PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- Peekskill Mayor Frank Catalina recently wrote a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo to express his intentions to protect the well-being of Peekskill residents from the effects of the Algonquin pipeline project.
"I fear that the Algonquin Incremental Market Project pipeline threatens the health, safety and prosperity of our wonderful city. AIM is one part of a massive, interstate pipeline owned by Spectra Energy that will replace a 26-inch diameter pipeline with a 42-inch high-pressure pipeline to carry fracked gas from Pennsylvania to New England," Catalina said.
Catalina said one major reason for his concern was national security. "Natural gas pipelines can be hacked or targeted by terrorists. A pipe rupture can cause a major blowout and complete loss of power. The pipeline is 105 feet away from critical infrastructure for the Indian Point nuclear plant and intersects with two proposed high-voltage power lines. An explosion of the pipeline could cause a major meltdown, exposing Peekskill residents and everyone in the plant’s evacuation zone (including all of New York City) to potentially catastrophic amounts of radiation," he added.
The mayor believes that with the construction of the pipeline, the residents of Peekskill and the surrounding area will suffer from increased air pollution. Westchester County currently has an “F” from the American Lung Association, and Peekskill has the highest rate of asthma-related emergency room visits in the surrounding area.
This pipeline will increase emissions from compressor stations along its route that spew methane, benzene and other toxic chemicals, all which can increase asthma, lung damage and other cardiovascular diseases.
"Peekskill residents don’t need to breathe more air pollution; we need less," he said. "The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s decision to approve AIM is outrageous and unfortunate. FERC does not see the environmental concerns related to the pipeline as 'reasonably foreseeable consequences' of their approval of the project."
Elected officials don’t want it, residents don’t want it, the Northeast doesn’t need it, and the federal government continues to ignore the threats to, and the will of the people, Catalina said.