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Pipeline Should Be Scrapped After Indian Point Incident, Puglisi Says

The map for Spectra Energy's Algonquin Pipeline expansion proposal. Photo Credit: Screenshot
Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan was the site of a transformer fire on Saturday. Photo Credit: WCBS-TV screengrab

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Cortlandt Town Supervisor Linda Puglisi said the Spectra Energy gas pipeline should not proceed as planned since it will pass so close to Indian Point Energy Center, the power plant where a transformer fire occurred Saturday.

"The incident is another reason why the recently approved Spectra natural gas line by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission should not be allowed to go forward," Puglisi said in a statement, "especially since it's been rerouted only a few hundred feet from Indian Point and these nuclear plants.

"What if this explosion and fire had been in close proximity to this new expanded gas line. It could have been a disaster."

Puglisi, who has previously opposed the pipeline expansion, said the town is now insisting the FERC reverse its decision.

The Spectra pipeline project involves replacing about 20.1 miles of natural gas pipeline that is 26 inches in diameter with larger pipeline material of 42 inches in diameter, according to FERC.

The pipeline would go through Rockland County, crosses the Hudson River to Westchester and Putnam before crossing the Connecticut state line into Fairfield County, according to FERC.

For a previous report on FERC's approval of the Spectra pipeline, published last week, click here.

State Sen. Terrence Murphy is expressing concern about possible contamination of the Hudson River following the transformer fire.

The Buchanan plant is in Murphy's Senate district.

"I have been in constant contact with Entergy and the Department of Environmental Conservation as they address this incident," Murphy said. "Thankfully, no workers were hurt. We are fortunate that this was not any worse.

"Our focus is now on protecting the Hudson from any chemical disturbances due to the failed transformer," Murphy added. "Oil containment booms have been deployed, and we are told that any remaining cleanup should be completed within the next few days. This incident exposes new concerns for regulators to address, and it remains paramount that Indian Point must be operated safely if it is to remain open."

Cortlandt Supervisor

Read more about the fire and comments from Gov. Andrew Cuomo here.

To see a video released Sunday by the Hudson Riverkeeper showing an oil sheen on the Hudson near Indian Point, click here.

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