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Peekskill Approves Resolution To Urge Review Of Pipeline Safety

A truck drove around Peekskill last night expressing support for the Spectra pipeline.
A truck drove around Peekskill last night expressing support for the Spectra pipeline. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Courtney Williams
An example of what the proposed pipeline would look like.
An example of what the proposed pipeline would look like. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Erica Mills

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- The Peekskill Common Council unanimously approved a resolution Monday night, Aug. 12, to make sure a proposed 42-inch pipeline undergoes a comprehensive and transparent review process.

The Spectra Algonquin gas pipeline would replace a previous 26-inch pipeline that has existed for 60 years. The pipeline, which is subject to approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), would run across the Hudson River and into Peekskill, Cortlandt, and Yorktown.

The town of Cortlandt has already expressed opposition to the pipeline, concerned about its placement 450 feet from Buchanan-Verplanck Elementary School.

Peekskill Mayor Frank Catalina said while the city has no say in the approval process, they want to make sure their voices are head.

"We are an affected municipality," Catalina said. "We want to bring our concerns and issues to the appropriate authorizing body. We've outlined issues we think are important."

Catalina said he wants to ensure Spectra has the proper insurance and would not disturb any property owners. He said he does not personally support the pipeline.

"It affects our citizens," Catalina said. "I wouldn't mind if the pipeline was going through Massachusetts, but I don't think it should come into our area, where there are a lot of residences. It's a very crowded area."

Courtney Williams, who has been one of the leading opponents of the pipeline, said she was glad the city passed the resolution.

"I am hoping other cities and towns will follow suit," Williams said. "This area already has Indian Point and the Wheelabrator plant. It's an unfair burden."

Williams said Spectra brought people to the meeting who claimed to be local residents that supported the project, only they were not from Peekskill.

"Unions don't support this project," Williams said. "These jobs are temporary and not permanent positions. Spectra is trying to pressure and intimidate residents and elected officials."

While Williams was pleased with the resolution, she said it was a small victory.

"We need to show we are united in opposition so FERC hears us," Williams said. "They have a reputation of rubberstamping projects. We have to keep up momentum and pressure. This project is unsafe for the community."

A meeting will be held in Yorktown, Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church on Gomer Street.

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