FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Westchester Takes a Stand: Nine Arrested for Stopping Disastrous AIM Pipeline Construction
Proposed AIM Gas Pipeline Would Run 100 ft from Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant Facilities; Trample Rights of Local Community
Montrose, NY 11-09-15 – Today at 6:30 AM, twenty people took courageous action to stop the AIM pipeline from being built in Westchester by blocking access for an hour to Spectra Energy’s wareyard. Spectra Energy’s Alqonquin Incremental Market (AIM) project would involve building a high-pressure 42-inch diameter pipeline within 100 feet of Indian Point facilities and would expose local communities to toxic emissions from compressor stations along the pipeline path. The pipeline is being built against the wishes of the community, and in some areas Spectra Energy has used eminent domain to seize property for construction against the will of landowners and homeowners. This has outraged residents and environmental and public safety advocates who point to Spectra’s abysmal safety record as proof that the company cannot be trusted to construct a pipeline safely. A coalition called Resist AIM has formed to stop the project from moving forward. Nine members of the coalition were peacefully arrested for blocking two wareyard driveways today, holding banners and singing before being taken into custody.
Lisa Moir, a local parent and business owner, explained why she was participating in the day’s action: “At the end of the day , I’m doing this for my daughter. She will be on this earth long after me. She and her family will have to live with the poisoned air, polluted waters, and empty soil. I want to be able to look her in the eyes and say that I did ALL I could do to change these broken systems. Taking a stand now means I will have no regrets later.” Courtney Williams, a Peekskill mother and cancer researcher, agreed: “This pipeline will run only 400 feet from my daughter’s elementary school. Whether it’s the immediate threat of a pipeline explosion leveling her school or the broader threat global climate change poses to every child, it is wrong to build this pipeline. I owe it to my daughter, her 300 classmates, and every other kid to do something to stop this.”
Today’s action comes after years of trying to stop the project through standard regulatory channels have shown that the regulatory agencies involved – the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) – are unwilling to consider the full impacts of this project. On twitter, Westchester County Legislator Catherine Parker has claimed that “federal agencies have failed to protect WC residents,” while State Senators Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Brad Hoylman have both called upon FERC to halt its plans to move forward with the pipeline.
“There are so many reasons to oppose this project,” said Brook Packard, a Rye resident and member of Resist AIM. “Because it’s wrong. Because communities should have the right to determine their own future. Because it’s wrong to have a handful of greedy corporate gas men living 2,000 miles away tear up the Hudson River Valley and it’s wrong and foolish to have corporate greed determine our energy policies. Because if I poisoned my neighbor, I’d go to jail, but Rob Astorino and Spectra Energy get cash. And because I love this region – I was raised here, I was captivated by its stories and heritage, my daughter’s middle name is Hudson so she would have a sense of place, and I’m not willing to let this area become a wasteland.”
In addition to its obvious safety and security risks, the AIM pipeline would increase our dependence on climate-changing fossil fuels at a time when the nations of the world are increasingly recognizing the need to move to renewable energy.
“I am standing up for the health & well-being of my sisters and brothers and say No to Spectra Energy’s Algonquin Pipeline Expansion,” said Susan Rutman of Hastings, NY. “It’s unacceptable that 20 million people’s lives and properties are being put at tremendous risk by this huge, high pressure, fracked gas pipeline under construction, coming across our beautiful Hudson River and sited next to Indian Point Nuclear Plant! What a horrifying prospect, that a Fukushima-like catastrophe can occur with a pipeline rupture here. A thorough, transparent and independent risk assessment must be done before one more tree is cut down. I am a Westchester mother and I want to help Stop Climate Change with renewable energy infrastructure.”
This is only the beginning. For more information, please visit www.resistaim.wordpress.com