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Letter: Construction Industry Council President Weighs In On Pipeline

Ross J. Pepe, president of the Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley Inc.
Ross J. Pepe, president of the Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley Inc. Photo Credit: Contributed

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Community View/Letters to the editor:

Press comments and Internet postings of Croton attorney and New York state Senate candidate Justin Wagner discussing his opposition to the Algonquin gas pipeline replacement project are disturbing. After more than 18 months of numerous public meetings, Wagner apparently still does not know the pipeline’s proposed route and which federal and state agencies are reviewing the project.

“The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) hasn’t examined the safety of the pipeline,” Wagner recently said.

In fact, on Tuesday, Sept. 30, three days prior to Mr. Wagner’s comments being posted, the NRC publicly submitted comments to FERC on the Algonquin expansion that stated by letter, dated Thursday, Aug, 21, that Entergy provided its site hazards analysis to the NRC. NRC inspection of Entergy’s site hazards analysis is ongoing as of the close of the public comment period for the draft EIS and the results of this inspection are scheduled for issuance in mid-November 2014.

Wagner also stated, “…the pipeline goes right under Indian Point.”

Here again, Wagner is seriously in error. The pipeline does not run under Indian Point’s reactors; it is a half-mile farther south of the facility than the existing gas lines that were there before the nuclear facility was even built. For the AIM project permits to be approved, the regulatory agencies will confirm the project does not cause or contribute to a violation of a National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) or interfere with our state’s plan to bring an area in attainment of an NAAQS.

Additionally, Algonquin must maintain and comply with its Title V air permits that include all requirements of the New York State Implementation Plan, New Source Performance Standards and Section 112 air toxic standards. These permits also require that Algonquin file an annual emission inventory, an annual compliance certificate and semiannual periodic monitoring reports.

I urge Wagner to learn the facts and become better acquainted with the Algonquin pipeline, its safety protocols and features, and the overall purpose of the project. During this election season, an informed discussion based on facts would benefit the public and the future course of this important domestic energy project. Ross J. Pepe President Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley Inc.

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