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Westchester County Board of Acquisition and Contract Approves Pipeline Expansion Through Blue Mountain Reservation

July 2, 2015

From today’s inbox:

PRESS RELEASE

Ned McCormack, Communications Director (914) 995-2932
Contact: Dan Branda (914) 995-2913

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 2, 2015

FACTS ABOUT WESTCHESTER COUNTY’S ALGONQUIN PIPELINE AGREEMENT

The Algonquin Gas Transmission System is an existing interstate natural gas pipeline, owned and operated by Spectra Energy, running through New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. In Westchester County, Spectra has held a permanent easement for their pipeline in Blue Mountain Reservation (a county-owned park) since 1952.

In February 2014, Spectra applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to upgrade its current 26-inch pipeline with a 42-inch pipeline. In March 2015, FERC approved the application, granting Spectra broad authority that supersedes New York State Environmental Law to take additional parkland in Blue Mountain Reservation by eminent domain as part of the pipeline upgrade.

Recognizing that Spectra had authority to proceed with the Algonquin Pipeline project in the county-owned park regardless of any county action, the County Executive negotiated an agreement that:

ensures complete restoration of Blue Mountain Reservation;

limits the disturbance to the park to only 4.38 of the park’s 1,583 acres for 11 months;

limits the new pipeline within the existing permanent easement; and,

compensates the county $2 million for access to the park.

Today, the Board of Acquisition and Contract approved the license agreement, recognizing it to be in the best interests of Westchester County under the circumstances.

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