Thanks to the hard work (and good timing) of our coalition in partnership with municipal and county elected officials, the ripple effect of our collective efforts on the proposed Lincoln Park Grid Support Center, a fracked gas fossil fuel power plant turned battery energy storage facility can now be seen in the Town of Catskill.
Interested members of the Catskill community have been invited to attend an informational session about “Battery energy storage and GlidePath’s proposed North Catskill Grid Support Center project” this Wednesday, September 18. If you are able to attend, please share your experience with us in the comment section here.
The Town Supervisor outreached to members of KingstonCitizens, Citizens for Local Power and Scenic Hudson weeks ago to learn of our process where we were able to share our collective story in transitioning a fossil fuel infrastructure project to a battery storage for 25mw plants in the G Zone. The site that the project has identified appears to be a suitable one, too.
This is an instance that illustrates the great wisdom in how defining strategies to ‘think globally act locally’ can work. It was a model project that posed not only a major threat to the Town of Ulster and its surrounding communities, but to approximately 127 communities throughout 6 counties that make up the G Zone.
We hope that you can celebrate this success before having to quickly turn your attention towards other important challenges on the fossil fuel infrastructure front.
VIEW our blog posts to review the timeline to learn the story of the coalition’s advocacy. Please scroll to the bottom to start at the beginning.
Please attend the upcoming Town of Ulster (ToU) Regular Town Board Meeting on Thursday, December 21st at 7:00pm and request the following during public comment (*)
Support the Town of Ulster Town Board to declare a positive declaration for the proposed Lincoln Park Grid Support Center project. VIEW our Facebook Event
Suggest that the proposal that seeks to reconnect natural gas infrastructure consider creating a 100% renewable project with battery storage.
(*) Citizens are invited to give public testimony at the beginning of the regular ToU Town Board meeting on any items that are listed on the agenda (at this time, the agenda is not yet posted. We will update the public on our Facebook event page when it is available. Please ‘like’ our event for updates VIEW). Citizens will have another opportunity to speak that evening on items not on the agenda at the end of the Town Board meeting. We ask that citizens be respectful when addressing the Town Board, and particularly those who do not live in the municipality. Keep your testimony to 3 minutes or less.
On Thanksgiving day while making a holiday meal for friends and family, I received news from a guest that a gas-fired power plant had recently been proposed in the Town of Ulster.
“Fracked gas” they said.
In addition, the Town of Ulster had its regular Town Board meeting a few days prior to the Thanksgiving holiday where the applicant and consultant gave a short presentation followed by the Town of Ulster making a request to be Lead Agency in SEQR (State Environmental Quality Review). That gave Involved Agencies only a 30 day window starting before one holiday to another (figures) to dispute their request, if applicable.
After eleven years, I had planned to step away from my volunteer work at KingstonCitizens.org to focus my efforts solely on my part time position in Water Quality at Riverkeeper (which I love, by the way) and my music career, come 2018. The news certainly dashed my plans. The balancing act continues!
A peaker project in the Town of Ulster. It wasn’t unfamiliar to me. In February of 2015, when Niagara Bottling pulled their proposal from a Tech City location in the Town of Ulster, I remembered hearing rumors of such a project and thinking to myself that after coordinating an intense five month citizen campaign and now having to find a way to move a timely charter change to address water powers with a referendum in the fall of that year, I’d have to come back to it if or when it appeared.
In November of 2017, here it was.
Didn’t Ulster County just recently install a large solar array near this location (and that feeds into the Lincoln Park substation, the same substation that would be used by this proposed project)? Furthermore, in December of 2016, Ulster County was prominently featured by National Geographic to highlight some of the County’s environmental achievements. That’s international coverage. So how would a natural gas power plant fit into our progress? Who attracted a midwestern company to come to the Town of Ulster with such confidence to propose such a thing? At the December 7th Town or Ulster Town Board Workshop meeting during public testimony, a citizen called it a ‘tale of two cities’. “How do you have a solar array project on one end of a property and a natural gas power plant on the other?”
I’m about to get into a whole bunch of technical stuff to the best of my ability, only because I want readers to understand how the coalition letter came to pass as well as our call to action. SEQR is nothing new. I’m hoping that you will recall some of this language from the Niagara Bottling and/or the Pilgrim Pipeline proposals. If you need a refresher, you can go here VIEW
In the project’s environmental assessment form (link above), the “Lincoln Park Grid Support Center” is described, in part, in this way:
“The Applicant, Lincoln Park DG, LLC, is under contract to acquire three tax parcels between NYS Route 32 and US Route 9W in the Town of Ulster which total 120.92 acres, and proposes to construct the Lincoln Park Grid Support Center on a 4± acre portion of the property, with access from Frank Sottile Boulevard. The proposed facility is a natural gas-fired power plant that will supply power to the electric grid in the region….The facility will include a system of containerized batteries and a reciprocating engine generator system that is fueled by natural gas, with the capability to use on-site diesel when the gas supply is disrupted. The generator system will be housed within a steel Butler building and will require two exhaust stacks for combustion emissions which will be a maximum of 100 feet in height. The system will be available to the grid 24 hours a day and will operate based on the needs of the grid, with very little operation on some days and continuous operations on other days. The facility is expected to operate an average of 6 to 14 hours per day. Fuel combustion will result in primary emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxides (NOX), and carbon monoxide (CO), and will require an air permit from the NYSDEC. Some ancillary waste will also be produced including used lubricating oil and reagent as part of equipment maintenance.”
On first glance looking at the list of Involved Agencies, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) seemed the best choice for a project that could be seen as a regional one, with potential environmental impacts that include air emissions, visual impacts, wetlands, the project footprint being within close proximity of a principal aquifer, cultural resources and threatened/endangered species There might be others. As a local matter, there were potential inconsistencies in the Town’s comprehensive plan and zoning code and concerns of something like this being built only approx. 600 feet away from a residential area.
Once a Lead Agency is designated, they may make a determination of significance for the proposed action (project) as being a positive declaration (pos dec) or negative declaration (neg dec) in SEQR. A pos dec in simple terms means that the project may result in having one or more significant adverse environmental impacts, triggering a full scoping process (to identify all of the potential impacts) with opportunities for public comment and then for appropriate studies to be identified and paid for by the applicant. A neg dec, means that the proposed action benefits “outweigh its adverse impacts” and would move the project to its site plan without any public comment. As a side note, a neg dec allows the applicant to apply/secure any public funding that might be available to its project.
Our educational forum on the proposed Pilgrim Pipelines project brought in an estimated 402 people to Kingston City Hall with another 1,400 or so who streamed our event live yesterday. KingstonCitizens.org is pleased to share with you video from the entire event as well as materials for your review and to follow along.
As a reminder, in Ulster County, if you live in the City of Kingston, Town of Ulster, Town of Marlborough, Town of Lloyd, Town of Esopus, Town of Saugerties, Town of Rosendale, Village and Town of New Paltz or Town of Plattekill, then you are one of the potentially impacted communities listed in the proposed Pilgrim Pipelines project and are considered an ‘Involved’ Agency in SEQRA.
Take LOCAL ACTION TODAY and contact your elected officials in impacted communities to requestthat they make commenting on the upcoming draft ‘Scope’ document a priority by taking a proactive approach to identify potential impacts of the proposed Pilgrim Pipelines project that are unique to your community. If your municipality is not listed above, but you live in Ulster County, please contact Ulster County Executive Mike Hein and ask that the county work with us to organize a countywide coordinated draft scope review. VIEW for step by step instructions, emails, and phone numbers.
Please join KingstonCitizens.org’s mailing list by subscribing to our newsletter for important future updates. We have much in store. SIGN-UP for KingstonCitizens.org’s mailing list.
8:05 – 13:19 Mayor Steve Noble City of Kingston, NY “We have environmental staff that works on these issues….dedicated volunteers on a Conservation Advisory Council. We hope that Kingston can be a model for other communities up and down the Hudson River Valley”
13:20 – 21:47 Assemblyman Kevin Cahill District 103 “I see many, many Kingstonians here, but I also see friends from other communities. Let me join our Mayor in welcoming you to Standing Rock New York.”
00:52 – 07:27 Brooke Pickering – Cole Local Economies Project Hudson Valley Farm Hub
07:38 – 14:00 Jennifer Schwartz Berky
District 7 County Legislator
KingstonCitizens.org Policy and Planning
14:01 – 18:20 Callie Jayne Citizen Action NY
18:27 – 20:21 Local Call To Action VIEW Rebecca Martin, KingstonCitizens.org
20:33 – 27:31 Kevin J. Smith Woodstock Land Conservancy “There is a pumping station proposed in the Town of Ulster, and there is a trailer park directly across the Sawkill creek fro the very site of the pumping station. When we speak about Environmental Justice? Here we are. The trailer park has been flooded out several times. It is my understanding that the Heritage Energy property has been flooded out several times as well. All of this is just upstream from the confluence of the Sawkill with the Lower Esopus which is something of a delta. It’s where the Sawkill comes out of the mountains and the le wins it way out of the Rondout valley and they meet….what’s also there is the Town of Ulster’s wellheads. These are the kinds of things I would encourage you to get informed about and to reach out to your public officials.” VIEW: Local Call To Action
28:17 – 32:52 Citizen Question “Who are the owning parties of Pilgrim Pipelines, LLC?”
33:14 – 38:42 Citizen Question “Where is the oil being refined when it gets to where it’s going with the Pilgrim Pipelines?”
38:44 – 40:05 Citizen Question “Can you clear up the confusion for me from the film we saw today that speaks about two different pipelines?
40:06 – 42:57 Citizen Question
“Since the oil export ban was lifted, is there any action in NYS to overstep the 1909 act that it’s in place?”
43:00 – 46:10 Citizen Question
“If this is a private corporation using pipelines for private gain, where is the public good? Noticeably absent today is Congressman Faso. How do you foresee working with him as he seems to be in the pocket of big oil?”
46:12 – 50:00 Citizen Question
“You mentioned the federal government hadn’t a role in this project because it’s an NYS issue. What would Congressman Faso’s role be then?”
50:02 – 51:11 Senator Amedore’s position on the Pilgrim Pipeline. “Senator Amedore stands with localities as it’s his belief that they know best of the effects it has on the community and its residents. We are located at 721 Broadway in Kingston, and we always welcome feedback. We are in the information gathering stages…we are here for you.”
51:20 – 52:43
At KingstonCitizens.org, we encourage you to get deep into your community and local government. Learn the law and process there first.” – Rebecca Martin, KingstonCitizens.org
Thank you: Lee Kalish, Daniel Clark and Prime Print Shop; Carly Winnie, Megan Weiss-Rowe, Kyle McIntosh of the City of Kingston; our KingstonCitizens.org volunteers: Kayce Waters, Heather Schwegler, Debra Bresnan. The Kingston News and all of our co-sponsors and supporters.
On Saturday, January 28th from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm, KingstonCitizens.org will host an educational forum on the proposed Pilgrim Pipelines project. Our end goal for the day will be to clarify what are the important next steps in SEQRA for citizens living in potentially impacted communities of the proposed Pilgrim Pipelines project in Ulster County.
Until then, and after which (up until the scoping document arrives), here is a simple call to action that you can take to help your community prepare for the upcoming draft scoping document.
Although this effort is specific to our region, what we are working to accomplish can easily be applied to all of those living in potentially impacted communities up and down the proposed corridor of the Pilgrim Pipelines project. Imagine if we could create a strong push for citizens to call their elected officials and request the scoping process was placed high on their list and to prepare in advance? What an impact it could make in the State of New York and New Jersey!
We look forward to seeing you on Saturday. VIEW our event on Facebook
Local Call To Action: Your role in State Environmental Review Act (SEQRA) and the “Scoping” Process for the Proposed Pilgrim Pipelines.
On September 14, 2016, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA), the co-lead agencies for the environmental review of the proposed Pilgrim Pipelines project, issued a positive declaration in SEQRA.
“A positive declaration, or “pos dec”, is a determination by the lead agency[s] that an action may result in one or more significant environmental impacts and so will require the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) before agency decisions may be made regarding the action.”
In addition to the pos dec, the co-lead agencies agreed to initiate a scoping process and extend the comment period for the draft scope once it is publically available. The purpose of a scoping comment period is to offer the public and interested parties the option to offer their feedback and “help determine the scope of subjects that will be studied in the DEIS concerning the Pilgrim Pipelines.” The DEIS is the primary source of environmental information to help involved agencies consider environmental concerns in making decisions about a proposed action. The DEIS examines the nature and extent of an action that is identified as a potential environmental impact, as well as steps that could be taken to avoid or minimize these impacts.
In Ulster County, if you live in the City of Kingston, Town of Ulster, Town of Marlborough, Town of Lloyd, Town of Esopus, Town of Saugerties, Town of Rosendale, Village and Town of New Paltz or Town of Plattekill, then you are one of the potentially impacted communities listed in the proposed Pilgrim Pipelines project and are considered an ‘Involved’ Agency in SEQRA.
HELP YOUR COMMUNITY PREPARE. TAKE THESE SIMPLE STEPS FORWARD IMMEDIATELY:
1) LOCATE the proposed Pilgrim Pipelines project’s desired path through your community. VIEWand scroll down to find Ulster County. From there, locate your municipality.
2) Are you a citizen living in any of the listed potentially impacted communities? If you are, continue reading. If you are not, but you are an Ulster County resident, please go to #4.
CALL and/or WRITE your Town Supervisor or your Village/City Mayor. Include your Council or Board Member President or Chair, too. REQUEST that they make commenting on the upcoming draft ‘Scope’ document a priority by taking a proactive approach to identify potential impacts of the proposed Pilgrim Pipelines project that are UNIQUE to your community.
3) DISCUSS with your elected officials who could help to prepare your community document. Does your town or city have a Conservation Advisory Council? Could your local planning department be of assistance? Visit your local municipal website to find contacts and phone numbers.
4) CALL the Ulster County government offices and request that the county as an “Involved” Agency in SEQRA help to coordinate all Ulster County potentially impacted localities in the draft “Scoping” process:
Office of Ulster County Executive Mike Hein (845) 340-3800
Ulster County Legislator: Chairman Kenneth J. Ronk, Jr. (845) 566-7663
Ulster County Legislator: Majority Leader Mary Beth Maio (845) 546-7878
Ulster County Legislator: Minority Leader Hector S. Rodriguez (845) 401-2000
Ulster County Legislator: Energy and Environment Committee Chair Richard A. Parete (845) 687-4255
Ulster County Legislator: Energy and Environment Committee Deputy Chairwoman Tracey A. Bartels (845) 255-0804
KingstonCitizens.org to host a public educational forum and discussion called “The Proposed Pilgrim Pipeline: What Ulster County Citizens Need To Know and How Local Action Makes Global Impacts” on Saturday, January 28, 2017, at Kingston City Hall Council Chambers located at 420 Broadway, in Kingston NY from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Guest panelists include Jeremy Cherson of Riverkeeper, Sue Rosenberg of Coalition Against Pilgrim Pipeline/CAPP-NY, Jen Metzger of Citizens For Local Power and a Rosendale Town Councilwoman and Andy Bicking of Scenic Hudson. The short film “Hudson River at Risk 6: A Pipeline Runs Through It” will be presented by Writer, filmmaker and adventurer and six-time grantee of the National Geographic Expeditions Council Jon Bowermaster.
The event is brought to you by KingstonCitizens.org. Co-sponsored by Riverkeeper, Citizens for Local Power, Scenic Hudson, CAPP-NY, the Local Economies Project and the Hudson Valley Farm Hub, Kingston Land Trust, Catskill Mountainkeeper, Woodstock Land Conservancy, Earth Guardians NY, Citizen Action NY and Sustainable Hudson Valley. With support from the City of Kingston, the Kingston Conservation Advisory Council, Town of Rosendale, Ulster County Executive Mike Hein, Ulster County Legislature and 103rd District Assemblyman Kevin Cahill.
VIEW Event on Facebook for up-to-date information on this important local event.
Kingston, NY – Pilgrim Pipeline Holdings, LLC has proposed to construct two parallel pipelines that would run along the NYS Thruway and through private property—one pipeline carrying Bakken crude oil south from Albany, NY, to a refinery in Linden, NJ, and the other carrying refined products north. The 170+ miles of pipelines, together with nearly 13 miles of lateral pipelines, would impact 31 communities in Albany, Rensselaer, Greene, Ulster, Orange, and Rockland counties, as well as 30+ communities in New Jersey. The carrying capacity of each pipeline would be 200,000 barrels (or 8.4 million gallons) per day, which would more than double the number of trains carrying volatile Bakken crude to the Port of Albany at the peak of Bakken crude production in 2014. The increase in crude-by-rail volume means that the project will also impact many communities north and west of Albany through which the CSX and Canadian Pacific rail lines run.
Pilgrim Pipeline Holdings, LLC has proposed to construct two parallel pipelines each up to 20 inches in diameter that would run from Albany, NY to Linden, NJ along the NYS Thruway and through private property. In total, the pipelines would cover some 170 miles (including five laterals totaling nearly 13 miles), impacting 31 municipalities in Albany, Rensselaer, Greene, Ulster, Orange, and Rockland counties. The pipelines would receive an estimated 200,000 barrels per day of Bakken crude oil by way of rail into Albany, proposing to ship the crude oil in one mainline south and bring refined products back north.
The pipelines would run through several sections of the City of Kingston with even more pipelines crossings through the Town of Ulster (TOU). It is also being proposed that one of the four pump stations (the only one that would be located near a residential area) is to be placed only 200 feet away from a trailer park on Sawkill Road in the TOU impacting the Town of Kingston, too.
Proponents have said that pipelines will reduce the need to transport crude oil using rails (bomb trains) or barges (in the case of the Anchorage project). Kate Hudson of Riverkeeper disagrees. “Having barges won’t prevent pipelines, and having pipelines won’t prevent barges, and transport by rail won’t prevent either of the others. None of these industries has made a compact with the others, saying, “If you move the oil, we’ll back out of the business.”
In other words, more opportunities to move crude oil simply means more crude oil. Not less.
The proposal has the potential for significant environmental impacts according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, stating that the Pilgrim Pipelines project “…would cross 257 streams and waterbodies (232 along mainline pipelines and 25 along laterals), including the Hudson River and multiple major and minor tributaries of the Hudson. There are also 296 (9.2 linear miles) crossings of wetlands; including 25 crossings of NYSDEC protected freshwater wetlands (approximately 19 along mainline pipelines and 6 along laterals). Additionally, there will be four pump stations and 215 permanent access roads and temporary access roads at every mile.”
We are pleased to bring you video from this week’s common council caucus (5/2) and full council meeting (5/3). As you will see, we have marked much of the content specifically focused on the items that we have been following recently that include amending the firearms law and the Pilgrim Pipeline memorializing resolution. However, there is a good amount of information throughout, and we encourage you to take the time to also view the remainder of the footage.
Citizens did a great job in supporting the council in their decision making process last night, and in sharing their opinions on the location of the proposed shooting range. The outcome was that the council sent the amended firearms law back to the laws and rules committee for further vetting, which was seen as a positive action by all sides. In addition, an important memorializing resolution was passed showing Kingston’s support of Bill A9831a sponsored by Assemblyman Skartados, “an act to prevent the construction of pipelines to transport hazardous substances or petroleum on property under the jurisdiction of the New York Thruway Authority.”
Although the items listed in the agenda move around some, everything is covered and you can follow along:
Last evening, the Kingston Public Safety Committee passed a resolution to support Bill A9831a sponsored by Assemblyman Skartados, “an act to prevent the construction of pipelines to transport hazardous substances or petroleum on property under the jurisdiction of the New York Thruway Authority.”
Kate Hudson of Riverkeeper gave a presentation of the proposed Pilgrim Pipeline project as well as an explanation of the bill and the timeliness of its passing.
The committee’s swift action was in part to act in time to send Kingston’s support to the NYS Legislature before their 2016 session ends in June. The resolution will come up for a full council vote next week.
In a memorandum from his office, the justification for the bill states that:
“An oil or refined petroleum pipeline constructed to longitudinally occupy the New York State Thruway would present a significant danger to the state’s natural lands, waters, population, economy, and tourism. A pipeline incident along the Thruway resulting in the leakage of oil or refined petroleum would have a significant and costly impact on adjacent residential communities, endangered habitats, open spaces, forests, farmlands, streams, aquifers, wetlands, scenic vistas, and water sources, including the Delaware and Catskill Aqueducts that supply water to New York City. An incident would pose a threat to drinking water and thereby impact businesses, local economies, and the health and quality of life of the people in the affected area. A pipeline incident would harm the endangered and threatened species that live along the Thruway, which include the red shouldered hawk, wood turtle, barred owl, bobcat, and Indiana bat. “
By Rebecca Martin UPDATE: Kingston did it! Both the City of Kingston Mayor and Kingston’s Common Council (unanimously) voted to send letters to both the NYS DEC and Thruway Authority. VIEW the letters.
Because Involved Agencies have been waiting for some resolution of the disagreement, expressed by 29 towns, cities and counties, with Thruway’s November 21, 2015 proposal that it serve as sole lead agency, some might have thought that the co-lead agreement between DEC and Thruway was final. But it isn’t. It is simply 2 involved agencies making a new proposal for who should serve as lead agency for the environmental review of Pilgrim Pipelines project. SEQR regulations require that all involved agencies be given the opportunity to respond to this new proposal, which they can choose to consent to or reject.
Furthermore, the reasons cited by 29 Involved Agencies that rejected the NY Thruway Authority’s proposal to be Lead Agency in the SEQR process in the first go-round : that Thruway stands to gain monetarily from Pilgrim Pipeline to use their right-of-way and that they are not equipped or experienced in managing an environmental review process for such an incredibly large and complicated project, remain true.
The bottom line is that the NY Thruway Authority’s bid to take on the lead agency role was overwhelmingly rejected to begin with and yet they are still in the running. Also perplexing is that on the NYS DEC’s own website, they dissuade co-lead roles in SEQR and instead advise that “a single lead agency be established with the other agency actively involved in the process but not as co-lead agency” and for good reason. What would occur if the two leads differed in opinion somewhere down the line? Which agency would trump the other for a decision to be made?
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) decision to share the environmental review responsibilities with the NYS Thruway Authority for the proposed Pilgrim Pipeline project was a big disappointment to us all at KingstonCitizens.org.
“The three cities who are “involved” in this proposal – Kingston, Newburgh and Albany – all rejected the Thruway Authority’s request.” said Rebecca Martin, Executive Director of KingstonCitizens.org. “We count on the DEC to uphold their responsibility to protect the environment and our public, and a co-lead in an environmental review process is not a good compromise. From what I know, it is an unprecedented decision and in my opinion, the Pilgrim Pipeline proposal is the wrong project to test out a shared leadership role. We need the lead to be fully unbiased and do not accept one that shares to gain monetarily in anyway. How is the public to trust that it isn’t tainted otherwise?”
THIS JUST IN: A new public hearing on the Microbead Ban will occur on 1/19/16 and vote by full legislature sometime before the end of January. It has been tabled for tonight. More information coming soon. But please plan to attend to encourage the legislature to pass the remaining three other resolutions.
For the past month, KingstonCitizens.org has been following and working towards the public being more aware of the importance to understand the impacts in Kingston of both the Pilgrim Pipeline and proposed Microbead ban proposal – all up for vote tonight at the Ulster County Legislature Meeting located at 244 Fair Street, 6th floor in Kingston. Public comment will begin at 6:30pm. * THIS JUST IN: Plan now is for new public hearing on 1/19/16 and vote by full legislature sometime before the end of January. TONIGHT’S vote will only include the below three resolutions.
We have attached information below on each of the resolutions with some key points for you to research before you speak. Please keep your speech to 3 minutes or less.
After the Lead Agency determination deadline on December 16th, KingstonCitizens.org urges the community to stay informed on the many upcoming phases of the SEQR review for the Pilgrim Pipeline proposal as it pertains to Kingston. We are anticipating a large scoping effort next. Please SUBSCRIBE TO OUR MAILING LIST, and join our growing citizen base to become better informed, educated and effective.
The following quotes were crafted by Iris Marie Bloom from Coalition Against Pilgrim Pipelines (CAPP):
Last night, the Kingston Common Council passed a memorializing resolution rejecting the Thruway Authority’s request to be Lead Agency in SEQR for the proposed Pilgrim Pipeline proposal.
“I’m thrilled it passed unanimously,” said Julie Noble, Chair of the Kingston, New York Conservation Advisory Council, after the Kingston Common Council’s 9-0 vote last night.
Where: Kingston City Hall 420 Broadway Kingston, NY
When: Tuesday, December 1, 2015 Sign-up to speak at 7:20pm. Common Council meeting begins at 7:30pm. Public comment starts at around 7:35pm.
Why: The Kingston Common Council votes to pass through a resolution denying the Thruway Authority’s request (or not) for Lead Agency in the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) regarding the Pilgrim Pipeline proposal. Requests, instead, that the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) assume the role.
TIMELY ACTION: Please attend the next Kingston Common Council meeting on Tuesday, December 1st at 7:30pm and sign-up to speak in support of the City of Kingston passing a resolution that rejects the Thruway Authority’s request to be Lead Agency in SEQR for the Pilgrim Pipeline proposal and, that the DEC take on the role of Lead Agency instead.
On November 16, 2015, municipalities in NYS that are ‘Involved’ agencies in the Pilgrim Pipeline SEQR process were informed by the Thruway Authority (by letter) requesting to be Lead Agency. With only the allowed 30 day window to respond (which, in this case, would be December 16th, 2015) – hardly any time at all – municipalities are forced to have to act swiftly. At this early stage, all appear to be in agreement that the Thruway Authority should not be leading the environmental review process and that instead, the DEC should take on that role.
VIEW: The city of Kingston’s memorializing resolution opposing the Pilgrim Pipeline.
As you probably read in the papers yesterday (Daily Freeman, 11/18/15), Pilgrim Pipeline, LLC has filed a ‘use and occupancy’ permit application in NY to construct the Pilgrim Pipeline. According to the papers, the pipeline would run under at least one of Kingston’s roads (as it follows the Thruway).
Because of which, the City of Kingston is an ‘Involved’ agency in SEQR, which means that Kingston will be able to have a voice in determining who is Lead Agency of this project.
This is now incredibly timely, as the Thruway Authority (TA) has sent out “Lead Agency” letters to all “Involved” agencies, which means that one has probably arrived by now at City Hall, and the City of Kingston will need to respond by DECEMBER 16th. What’s important to note here that during this process, municipalities must respond by this date. Having no response is a supportive nod “yes” to the one requesting Lead Agency status.
As you may recall in January of 2014, the City of Kingston unanimously passed a memorializing resolution #21 of 2015 ‘in support of the Kingston Conservation Advisory Council’s Recommendation to Oppose the Proposed Pilgrim Pipeline” that was sponsored by the Council’s Public Safety Committee and that passed unanimously.
Why is it important that city of Kingston right now decline the Thruway Authority as Lead Agency, and instead – request that the DEC take on that role instead? First, the proposal may in fact violate New York State Energy and Climate policies firmly in place. READ: Energy/Climate Programs: NY’s Climate and Energy Portfolio. Additionally, here are five points so clearly outlined by Jennifer Metztgar who resides in the Town of Rosedale, also an ‘Involved’ agency in the proposal. We changed the municipality to reflect our own.