February 29, 2016
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Directs an Immediate Independent Safety Analysis of the Algonquin Pipeline Near Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant

TOP Governor Cuomo Directs an Immediate Independent...

Four state agencies request that Federal Energy Regulatory Commission halt construction of the Algonquin Pipeline until the independent risk review is completed

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View the letter to the FERC.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo directed state agencies to issue a letter calling on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to immediately halt construction of the Algonquin natural gas pipeline until a comprehensive safety review is completed. The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Public Service Commission, Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Department of Health issued the letter today.

"The safety of New Yorkers is the first responsibility of state government when making any decision. Over the past several months there have been a series of serious incidents at the Indian Point Nuclear Facility, which my administration is investigating," Governor Cuomo said. "At the same time, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved a natural gas pipeline in close proximity of Indian Point. I am directing my administration to commence an immediate independent safety analysis of the natural gas pipeline project and until that occurs, we urge the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to suspend the project."

At the direction of Governor Cuomo, these agencies are currently conducting a full investigation into several recent failures that could pose a risk to the health and safety of those who live and work in the vicinity of Indian Point. This investigation is examining multiple unplanned shutdowns, a transformer fire that triggered the declaration of an unusual event level emergency, and most recently, a radioactive tritium leak that has caused groundwater radioactivity levels to rise more than 65,000 percent.

Although the project applicant has agreed to more stringent construction measures near Indian Point, ongoing State investigations will assess the adequacy of these measures and may also reveal new information about the environmental, health and safety risks posed by the project's siting. The State therefore urges the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to cease the construction of the Algonquin natural gas pipeline until the State's analysis is complete and it can be determined that the project will not impact the health and safety of surrounding communities. 

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