Woodbury opposes Pilgrim Pipeline

The proposed pipeline would would carry petroleum products underground, parallel to the Thruway


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  • Last fall, Pilgrim Pipeline Holdings, LLC, applied to build two underground, parallel pipelines running 178 miles between supply and distribution terminals in Albany and Linden, N.J. The company is seeking state approval to build the pipeline to move petroleum products along the New York State Thruway. The Woodbury Town Board voted last week to oppose the project.




By Daniel Stimple

— On March 17, the Woodbury Town Board passed a motion to oppose the Pilgrim Pipeline, saying that it could prove dangerous to the town’s water supply, the environment and property values.

The motion was passed after a presentation by Woodbury Village Trustee Neil Crouse, who reported what he had learned after meeting with other officials who oppose the project.

Last fall, Pilgrim Pipeline Holdings, LLC, applied to build two underground, parallel pipelines running 178 miles between supply and distribution terminals in Albany and Linden, N.J.

The company is seeking state approval to build the pipeline to move petroleum products along the New York State Thruway.

Crouse said a pump station is projected to be in Woodbury along with six miles of the pipeline; a series of access roads one mile apart would be used for construction and maintenance.

Members of the board decided that this was the time for the board to address the project.

“There is nothing good to come from this, for Woodbury or any town," councilman Robert Hunter said. "It's going to harm some very sensitive areas in town, it’s a stone’s throw from the aquifer. If we have a leak on that thing we can have a leak into the ground for who knows how long.

"It will destroy the aquifer," Hunter added, "and we owe it to future generations to oppose it."

Specific complaints
The board's resolution cited numerous concerns, including: the loss of property rights of residents from access roads used for construction, the potential of damaging pipe leaks, threats to the town’s aquifer and wells and dangers posed to local wetlands.

To highlight the town board's concerns, the resolution stated specific facts and statistics which covered the type of oil to be used and the risk of leakage from the pipeline.

According to that information, the type of oil to be transported along the pipeline would be from the Bakken shale of North Dakota, which produces crude oil that is contained at higher pressures than oil from other regions across the country, making it more likely to release combustible gases.

Warnings from state transportation officials

The resolution also mentioned that the state Department of Transportation Hazardous Materials Safety Administration released a warning to the general public, first-responders and shippers and carriers concerning the vulnerability of Bakken crude oil because of the high vapor pressures it generates, making it more likely to release combustible gas.

The resolution then also stated the likelihood of spillage as another reason for opposition. It stated that in a survey from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, pipeline operators reported 1,880 spills and leaks were reported nationwide between 2003 and 2013, making an average of one spill or leak every other day.

Eminent domain
The loss of property was another item listed among the major concerns of the board. The resolutions stated that the pipeline will require a pumping station with in the Town of Woodbury, service roads every mile and staging areas for construction and routine maintenance of the pipeline.

For the construction and maintenance of the pipeline, Pilgrim Pipeline Holdings has filed under the New York State Transportations Corporation Law.

Under section 83 of the law corporations are allowed to use the power of eminent domain to take lands from the owners if they cannot come to an agreement over land usage.

The resolution called on political figures and federal transportation agencies to oppose the pipeline project as a means to support regional and statewide renewable energy goals and plans.




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