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Four Still Inside Pipes In Verplanck Protest

Four protesters Monday climbed inside one of the pipes being used to construct the Algonquin Pipeline. Photo Credit: Resist Spectra/Facebook
Supporters begin to turn out as four protesters remain inside one of the pipes at the Algonquin Pipeline. Photo Credit: Resist Spectra/Facebook

VERPLANCK, N.Y. -- Four protesters who crawled inside lengths of pipeline along the Hudson River to stop Spectra Energy from dragging its 42-inch diameter, high-pressure, methane gas pipeline under the Hudson River, remain inside the pipe late Monday.

The protesters have been inside the pipe for more than seven hours after sneaking into the work area earlier Monday, said Nancy Vann of Resist Spectra.

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, Vann said.

“Honored to be in solidarity on this Indigenous Peoples' Day with those at Standing Rock and against a company that uses the name Algonquin to continue catastrophic climate change," Capepa said.

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."

Protest group members said the 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.

"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," Vann said.

The four protesters still inside the pipe include Rebecca Berlin of Yorktown, Mackenzie Wilkins, Dave Publow and Janet Gonzalez, a Westchester County resident.

“Pipelines carrying filthy fossil fuels are putting communities at risk all over the United States - from North Dakota to New York and elsewhere,” Berlin said. “The AIM pipeline must be stopped. Spectra is endangering the community I've lived in my entire life."

The company added it plans to prosecute any protesters arrested for trespassing during the event: "It is our obligation to safely and securely operate our facilities, and we can neither tolerate nor allow trespassing," Hanley said.

To view photos from Resist Aim, or to comment, visit its Facebook page.

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