Kingston Mayor, Common Council object to Thruway Authority role in pipeline review
William J. Kemble is reporting in the Daily Freeman the Kingston mayor and city aldermen have voted to forward formal objections to the New York State Thruway Authority being named a lead agency in the environmental review of the proposed Pilgrim Pipeline project. At a public meeting Tue., Jan. 5, aldermen unanimously approved a resolution saying it would be a conflict of interest for the authority to share responsibility for the review with the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Aldermen were given a letter from Mayor Steve Noble, saying he declined to accept the declaration last month by the two state agencies for shared responsibility over the environmental review. “The Thruway Authority’s very narrow expertise in highway use policy and regulation does not provide an adequate basis to justify the authority’s serving as a co-lead agency in an environmental review,” Noble wrote. Noble also cited the authority's apparent conflict of interest, since it could potentially profit from the pipeline construction. Neither the Thruway Authority or pipeline developers have been willing to provide estimates on the amount of revenue paid for use of the Thruway corridor. The Kingston Common Council passed a resolution in general opposition to the project last year. 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. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.