Saugerties town government has come out in opposition to the Pilgrim Pipelines. Saying it fears the possibility of “the threat of leakages, spills, fires and other types of catastrophes that can seriously harm communities like Saugerties through which the products are transported,” the Saugerties town board voted at its February 1 meeting to urge the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the state Thruway Authority, the agencies scrutinizing the project, to deny it the use of the Thruway corridor.
The town board also urged the United States Coast Guard to deny permits for anchorages along the Hudson River of any shipping carrying Bakken crude oil. The only way Bakken shale oil should be permitted to be transported along railway lines through Saugerties would be if “rail, car and other railroad safety issues are resolved and the at-grade private crossings in the Town of Saugerties are eliminated.”
Councilman James Bruno, who is running for town supervisor, added that he also didn’t like the pipeline proposal because he does not believe the project should have the right to take private property for the line. “We need to protect homeowners’ rights,” Bruno said. “This doesn’t sit well with me.”
Last month a number of pipeline opponents asked town council to oppose the plan to run a portion of the Pilgrim Pipelines along the Thruway corridor. They said a leak in the proposed pipes would pose a great danger to the local environment.
The two parallel pipes would run about 178 miles from Albany to Linden, N.J. and carry an estimated 400,000 gallons a day of crude oil. The pipes would travel 41 miles along the Thruway in Ulster County, and past a number of major rivers, creeks and streams. It would cross the Hudson River twice in its journey to New Jersey.
In its resolution the town board said transporting the Bakken crude “presents an immediate and significant risk for the people, environment and economy of our town ….”
As to the possible siting of anchorages in the Hudson River, the resolution stated, “The anchorages plan, while not located in waters off Saugerties, is an improper use of this important estuary for Saugerties because of the potential damages to heritage tourism, upon which Saugerties and the Saugerties Lighthouse depend for our economic vitality.”
“We just can’t allow this,” Bruno added.