CONGRESSMAN ENGEL CRITICIZES FERC’S DECISION NOT TO REHEAR ALGONQUIN PIPELINE
02/08/16 – originally posted: https://engel.house.gov/latest-news1/congressman-engel-criticizes-fercs-decision-not-to-rehear-algonquin-pipeline/
Congressman Engel Criticizes FERC’s Decision Not to Rehear Algonquin Pipeline
Westchester, NY– Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, issued the following statement in response to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) decision not to grant a rehearing of its order approving the construction of the Algonquin Natural Gas Pipeline next to the Indian Point nuclear facility:
“I am profoundly disappointed by FERC’s decision not to grant a rehearing of its order approving the Algonquin Pipeline; no federal agency should take a cavalier attitude toward public safety. This project, which would stick a highly-pressurized, 42-inch in diameter natural gas pipeline dangerously close to the troubled Indian Point nuclear plant, raises far more questions and safety concerns than FERC seems to recognize. Residents, experts, and elected officials from all levels of government have called for an independent transient risk assessment to adequately evaluate the risks associated with this project – those calls have gone unanswered. I believe that the public has a right to have their collective voices heard when it comes to critical environmental and safety issues.
“FERC denied this rehearing based in part on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s assessment that the pipeline poses ‘no additional risk’ to Indian Point – an aged nuclear power plant built on two seismic fault lines with a well-documented history of leaks and unplanned shutdowns. Their order cites the Final Environmental Impact Statement, which, in a mere 452 words, concluded that the likelihood of future acts of terrorism is unpredictable, and thus “the continuing need to construct facilities to support future natural gas pipeline infrastructure is not diminished from the threat of any such future acts.” If the argument then is that this project should go ahead because terrorists won’t be inclined to attack a highly combustible, dangerous piece of energy infrastructure, that just happens to be located close to New York City, then you will have to pardon my obvious skepticism, especially considering the recent news reports of a dam in Rye allegedly being hacked by Iranians.
“Indian Point is a mere 24 miles away from the largest metropolitan city in the nation. That fact alone should warrant extreme caution on the part of government regulators when it comes to the construction of this pipeline. I find FERC’s ruling to be completely unacceptable and not in the best interest of the general public.”