ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York's two U.S. senators have called on federal regulators to suspend action on a controversial gas pipeline until independent health and safety studies are complete.
Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, pointing to potential health, safety and environmental impacts, Friday urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to halt the Algonquin pipeline until the reviews are done.
The pipeline, Schumer and Gillibrand said, “burdens” communities it passes through without any long-term benefits.
Schumer went on to say he agrees with residents and environmental advocates who have expressed deep concerns about the project’s proximity to the Indian Point nuclear power facility in Buchanan.
Gillibrand also said financial and other benefits of project’s like the Algonquin pipeline have to outweigh its risks.
“I am not convinced those benefits exist with this project, and I hope FERC listens to the concerns of all parties involved,” she added.
Spectra Energy’s project, which was OK’d by FERC in 2015, is currently being built in New York and several other states.
It will, if built, carry natural gas from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale region to points north and would run under the Hudson River and through Rockland, Westchester and Putnam counties.
It would, Schumer and Gillibrand said, replace the current 26-inch pipeline with a new 42-inch pipeline, “nearly doubling its current size.”
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