It was a big week for oil pipelines. An executive order from the White House set into motion this past week the permitting process for two controversial oil pipelines, the proposed transnational Keystone XL that would run from Canada to Texas, and Dakota Access Pipeline. Both pipelines would cross the Ogallala Aquifer, one of the world’s largest.
This past week also marked a concerted call-in campaign to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office about the proposed Pilgrim Pipelines, which would run 178 miles from Albany, NY to Linden, NJ, 78% of the route running along the NYS Thruway corridor.
Town of Ramapo Supervisor introduced a resolution Thursday, January 26, to the Town Council that opposes construction of the Pilgrim Pipelines as they pose “an unacceptable risk to the Ramapo River watershed as well as historic Ramapough Indian sites.” The pipelines would also adversely impact the public water supply wells which serve the Suffern and Rockland County. The Town Council subsequently passed the resolution.
The current effort underway against the Pilgrim Pipelines, includes some 60 municipalities along the route and a coordinated message that Gov. Cuomo reject the NYS Thruway plan as an un-permitted use.
The proposed pipelines route circumnavigates Sloatsburg but does run through the Ramapo River watershed, in places just feet away from the river, beginning at the at the Town of Woodbury in Orange County.
“The big threat is upstream” said environmental expert and Ramapo River Watershed Keeper Geoff Welch. “It’s going to be very close to the Ramapo River for miles and in spots under the Ramapo.”
The route of the proposed pipelines actually crosses the Nakoma Brook west of Sloatsburg and passes between Cranberry and Potake Lakes in Ramapo.
CALL-IN WEEK CONTINUES: There’s Still Time to Tell Gov. Cuomo to STOP Pilgrim Pipelines! – https://t.co/nDJjnO9YMB
— Scenic Hudson (@scenichudson) January 25, 2017
Welch referenced the August 2011 early morning SOS fuel tank spill into the Ramapo River from Tuxedo, caused by Hurricane Irene, which released thousands of gallons of diesel and other fuel products into the river. The passing fuel spill woke most of Sloatsburg in alarm with the noxious smell of gas.
“The whole river valley reeked of petroleum,” Welch said of the incident.
The proposed Pilgrims Pipelines together are designed to carry 16.8 million gallons of petroleum products per day, said Welch. A pipeline failure or incident can potentially spill hundreds of thousands of gallons of petroleum products into the surrounding environment.
The Pilgrim Pipelines route filed with the state for an environmental assessment winds through parts of Tuxedo Park and Sterling Forest State Park, as well as through Pierson Lakes adjacent to Sloatsburg — any ruptures of the proposed pipelines would impact the Nakoma Brook which feeds into the Ramapo River at Rhodes North Tavern.
The message from groups to individuals that oppose the Pilgrim Pipelines — call NY Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office. Pipe up to put an end to the proposed pipelines.
— ReThinkEnergyNJ (@rethinkenergynj) January 11, 2017