Buchanan, NY — Today, activists rallied outside the shuttered Indian Point nuclear plant in Peekskill, calling on Governor Hochul to stop the latest proposed expansion of the area’s Algonquin Pipeline. In 2016, three activists were arrested at the very same site for blocking construction of a 42-inch pipeline constructed as part of the Algonquin Incremental Pipeline Expansion. In addition, two older 30-inch and one 26-inch pipelines run underneath the plant. Decommissioning at Indian Point houses over 2,000 tons of irradiated fuel rods in addition to other radioactive waste.
Today’s protest was part of a coordinated week of action with similar rallies held along the pipeline which runs from the Hudson Valley through Connecticut to Massachusetts.
Dubbed “Project Maple,” pipeline owner Enbridge’s proposal would significantly expand the amount of gas transmitted through the Algonquin Pipeline under the Indian Point property, despite New York’s Climate Leadership & Community Protection Act which mandates greenhouse gas emissions reductions of at least 85 percent by 2050 and the state’s nation-leading ban on fossil fuels in new buildings, which will go into effect in 2026.
“Project Maple is a sweet-sounding name for a project that stinks,” said Assemblywoman Dana Levenberg, who represents the area. “At a time when we are pushing so hard to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, I cannot abide the expansion of this type of infrastructure, particularly to be co-located in an area as sensitive as that around Indian Point. I implore the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the regulatory authorities of the states impacted by this proposal to stop Project Maple in its tracks. All of us in the proposed Project Maple area should instead re-double our efforts to incentivize the development of renewable energy projects and storage capacity.”
“Fracked gas is unwelcome in New York,” said Food & Water Watch Senior NY Organizer Santosh Nandabalan. “Proposals to expand the reach of this dirty fossil fuel will come at our direct peril, bringing climate change fueled disasters like this summer’s deadly flooding, higher energy bills, and serious health problems. New York’s nation-leading climate law and ban on fossil fuels in new homes are incompatible with gas pipeline expansion in our borders. Governor Hochul must send a crystal clear message to Enbridge — Project Maple has no place in New York.”
“We fought the AIM expansion, then the Atlantic Bridge expansion, then the Access Northeast expansion, and now they want to come back again for the fourth time in 10 years for another expansion? Our community is in enough danger. We want renewable energy, not more fracked gas. Especially given the risks at Indian Point, the Buchanan-Verplanck Elementary School, and through our community, Governor Hochul must join governors in New England to hold the line against new fossil fuel infrastructure,” said Courtney Williams, a scientist, activist, Peekskill resident, and founder of Safe Energy Rights Group.
”It is appalling that—once again—we have to fight the expansion of a fracked gas pipeline placed inexplicably close to the Indian Point nuclear power plant, the site of large amounts of radioactive waste,” said Iris Hiskey Arno of NYCD16 Indivisible. “As we face the growing effects of the climate crisis, it is imperative that we stop burning fossil fuels. Expanding this fracked gas pipeline is a dangerous step backwards that we simply cannot afford. We call upon Governor Hochul to use her power to block Project Maple.”
“In 2016, several of us were arrested when we put our bodies on the line to try and prevent the AIM pipeline from being constructed so close to Indian Point, a mile from the junction of two earthquake faults in the Hudson River,” said Judy Allen, a resident of Putnam Valley. “Now that Governor Hochul has signed the ‘Save the Hudson’ bill into law, she must continue to protect New Yorkers by rejecting all new fossil fuel projects, especially ones in proximity to a decommissioning nuclear plant which further jeopardizes public health and safety.”
Enbridge submitted a bid for the project with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on September 12; the company anticipates its proposal to come on line as soon as November 2029. The expansion of up to 750,000 extra dekatherms of fracked gas per day may necessitate additional pipeline construction and compressor station expansion along the route.
Photos will be available here.