Quantcast
Popular
Spectra Energy

Here's How You Can Help Stop the Atlantic Bridge Pipeline

By Kimberly Ong

New York State is poised to make a decision on the Atlantic Bridge Project, a natural gas pipeline that would expand the existing Algonquin Gas Transmission Pipeline system, a vast 1,100 miles-long pipeline system that traverses New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.


While natural gas pipelines are largely subject to federal approval, there is one tool that states can use to block pipelines that cross their borders—section 401 of the Clean Water Act.

The Atlantic Bridge is a serious threat to water quality, wildlife, trout streams and other habitats, as well as to air quality in the Hudson Valley region of New York. In New York State alone, the pipeline would directly harm 21 streams (three of which are protected trout streams), 11 acres of forests and more than 10 acres of wetlands in the state.

The entire project is sited to be built within the Hudson River watershed and New York City drinking water supply watershed, which provides drinking water to more than eight million residents of the city and surrounding areas. Any impact to water quality from this proposed pipeline has the potential to impair the drinking water supply of millions of New Yorkers.

Under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, states have the power to issue or deny certification ("401 certification") to natural gas pipelines that are sited within their borders. If the applicants of the pipeline fail to show that it will meet state water quality standards, states must deny certification to the pipeline and the pipeline can't go forward in that state.

The New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) should find that the sponsors of the pipeline, Algonquin Gas Transmission and Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, have failed to show that Atlantic Bridge would comply with state water quality standards.

As mentioned earlier, however, the Atlantic Bridge Project is just one segment of the larger Algonquin Pipeline Expansion Project, which also includes the Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) pipeline and the Access Northeast pipeline. DEC must evaluate Atlantic Bridge in the context of these two other related projects—indeed, DEC is mandated by statute to take into account the cumulative impacts of the entire project when evaluating whether the project should get 401 certification.

And the effect of these three projects is greater than the sum of its parts—while the effects of a single pipeline crossing a water body may be reversible, multiple pipeline crossings can have long-term and irreversible impacts on water quality and riparian life.

Altogether, the Algonquin Pipeline Expansion Project would add more than 165 miles of new natural gas pipeline, cross 349 water bodies, harm more than 300 acres of wetlands and more than 950 acres of forest. It would also cross three drinking water supply systems that supply all of New York City with drinking water. Too much is at risk here to allow this pipeline to go forward.

People's Climate March, Washington, DC, April 29, 2017Kimberly Ong

Gov. Cuomo and DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos have shown exceptional leadership in moving New York State beyond fossil fuels and towards clean energy—in 2015, the state took the courageous and forward-looking step to ban fracking across the entire state. Since then, it has denied 401 certification to two other natural gas pipelines that are smaller than the Algonquin Pipeline Expansion Project: Constitution pipeline and Northern Access pipeline. NRDC has defended DEC's Constitution decision in court, and is prepared to do the same for Northern Access. The time is ripe to take a stand against the Atlantic Bridge Project, too.

Call Gov. Cuomo and request that he deny the 401 certification for Atlantic Bridge: 518-474-8390

Kimberly Ong is staff attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Animals

Beloved Bear That Recovered From Massive Wildfire Burns Found Shot Dead

Cinder, an orphaned bear cub that was severely burned but had remarkably survived after one of the worst recorded wildfires in Washington state history was found dead, wildlife officials recently confirmed to news outlets.

She was likely shot and killed in October 2017 by a hunter, according to the Methow Valley News and a Facebook post by the Idaho Black Bear Rehab, where the famous black bear was treated.

Keep reading... Show less
Oceans
The crew of the Greenpeace ship MY Arctic Sunrise voyage into the Great Pacific Garbage Patch document plastics and other marine debris. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a soupy mix of plastics and microplastics, now twice the size of Texas, in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean. Justin Hofman / Greenpeace

Teen Vogue Joined Greenpeace at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — Here’s What They Saw

By Perry Wheeler

Throughout this year, people all over the globe united to take on plastic pollution. Greenpeace supporters have asked their local supermarkets to phase out throwaway plastics, helped us reach 3 million signatures to companies like Coca-Cola, Nestle and Unilever demanding they invest in real solutions and participated in beach cleanups and brand audits to name the worst corporate plastic polluters.

Keep reading... Show less
Climate
Pexels

Advocates Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Tell the Truth About Climate Change

By Jeremy Deaton

It has been a tough few months for climate change. In October, an international body of climate scientists declared humans have a little more than a decade to make the drastic changes needed to keep rising temperatures reasonably in check. In November, federal scientists released an equally grim assessment detailing the unprecedented floods, droughts and wildfires expected to hit the U.S. Then, this month, with the world ablaze, diplomats gathered in Poland to bicker over how much water each country should pour on their respective fires and, in some cases, whether scientists were exaggerating the size of the flames.

Keep reading... Show less
Ildar Sagdejev / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 4.0

The Dirty Scheme to Make Americans Buy More Gasoline

By Rhea Suh

It's not often that an industry chieftain brags to investors about picking the pockets of American families with help from the White House.

That's what happened, though, after Big Oil schemed with the Trump administration last summer to ensure higher gasoline consumption—to the tune of $16 billion a year—and more climate-disrupting carbon pollution from our cars, vans and pickup trucks.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Energy
The planned Liberty Project is an artificial gravel island to allow oil drilling in the Arctic. Hilcorp / BOEM

Trump Administration Sued Over Controversial Arctic Drilling Project

Conservation groups are suing the Trump administration to halt construction of a controversial oil production facility in Alaska's Beaufort Sea, the first offshore oil drilling development in federal Arctic waters.

Hilcorp Alaska received the green light from the Interior Department in October to build the Liberty Project, a nine-acre artificial drilling island and 5.6-mile underwater pipeline, which environmentalists warn could risk oil spills in the ecologically sensitive area, threaten Arctic communities and put local wildlife including polar bears at risk.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
AAron Ontiveroz / Denver Post / Getty Images

5 Everyday Products Contaminated With Plastic

However, the infiltration of plastics into our daily lives goes much deeper, making it hard to avoid this polluting material which will remain in our ecosystems for centuries to come.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
Fracking waste from the Vaca Muerta shale basin in Argentina being dumped into an open air pit. Greenpeace

Indigenous Group Sues Exxon, Energy Majors Over Fracking Waste Contamination in Patagonia

A major indigenous group in the Argentine Patagonia is suing some of world's biggest oil and gas companies over illegal fracking waste dumps that put the "sensitive Patagonian environment," local wildlife and communities at risk, according to Greenpeace.

The Mapuche Confederation of Neuquén filed a lawsuit against Exxon, French company Total and the Argentina-based Pan American Energy (which is partially owned by BP), AFP reported. Provincial authorities and a local fracking waste treatment company called Treater Neuquén S.A. were also named in the suit.

Keep reading... Show less
Food
A Yelp event at Rip's Malt Shop in Brooklyn, New York, which serves vegan comfort food, including plant-based proteins produced by Beyond Meat and Field Roast. Yelp Inc. / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Should Plant-Based Proteins be Called 'Meat'?

By Melissa Kravitz

Fried chicken, bacon cheeseburgers and pepperoni pizza aren't uncommon to see on vegan menus—or even the meat-free freezer section of your local supermarket—but should we be calling these mock meat dishes the same names? A new Missouri law doesn't think so. The state's law, which forbids "misrepresenting a product as meat that is not derived from harvested production livestock or poultry," has led to a contentious ethical, legal and linguistic debate. Four organizations—Tofurky, the Good Food Institute, the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri and the Animal Legal Defense Fund—are now suing the state on the basis that not only is the law against the U.S. Constitution, but it favors meat producers for unfair market competition.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!