The Northern Westchester Examiner

Westchester Groups Take Anti-Pipeline Case to Federal Court

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A coalition of 21 plaintiffs, including several environmental groups, have taken their case against the controversial Spectra Energy natural gas pipeline expansion project to the nation’s highest court.

On July 29, a brief was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia seeking to overturn the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) March 2015 approval of the pipeline, which is currently under construction throughout the area.

The brief submitted by Riverkeeper, Sierra Club Lower Hudson, Stop the Algonquin Pipeline Expansion (SAPE) and others addresses some of the same points raised in a rehearing request that FERC rejected in January. One of the arguments is FERC improperly segmented the Algonquin pipeline expansion by dividing it into three parts to avoid having to address its full environmental impact. The other two projects are Atlantic Bridge and Access Northeast.

In addition, the groups challenge FERC’s approval of the pipeline being placed about 100 feet from the Indian Point nuclear power plants in Buchanan, contending FERC relied on findings by Entergy, owner of the plants.

Nancy Vann, whose property in Buchanan is being taken by eminent domain for the pipeline, blocked the construction briefly last year by refusing to budge from a tree that was scheduled to be cut down.

“FERC has only rejected one pipeline project in its entire 40-year history,” Vann said. “It’s shameful that the public must take a government agency to court in order to make it do its job. I’m so grateful for the determination of Riverkeeper, SAPE, Food & Water Watch and all of the other coalition members who have persisted in asserting these important issues and I’m looking forward to finally getting our day in court.”


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