Jorge Fitz-Gibbon, Rockland/Westchester Journal News
A group of residents opposed to the Algonquin gas pipeline project meet at Somers Intermediate School Monday, Dec. 4, 2017. Peter Carr/The Journal News
State asks Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for more steps ‘to minimize risk and protect public safety’ near the Buchanan plant
Several New York state agencies are urging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to institute additional safety measures on the Algonquin Pipeline portions near the Indian Point nuclear reactor.
In a letter to the commission, officials from the state health, public safety, environmental conservation and homeland security agencies called for “additional scrutiny and monitoring” to minimize risks near the Buchanan plant.
“While the probability of pipeline incidents is low, the proximity to the Indian Point nuclear plant makes the potential consequences of such an event very significant,” the state agencies said in a joint statement. “Additional scrutiny and monitoring to better understand and reduce risks associated with the Algonquin pipelines is warranted.”
Pipeline owner Enbridge is in the midst of expanding the half-century old natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania, through Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties, and north into New England.
Activists gathered in front of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s house in New Castle on Sunday to raise concerns about the Algonquin Pipeline project and other environmental issues. (Photo: Kurt Beebe for The Journal News)
Work done so far includes a new section through Stony Point, under the Hudson River, into Verplanck and near the Indian Point Energy Center.
The plan has sparked protests throughout the pipe’s path.
On Friday, the state agencies asked the federal commission for additional safety measures near the Indian Point property, including:
• Ensure that Enbridge will not be allowed to send additional natural gas at higher pressure through the pipeline to meet high demand for gas in the Northeast.
A map of the Algonquin pipeline expansion project (Photo: Courtesy Spectra Energy)• Require regular testing to ensure that valves on 26-inch, 30-inch and 42-inch pipelines near Indian Point can be closed remotely within three minutes of an event.
• The commission should work with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to examine Entergy Corp.’s decommission plan for Indian Point “to determine potential impacts to the original Algonquin pipelines.”