This past Wednesday, the NYS DEC denied the remaining permits for Millennium’s 7.8 mile Valley Lateral Pipeline slated for Orange County NY. The permits were denied on a conditional basis, with the DEC stating that FERC (federal energy regulatory commission) did not adequately address the downstream greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of natural gas that the pipeline projectwould be transporting to the CPV Power plant. FERC is now being asked by the DEC to “reopen the evidentiary record” for the project to hear additional information about greenhouse gas emissions associated with the plant.
While we love being surprised, FERC is known for being a rubber stamp agency for good reason. They are literally made up of people who have worked for the oil and gas industry and hardly ever reject a project. Now, that doesn’t mean the DEC gets a pass, because the same day they denied permits for the Valley Lateral, they approved permits for millennium’s Eastern System Upgrade. Therefore, we at HVEF! don’t trust any of these people to defend our bioregion and the water, land and air so many call home (human and nonhuman).
After fighting the corrupt CPV project for years, we believe it is time for those fighting these projects to expand beyond writing letters and calling representatives. While they can be valid tactics, they should have never been the only one’s being prioritized and now that the plant is 80% finished, direct action is needed now more than ever. The delay of the pipeline should be a call to action, not to complacency.
It is time to take matters into our own hands.
Let’s make sure this temporary victory becomes a permanent one.