Kenneth C. Crowe II in the Albany Times-Union reports
that the Rensselaer County Legislature rejected a local law to regulate blasting in an effort to halt the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline, and never considered another. A Republican-sponsored law that would have imposed blasting limits on projects that used state or federal eminent domain laws, went down 19-0. The Democrats put forth a blasting bill similar to the one passed by the Albany County Legislature, but it was never considered. The Northeast Energy Direct pipeline would cut across Albany and Rensselaer counties, and Oct. 16 is the deadline for comments on environmental issues concerning the pipeline with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. In Rensselaer County, the Kinder Morgan pipeline would pass through Schodack, Nassau, and Stephentown. "We recognize this project is not in the best interests of those living in Rensselaer County, particularly in the towns of Schodack, Nassau and Stephentown. The NED project could hurt the quality of life, health, safety and property values of these communities," Legislature Chairman Stan Brownell, R-Hoosick, said, promising a crowd of about 100 that the legislature would draft a blasting bill. Read the full story in the Albany Times-Union.