Lowey Presses FERC, NYSDPS on AIM Pipeline Risk Analysis Report

July 19, 2018
Press Release
Lowey to FERC Chairman: Agency must consider pipeline risk analysis and enforce strictest safety standards to ensure safety and security of Indian Point and surrounding communities; In letter to NYSDPS CEO, Lowey requests access to full risk analysis report on Algonquin pipelines to determine necessity of further federal action to minimize risks and protect public safety.

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY17/Rockland-Westchester), Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Committee, called on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the New York State Department of Public Service (NYSDPS), respectively, to consider the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services’ full AIM Pipeline Risk Analysis Report during further examination of the Algonquin pipelines and to provide her with the full report, which has not been made public.

The letters come on the heels of New York State’s release of an executive summary of the full AIM Pipeline Risk Analysis Report. The summary, released June 22, 2018, identified areas of potential concern regarding proximity of the Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) pipeline to the critical infrastructure at Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan, New York.

“New York State’s executive summary of the report released June 22, 2018, identified areas of potential concern that should be used to inform FERC regulatory activities to make the AIM project safer for the remainder of Indian Point’s operating life and through decommissioning,” wrote Lowey in the letter to FERC Chairman Kevin J. McIntyre. “I urge FERC to consider New York State’s analysis as it further investigates and considers actions to mitigate potential risks posed by the Algonquin pipelines. The health and safety of my constituents depend on it.”

“As the Member of Congress who represents Buchanan, the community that hosts IPEC, I hope to have access to the full report to determine whether federal agencies should take further steps to minimize risks and protect public safety,” Congresswoman Lowey wrote in the letter to NYSDPS CEO John B. Rhodes. “In a June 22, 2018 letter to FERC Chairman Kevin J. McIntryre, you outlined recommendations for additional risk reduction and asked further questions regarding previous safety and risk assessments of dangers posed by the pipelines’ proximity to IPEC. I hope to review the complete report to better understand these recommendations and questions and take possible actions at the federal level to ensure the strictest safety standards and most updated information is used as FERC makes regulatory decisions about the AIM pipelines and IPEC, while the nuclear plant is still in operation and throughout the decommissioning process.”

As Lowey notes in the letters, the AIM Project generally replaced an existing 26-inch natural gas pipeline with a new 42-inch pipeline on a route from northern Rockland County under the Hudson River and through northern Westchester County. However, the portion of the pipelines that pass near safety-critical infrastructure at Indian Point still has the old 26-inch and 30-inch pipelines in addition to the new 42-inch pipeline. FERC approved the project, despite the many letters it received throughout the approval process from Lowey and other elected officials.

Full text of the letter to FERC is here.