DEC LIFTS MILLENNIUM STOP WORK ORDER, BUT OPPONENTS SHOW VIDEO OF AN ACTIVE EAGLE NEST THAT WOULD MAKE THEIR CLEAR-CUTTING ILLEGAL
By Edie Johnson
Opponents of the Millennium Pipeline fought back this week against a court decision that lifted the DEC’s stop work order on tree clearcutting for pipeline connections in Orange County from the $900 Million CPV (Competitive Power Ventures)Power Plant in Waywayanda. A group of what are called environmental “tree sitters” braved the extreme cold this week to videotape and photograph an eagle nest that they say makes the path-cutting for the pipeline illegal. The video, which was widely shared on social media this week, also shows one of the “tree sitters” trying to show the CPV Power Plant’s “nature expert” shots taken the previous week of the resident Eagle coming and going from what clearly looked to be an “active nest”, which would make the cleared path illegal. The expert persisted in saying that there could not be any nesting there this time of year, but the video was time and date-stamped. Opposition to the pipeline has grown throughout Orange County with protest demonstrations going all the way to the Hudson River because of several lateral lines that are planned through residential areas in both the Town of New Windsor and City of Newburgh. Resolutions against the pipeline have also been made by many local towns and villages because of the environmental risks they believe it poses.
The stop work order issued by New York’s DEC read as follows……but was later overridden by FERC (the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission).
NYS DEC Decision Letter:
After a comprehensive technical and legal review, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has conditionally denied water quality permits for Millennium’s proposed Valley Lateral pipeline project. The conditional denial is based in part on the inadequacy of the environmental review conducted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which failed to account for downstream greenhouse gas emissions.
DEC subjects all applications for environmental permits to an extensive and transparent review process that encourages public input at every step, and DEC’s determination included consideration of nearly 6,000 public comments. DEC will continue to thoroughly evaluate all applications to ensure they do not adversely impact the environment.
The protesters, attorney Michael Sussman, and some area officials say they are determined in their efforts to stop what they feel is a dangerous project because of potential explosions, air pollutants, and environmental impacts such as disruption of the eagle nest.