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Lawmakers Call For New Review Of Pipeline Planned Near Indian Point

Sandy Galef
Sandy Galef Photo Credit: File
David Buchwald
David Buchwald Photo Credit: File

CORTLANDT, N.Y. -- State Assembly members Sandy Galef and David Buchwald have sent letters to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission asking for an independent risk assessment of a new piple proposed for northern Westchester County.

The letter highlights new information they learned in mid-July that led them to continue pushing for a truly independent risk assessment of the impact a new high-pressure pipeline could have on the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant in Buchanan.

Gas pipeline expert Richard Kuprewicz and nuclear expert Paul Blanch have pointed out significant flaws in the analyses conducted to date that have been used by FERC to issue an approval for the pipeline to be sited near Indian Point and to allow for the start of construction.

In addition to using loosely hand-drawn diagrams in place of vigorous verifiable calculations, the analyses also failed to look at an hour by hour roll out of what happens when a gas line ruptures, especially if such a rupture were to take place in the vicinity of the nuclear power plant.

"I am convinced that an outside agency, like the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., or the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which collects and compiles information on gas line ruptures nationwide, would be the better ones to conduct a realistic risk assessment," said Galef.

"Given the potential for a catastrophic explosion of the 42-inch diameter high-pressure pipeline in close proximity to the Indian Point Nuclear Facility and a significant seismic zone, an independent and comprehensive assessment is absolutely necessary," said Buchwald.

"I stand with all of those who are concerned that FERC and the NRC have not done enough to make sure that area residents will be safe. The consequences for our families and the economy in the Hudson Valley are too high to not conduct a truly thorough risk assessment of Spectra's proposed high pressure gas pipeline."

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