Residents of Schoharie should know that many of us are working very hard to make sure that gas pipelines will not be approved unless they can be shown to be safe.
The County Board of Supervisors has authorized an outreach to every other county in the state, asking them to join us in supporting a comprehensive look at all health and safety impacts, to be conducted by independent, prominent public health professionals.
This effort has been reinforced by the American Medical Association, which supports the creation of a law requesting regulatory agencies to properly evaluate and guard against the many health risks presented by gas pipelines, compressor stations, and related activities. The AMA is clearly unsatisfied with the way in which these reviews are currently conducted.
A group of doctors from around the state is being formed to meet with and educate legislators and high-ranking state officials. These doctors know from their research and private practice that many risks and impacts of pipeline infrastructure are being overlooked by what is basically an amateur staff at regulatory agencies.
One of these research projects has just included the compressor station in the Town of Wright, which is slated to be much larger if the Constitution Pipeline is given final permits. Air and water quality testing and health interviews with nearby residents will provide much better information than anything the Dept. of Environmental Conservation is currently using to guide its decisions.
I am calling, now, on all of you who are rightly concerned about the way in which pipeline projects are expanding so rapidly and being reviewed too quickly, to join those of us who have written to Governor Cuomo. Ask him to place the same kind of moratorium on gas pipelines as he did on fracking and for the same reason; to have time to fully understand the risks, to determine if they can be avoided, and to decide if they outweigh the benefits.
Town of Schoharie Supervisor