's proximity to the Indian Point Energy Center, which houses two operating nuclear power plants,
2. What impact the pipeline will have on local park land,
3. What the potential health and environmental impacts are from exposure to airborne contaminants,
4. Whether the "pigging" process will have an impact on water and air quality, and if it has been adequately studied by an independent entity.
In light of the significant potential health, safety, and environmental concerns raised throughout the approval process, we ask that FERC not issue a final determination on this proposal until a thorough, independent review of all of the project's potential impacts is completed and made available to the public, with full opportunity for comment and review, including additional public meetings. We hope that FERC will fully engage with the local elected officials, residents and community organizations in New York who have raised issues and concerns throughout the approval process.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator
United States Senator
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