Above Photo: Dropbox/ March 23 ResistAIM Pics
Thirty ResistAIM Defenders Block Access to Halt Construction of Spectra’s AIM Gas Pipeline at Multiple Locations
State Troopers Arrest Two ResistAIM Defenders During Peaceful Non-violent Direct Action
Buchanan, NY – Today at 6:30 AM, thirty people took action to stop the AIM pipeline from being built in Westchester by blocking access to two of Spectra Energy’s construction areas for a total of three hours. Spectra Energy’s Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) project would involve drilling underneath the Hudson River in Verplanck, NY, immediately south of Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant. The group of thirty defenders began by standing at both entrances to a Bleakley Avenue construction site preventing access to the proposed site of a new pigging station where Spectra would remove radioactive hazardous materials from the pipeline only 150 feet from homes. Work was halted for more than two hours.
The defenders then moved to block a staging area by the Hudson River where pipe is being stored for eventual placement under the Hudson River. During the protests, which took place from 6:30 AM to 9:30 AM, there was an outpouring of support from commuters AND construction workers in trucks, who honked, gave the thumbs up, and shouted encouragement as they drove past. Two people were arrested for disorderly conduct and taken into custody by New York State Police.
Spectra Energy’s new high-pressure, 42-inch diameter pipeline would run within 105 feet of critical safety infrastructure for Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant and would expose local communities to toxic emissions from compressor stations along the pipeline path. Today’s action halted construction of a new, so-called, pigging station used to clean out toxic debris that accumulates within pipelines. This debris is radioactive, hazardous waste, containing PCBs and breakdown products of radon, both of which contaminate the fracked gas carried by the pipeline; the pigging station would remove hazardous waste only 150ft from homes.
The AIM Pipeline is being built against the wishes of the local communities from Rockland, Westchester, and Putnam who have all passed resolutions opposing it, and against the wishes of Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has called on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to order Spectra Energy to stop construction activities immediately. Both FERC and Spectra Energy have ignored Governor Cuomo’s request to halt construction. Spectra Energy has also flouted the will of the community and New York’s elected representatives, and used eminent domain to seize property for construction against the will of landowners and homeowners. This has outraged residents and environmental and public safety advocates who point to Spectra’s abysmal safety record as proof that the company cannot be trusted to construct a pipeline safely. While the company claims that this project is necessary to meet projected gas demand in the Northeast, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced in November that her office conducted a study that indicated that demand could be met in a cheaper and cleaner fashion via energy efficiency measures and demand response technology.
Today’s action is the latest of several organized locally by a coalition called Resist AIM, which was formed to stop the pipeline project from moving forward. And, ResistAIM is not alone in their opposition to the AIM Pipeline. Similar groups have formed all along the route of the AIM Pipeline using nonviolent direct action to halt Spectra’s work in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.
In addition to its obvious safety and security risks, the AIM pipeline would increase our dependence on climate-changing fossil fuels at a time when the nations of the world are increasingly recognizing the need to move to renewable energy.
This is only the beginning. For more information, please visit www.resistaim.wordpress.
#ResistAim #StopSpectra #WeSayNo