Public meeting planned to oppose pipeline

Twenty-two Hudson Valley municipalities oppose the Pilgrim Pipelines as too hazardous for the area

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  • The fireball that followed the derailment and explosion of two trains, one carrying Bakken crude oil, on Dec. 30, 2013, outside Casselton, N.D. (U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration)

  • The route of the Pilgrim Pipeline (Illustration: Pilgrim Holdings, LLC)

— A citizen-sponsored public meeting to update local residents about the Pilgrim Oil pipelines is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 22, at the Newburgh Town Hall, 1496 Route 300.

“Another dangerous, potentially polluting project is being considered for Orange County," said activist and Newburgh resident Sandra Kissam. "That is, oil pipelines on the New York State Thruway and also crossing the Towns of Newburgh and New Windsor to the Hudson River shoreline. That's where the 'bomb' trains are carrying explosive Bakken Crude oil. If the pipelines are built, we face multiple hazards. The Thruway must reject Pilgrim's application.”

A single six-foot trench would hold two pipes, one carrying volatile Bakken Crude oil south to New Jersey refineries, and the other, refined products such as gasoline, kerosene, diesel, north to Albany. Pilgrim claims the pipelines would each carry 200,000 barrels per day. And they plan to build associated compressor stations, pump stations, meter stations.

Kissam said that pipelines leak for various reasons — the natural shifting of the ground due to weather changes, water seepage, vibration from heavy traffic, as well as corrosion over time. In Orange County, the risks are multiplied by the laterals to the Hudson, where there are extensive fuel storage tank farms, like Global Oil.

Fort Montgomery resident and rail expert Wayne Kocher says the area has seen a significant increase in earthquakes in our area, and taht these shifts can rupture pipelines. "And don't forget, rocks always move towards the surface, another risk factor for ruptures, causing leaks," he said.

The meeting is sponsored by local citizens as part of Coalition of Pilgrim Pipelines New York. Rosendale Town Councilwoman Jen Metzger will speak, as will coalition organizer Iris Marie Bloom. Town of Newburgh Supervisor Gil Piaquadio will attend. NYS Assembly membersFrank Skartados and Jim Skoufis have been invited.

Twenty-two Hudson Valley municipalities have gone on record opposing Pilgrim Pipelines, including the Town and City of Newburgh, New Windsor, Cornwall and Cornwall-on-Hudson.

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