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Algonquin Protesters Voluntarily Leave Pipeline

Four protesters who climbed inside one of the pipes being used to construct the Algonquin Pipeline left the pipeline late Monday.
Four protesters who climbed inside one of the pipes being used to construct the Algonquin Pipeline left the pipeline late Monday. Photo Credit: Resist Spectra/Facebook

VERPLANCK, N.Y. -- After more than 16 hours inside lengths of pipeline along the Hudson River, halting construction, four protesters voluntarily removed themselves late Monday evening.

The four protesters were taken into custody by state police as they left the Algonquin Incremental Market Project pipeline at 11:30 p.m., according to Courtney Williams, spokeswoman with Resist Spectra.

"The action was taken to stop Spectra Energy from dragging its 42-inch-diameter, high-pressure, fracked-methane gas pipeline under the Hudson River, alongside the aging and failing Indian Point nuclear power plant," Williams said.

The four, who were able to sneak into the pipeline early Monday , included Rebecca Berlin of Yorktown, Mackenzie Wilkins, Dave Publow and Janet Gonzalez, a Westchester County resident.

“Knowing Spectra plans to reuse pipeline segments damaged in their failed attempt to run the pipeline under the Hudson, we feared they might do the same with pipe damaged by any process to extricate us," Berlin said. "We made the choice to leave of our own volition and avoid any further damage because we will not endanger the community we are working to protect.”

Earlier Monday, two Resist Spectra supporters, Judy Allen and JK Capepa, were arrested and charged with criminal trespass, and a third supporter was charged with suspicion of illegal activity by association, Resist Spectra spokeswoman Nancy Vann said.

"Spectra Energy’s proposed AIM Pipeline would bring fracked gas from Pennsylvania to New England, despite a report from the Massachusetts attorney general that shows no need for this gas," Williams said. "In New York, if completed, the AIM Pipeline would carry gas through residential communities and within 105 feet of critical safety facilities at Indian Point, endangering 20 million people in its blast radius."

Spectra Energy officials confirmed protesters had breached the pipeline area Monday , said company spokeswoman Marylee Hanley.

"Algonquin Gas Transmission respects the right of individuals to peacefully protest and express their positions," Hanley said. "We encourage the public to provide input on our operations and projects, contact their local officials, and participate in the regulatory process for our projects."

The protesters face charges of criminal trespass, which Hanley said the company will prosecute.

For more information, see ResistSpectra's Facebook page.

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