WGXC-90.7 FM

Catskill resident speaks out against pipeline; Legislators meet privately with Pilgrim reps

Dec 17, 2015 7:00 am

At the year-end meeting of the Greene County Legislature on Wed., Dec. 16, Catskill resident and business owner Arielle Herman spoke to officials and raised concerns about the proposed Pilgrim Pipeline project. Herman came to the meeting expecting to respond to a presentation by Pilgrim representatives she was told would take place at the same meeting. But Pilgrim representatives did not appear as expected. It was learned after the meeting that county officials and Pilgrim representatives convened privately and were long gone before they were expected. Herman is a Catskill landowner whose property would be adversely affected by the project. She spoke about the construction roads that would need to be built, and about how the pipeline would not replace the so-called bomb trains that currently carry crude oil through Greene County on a daily basis. The pipeline and the trains serve different destinations, so the pipeline would only bring additional transportation of Bakken crude through the area, Herman said. When introduced to the full Legislature by Catskill representative Kevin Lennon, Herman asked where the Pilgrim representatives were, but was not given a clear answer. Following the presentation, newly appointed county attorney Ed Kaplan promised to forward on to Pilgrim a copy of the questions Herman compiled and request a response from the developers within 10 days. Legislator Harry Lennon left the meeting during Herman's presentation, citing a potential conflict of interest. Lennon is employed by the New York State Thruway Authority. A request by the Authority to act as lead agency in the environmental review of the pipeline proposal is currently pending. To date, 24 of 29 towns on the route have voiced opposition to the Authority's request. The proposed 178-mile Pilgrim Pipeline would move Bakken crude from Albany to Linden, N.J., through Albany, Greene, and Ulster counties, and send refined crude back to Albany, largely along the I-87 corridor. In Greene County, the proposed project veers east of Route 9W west of Sleepy Hollow Lake in Athens, and then back near the interstate around Leeds-Athens Road. After Catskill, the pipeline veers west of the interstate briefly around Cauterskill Road.

PLAY Arielle Herman's full presentation (9:32)
(Introduced by Kevin Lennon)

PLAY Herman, Clip 1
Herman asks Legislature why she was speaking in Pilgrim's absence (1:24)

PLAY Herman, Clip 2
Herman describes being approached by Pilgrim representatives about use of her property one year ago (:40)

PLAY Herman, Clip 3
How construction of the pipeline alone could have an impact on drinking water and infrastructure (1:43)

PLAY Herman, Clip 4
Herman describes how the pipeline would not replace the use of freight trains to transport crude oil through the region (:50)

PLAY Harry Lennon recuses himself due to potential conflict of interest (:16)