14. Resolution No. 485

Urging The New York State Department Of Environmental Conservation To Assume Lead Agency Status For The State Environmental Quality Review Process For The Pilgrim Pipeline Project

Resolution Information

Status: 
Adopted

RESOLUTION TEXT +-

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Referred to: The Energy and Environment Committee (Chairman Peter Loughran and

Legislators Parete, Rodriguez, Ronk and Wawro), and The Laws and Rules,

Governmental Services Committee (Chairman Richard Parete and Legislators

Donaldson, Greene, Roberts and Ronk)

Legislator Manna Jo Greene and Legislators Bartels and Warwo offer the following:

WHEREAS, on February 17, 2015, the Ulster County Legislature passed a

memorializing Resolution #38 of 2015 Opposing the Pilgrim Pipeline that was

sponsored by Legislator Manna Jo Greene and co-sponsored by Legislator Mary

Wawro; and

WHEREAS, on November 18, 2015 Pilgrim Pipeline Company filed a Use

and Occupancy Permit Application, which will be considered a State Environmental

Quality Review Act (SEQRA) Type 1 action under 6 NYCRR Part 617; and

WHEREAS, the Pilgrim Pipeline company is proposing to build a bidirectional pipeline, spanning 178 miles, that would transport highly volatile Bakken

crude oil and refined petroleum products (including gasoline and heating oil)

between Albany, New York, and Linden, New Jersey. The proposed pipeline would

run parallel to the New York State Thruway (I-87) from Albany connecting to

terminals along the way before turning east at the I-287 beltway to reach the Phillips

66 Bayway refinery in Linden, New Jersey. In Ulster County, the pipeline path runs

through the Towns of Esopus, Lloyd, New Paltz, Plattekill, Rosendale, Saugerties,

and Ulster, and the City of Kingston; other affected counties in New York include

Albany, Greene, and Orange Counties; and

WHEREAS, the County of Ulster is an involved agency in SEQR, which

means that the County will be able to have a voice in determining who is Lead

Agency of this project; and

WHEREAS, the New York State Thruway Authority has applied to serve as

lead agency for the environmental review process; and

WHEREAS, this is a timely matter as a decision on lead agency will be made

once comments have been received and after the 30-day review period ends on

December 16, 2015; and

 

WHEREAS, more than 20 New York municipalities, including the City of

Kingston, have passed resolutions (both memorializing and otherwise) of opposition

to this project after concluding that the risks and costs to our communities far

outweigh any potential benefits, and that the project contradicts local and State

energy goals; and

WHEREAS, the proposed pipeline threatens important resources of statewide

concern, including the Hudson River and major tributaries, such as the Rondout,

Esopus, and Catskill Creeks and Wallkill River, State-regulated wetlands and other

resources that the DEC is responsible for protecting and is best equipped to ensure a

full and adequate evaluation of environmental impacts; and

WHEREAS, the Pipeline presents a myriad of environmental concerns

including: extraordinary cleanup efforts should a rupture occur, contamination of

ground water and aquifers used by Ulster County residents for drinking water, and

pollution of surface waters including the Sawkill, Plattekill, Esopus and Rondout

Creeks and the Wallkill River, all of which are important tributaries of the Hudson

River; and

WHEREAS, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), as

the state environmental agency, is best suited to guide the environmental review of

this large, multi-jurisdictional project that has the potential to impact environmental

resources in 6 New York counties and 29 towns, and is the agency with the power

and the expertise to ensure a comprehensive and coordinated review; and

WHEREAS, the DEC is one of the State agencies responsible for State efforts

to mitigate climate change, and is best positioned to lead an evaluation of this

project’s potential impacts on climate; and

WHEREAS, the pipeline will traverse and impact private lands and resources

outside of the Thruway right-of-way, including lands within Ulster County, and it is

therefore more appropriate for the DEC than the Thruway Authority to play the lead

role in evaluating the impacts to those lands and resources; now, therefore, be it 

 

RESOLVED, that the Ulster County Legislature hereby urges the Acting

Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to

reject the request by the New York State Thruway Authority to serve as lead agency

for the environmental review process and instead, direct the New York State

Department of Environmental Conservation to assume the role of lead agency; and,

be it further

RESOLVED, that the Clerk of the Ulster County Legislature shall transmit

copies of this resolution to the Acting New York State Department of Environmental

Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos, Executive Deputy Commissioner Marc

Gertsmann, New York State Thruway Authority Chair Joanne Mahoney, New York

State Thruway Authority Executive Director Robert Megna, New York State

Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew Driscoll, U.S. Senators

Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Congressman Chris Gibson, Governor

Andrew Cuomo, New York Public Service Commission Chairwoman Audrey

Zibelman, Assembly Member Kevin Cahill, and Senator John Bonacic,

and move its adoption.

ADOPTED BY THE FOLLOWING VOTE:

AYES: 22 NOES: 1

(Noes: Legislator Gerentine)

Passed Committee: Energy and Environment on December 9, 2015

Passed Committee: Laws and Rules, Governmental Services on December 14, 2015

FINANCIAL IMPACT:

NONE

 

STATE OF NEW YORK

 ss:

COUNTY OF ULSTER

I, the undersigned Clerk of the Legislature of the County of Ulster, hereby certify that the foregoing resolution is

the original resolution adopted by the Ulster County Legislature on the 15th Day of December in the year Two Thousand

and Fifteen, and said resolution shall remain on file in the office of said clerk.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and seal of the County of Ulster this 16th Day of

December in the year Two Thousand and Fifteen.

|s| Victoria A. Fabella

Victoria A. Fabella, Clerk

Ulster County Legislature 

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Updated: January 17, 2019