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Coalition Files Suit Against Algonquin Pipeline

Advocates and landowners from four states have filed a federal appeal to stop the Spectra pipeline project following a federal court's refusal of eight groups and cities’ request for rehearing.
Advocates and landowners from four states have filed a federal appeal to stop the Spectra pipeline project following a federal court's refusal of eight groups and cities’ request for rehearing. Photo Credit: File

CORTLANDT, N.Y. -- In a continuing effort to stop the Algonquin pipeline expansion, 10 groups from four states, including local organizations, filed a petition on on Tuesday with the District of Columbia Court of Appeals asking the court to review the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) approval of Spectra Energy’s Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) gas pipeline expansion project.

The organizations, including the Food & Water Watch NY, Riverkeeper, Reynolds Hill, Sierra Club Lower Hudson Chapter, and Stop the Algonquin Pipeline Expansion, took the step following the denial by FERC of eight separate rehearing requests.

"It's disturbing that a federal regulator that's duty- bound to protect the health and welfare of the public remains oblivious to the many potential dangers and pitfalls this project creates," said Riverkeeper President Paul Gallay. "It is even more disturbing that FERC continues to ignore the real risks involved with running a gas pipeline adjacent to the property of an aging, problematic nuclear plant, which poses a great risk to the region even without this project."

The AIM project is particularly contentious because it includes construction of a 42-inch diameter high pressure interstate gas pipeline within 105 feet of critical infrastructure at the Indian Point nuclear facility.

Following a tritium leak from Indian Point in February, Gov. Andrew Cuomo asked FERC to pause construction on the project while an independent study of the health and safety impacts could be conducted. Last week, FERC denied the governor's request.

“Spectra Energy’s AIM expansion project has always been a spectacularly bad idea,” said Karina Wilkinson, from Food & Water Watch. “We have taken every step we could to oppose this project and now we have no other legal recourse than to go to Federal court. We cannot rely on government agencies to protect us from the devastating consequences that will impact our country and the planet if the rush to profit is allowed to continue and if the U.S. continues to move forward with gaining access to the fossil fuel export market.”

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