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Westchester County Legislators React Against Spectra Pipeline

Legislator Catherine Borgia is joined by Legislators MaryJane Shimsky and Alan Cole at a press conference with local community members . Photo Credit: Contributed
Local homeowner Nancy Vann discusses the impact of the expanded pipeline on property values like hers. Photo Credit: Contributed

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- Several members of the Westchester County Board of Legislators announced their actions intended to stop what they claim are the harmful impacts of the Spectra pipeline during a press conference last week.

The pipeline was recently authorized by County Executive Rob Astorino.

The press conference was held at the home of Nancy Vann, a homeowner directly in the path of the pipeline.

Both the existing and the super-sized new pipelines run through several Northern Westchester communities and will have adverse effects on local property values and harmful impacts on the natural environment, the Board claims.

Members of the Board have introduced a resolution urging New York State to freeze any air and water quality permits.

They will also be submitting a petition to the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency, appealing the decision to issue air permits for the pipeline’s compressor station.

County Legislator Catherine Borgia explained, “Natural gas pipeline infrastructure can expose us to many dangerous materials..."

"As a result of the frequently documented evidence of accidents related to these projects, I believe we need to take any action possible to advocate on behalf of the homeowners, like Nancy Vann, and fight to protect their homes, property and the natural environment," Borgia said.

Vann stated, “Algonquin has already sued to take (the) Reynolds Hills property by eminent domain. It is well established that having a high pressure gas pipeline crossing your property results in a decrease in the property's value - not just where the pipeline runs - but for the entire property."

"Will Algonquin pay for that decrease in value of our property - whether it is taken under an agreement or by eminent domain?" Vann asked.

"They just want to come in and take what they want and leave us with the dangers and the costs," Vann said.

Legislator MaryJane Shimsky (D-Greenburgh) said “The public's health and safety must come first, and there are too many unanswered questions about the impact of gas pipeline facilities to permit their expansion into our communities."

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