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Cuomo Directs Safety Study Of Gas Pipeline, Calls For Project's Suspension

Protesters use inflatable barricades during a previous protest over Spectra Energy's pipeline project. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says that the state plans an independent "risk review" and is asking that the project be halted until it's finished. Photo Credit: Facebook
Spectra Energy's natural gas pipeline project runs near the Indian Point nuclear power plants in Buchanan. Photo Credit: Entergy Nuclear

BUCHANAN, N.Y. -- Saying that the safety of residents is at stake, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday that he has directed several state agencies to demand that the Algonquin Pipeline project be halted until the state can complete a “risk review.”

Pointing to recent incidents at the Indian Point nuclear power plant, near whose property the natural gas pipeline runs, Cuomo said that the well-being of people who live or work near the Entergy facility "is the first responsibility of state government when making any decision.”

The governor said a letter was sent to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission asking for suspension of the project by the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Public Service Commission, Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Department of Health.

Cuomo said the state will undertake an independent analysis of the environmental, health, and safety risks of siting the pipeline so close to the 240-acre Indian Point site.

The investigation was prompted by several troubling events at the aging nuclear facility, Cuomo said, including: a transformer fire that triggered the declaration of an unusual event level emergency, and a radioactive tritium leak that has caused groundwater radioactivity levels to spike by “more than 65,000 percent.”

The pipeline will carry gas from Pennsylvania to New England. It runs through Stony Point, under the Hudson, and through parts of Westchester, including Cortlandt.

Meanwhile, protests over Spectra Energy’s project continue.

According to a report by lohud,com, 11 members of a group called Resist AIM were arrested Monday, after they blocked the entrances to the pipeline’s construction site in Verplanck.

The New York Times has reported extensively on the public’s opposition to the project.

In its most recent report, The New York Times noted that U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand, both Demcrats, and other public officials, have called for an independent safety evaluation.

Concerns about Indian Point are raised every time a disaster such as the 9/11 terror attacks or the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan occurs, The New York Times article said.

To read the lohud article, click here.

To read The New York Times article, click here.

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