US Court Upheld NY State Right To Protect Water From Constitution Pipeline; Now Will The State Stop The Spectra-AIM Pipeline From Operating Near Indian Point Nuclear Site?

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A.G. Schneiderman Statement On Second Circuit Decision Regarding Constitution Pipeline

Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld New York State’s denial of a water quality certification for the Constitution Pipeline, a critical win for the Attorney General’s office and the State’s authority to take necessary action to protect its waters and natural resources.

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman released the following statement:
“New York must be able to do what’s necessary to protect our environment – and we’re glad that the court agreed.

“It would be unacceptable for a pipeline – or any project – to pollute our waters and undermine New Yorkers’ health and water resources. Today’s decision marks a major win for New Yorkers, and for the State’s right to take the actions necessary to protect the public and our environment.

“My office stands ready to continue to vigorously defend New Yorkers’ right to a safe and healthy environment from all who may harm it.”

The proposed Constitution Pipeline would include construction of 100 miles of new natural gas pipeline across undeveloped lands in central New York, impacting and crossing more than 250 streams and more than 80 acres of wetlands.

In December 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the pipeline but conditioned that approval on certification from New York State that the project would comply with state water quality standards and requirements. Following a thorough review of the project, the Department of Environmental Conservation denied the certification on the grounds that Constitution failed to provide sufficient information to demonstrate that the project would meet New York’s water quality standards. Constitution challenged DEC’s denial.

Today, the Second Circuit rejected Constitution’s argument, noting that the State is entitled to “conduct its own review of the Constitution Project’s likely effects on New York waterbodies and whether those effects would comply with the State’s water quality standards.”
https://ag.ny.gov/press-release/ag-schneiderman-statement-second-circuit-decision-regarding-constitution-pipeline. https://ag.ny.gov/sites/default/files/2017_08_18_constitution_decision.pdf (Emphasis our own.)

So now will AG Schneiderman stop the Spectra AIM pipeline from passing near Indian Point nuclear site?

Indian Point closure won’t end risks: SAPE co-founder
Ellen Weininger Published 1:05 p.m. ET Jan. 31, 2017 With 45 years of highly radioactive spent fuel permanently stored at Indian Point, an AIM pipeline rupture could pose disastrous risks….
” Read article here: http://www.lohud.com/story/opinion/contributors/2017/01/31/indian-point-closure-pipeline-risk-remains/97284964/ A rupture of the Spectra Algonquin Incremental Market gas pipeline “could engulf the entire Indian Point [nuclear ] site“, the article explains.

New York City is very densely populated, important for the US economy, and many innocents could die. If there was difficulty distributing Hurricane Katrina refugees around the country, no one wants to imagine the impact of emptying out NYC due to a nuclear accident. The Port of New York is especially important for the US economy.

Although a nuclear accident at Indian Point would likely impact Trump Tower, it’s built in concrete so may be an above ground bunker. Trump’s got multiple bunkers at Mar-a-Lago in Florida, too, along with the Presidential ones in DC. What if his son wants to go outside though?

Chernobyl Exclusion Zone superimposed on Indian Point. The impacts depend on wind direction, which may vary, as well as accident size.

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/nuclear/nomorechernobyls/exclusion-zone-comparison-ma

As of December 23, 2016:
Completion of pipeline construction adjacent to Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant poses a severe safety risk, endangering more than 20 million people • FERC approval of the expansion is being challenged in court;…
Cortlandt NY- Months behind schedule, Spectra Energy continues round-the-clock work on the Algonquin Pipeline Expansion in Cortlandt, NY. Spectra has finally managed to pull their 42”, high pressure fracked-gas pipeline under the Hudson River adjacent to Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, despite months-long delays and demands from Governor Andrew Cuomo and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand that the work be halted due to risks to public health and safety. Despite this recent progress, the project is still not complete, and fracked gas still is not flowing through the new segment…
” Read the entire statement here: https://sape2016.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/122316joint-statement-spectra-ne-expansion.pdf

SCHUMER, GILLIBRAND URGE FERC TO SUSPEND CONSTRUCTION ON AIM PIPELINE EXPANSION UNTIL INDEPENDENT HEALTH AND SAFETY STUDIES ARE CONDUCTED
Senators Cite Impacted Communities’ Health, Environmental & Safety Concerns; Say That This Pass-Through Pipeline Burdens NY Communities With All the Risks Without Any Long-Term Benefits….
” Read here:
https://www.schumer.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/schumer-gillibrand-urge-ferc-to-suspend-construction-on-aim-pipeline-expansion-until-independent-health-and-safety-studies-are-conducted

According to Public-Accountability.org: “Cuomo administration backed away from pipeline nuclear safety study after lobbying blitz Spectra Energy hired Cuomo insider just one week after governor announced plans for study October 4, 2016:
Though a study is currently under way, the Cuomo administration has backed away from this original plan in the months since: ….“, they say. Read the article here: http://public-accountability.org/2016/10/cuomo-administration-backed-away-from-pipeline-nuclear-safety-study-after-lobbying-blitz/