We were fortunate enough to have Union College junior Meghan Keator approach her academic advisor with the request to do an internship with an environmental organziation like the Sierra Club. One thing led to another and this last spring/summer Meghan was assigned to our Chapter Office in Albany. At the time and unfortunately, continuing to the present day, the PFOA (Perfluoroctanoic Acid) crisis in Hoosick Falls and then Petersburg, both in Rensselaer County were unfolding. We thought that a first hand report based on iterviews and discussions with people being affected by the contamination within the backdrop of the state, local and federal government response would be a very worthy and meaningful endeavor.
Meghan describes some of the day to day fear and uncertaintly that those affected by PFOA continue to experience. People may think that the crisis is lessening and that things are back to normal in Petersburg (and Hoosick Falls) but that is not the case. The lack of coordination among government agencies, particularly at the local level is disappointing and tragic. The HMG of the load her report at the link below:
Three Pipelines Proposed to Transport Fracked Oil Whose Routes Pass Near the Capital Region. There are currently three pipelines that are being proposed whose purpose is the transportation of crude fracked oil. Their proposed routes will all pass through areas very close to the Capital Region. From the refineries the oil will be transported to potential consumers. The dangers of transporting the fracked crude oil are potentially very grave to lands, water, wildlife and ultimately to humans. These are some of the dangers:
The names and approximate routes of the three pipelines are as follows:
The Northeast Energy Direct Pipeline, also known as the Kinder Morgan Pipeline will be routed from the Marcellus Shale region of Pennsylvania to the north shore of Massachusetts by way of New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire with lateral lines in Connecticut. At present, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is putting together an Environmental Impact Statement that will review impacts of the construction and operation of this pipeline. A group called SNYFGP or Stop New York Fracked Gas Pipeline has as its focus blocking construction of this pipeline. Our (Sierra Club Hudson Mohawk Group) "Capital Region All Green Calendar" - see the link at the top of this page lists their ongoing activities and a link to more information.
The Constitution Pipeline: This pipeline is designed to transport gas from the fracking fields of Susquehanna County, Pa. to Schoharie N.Y.This pipeline would run from the Southern Tier, along the Western slope of the Catskills.Along the way it will cross 277 streams, and will need to clear cut more than 700,000 trees. 1800 acres of farmland and forest will be destroyed.Right now, the DEC is poised to deny its water quality certificate which is similar to how President Obama blocked the Keystone Pipeline. Please call Governor Cuomo at 877-235-6537 and urge him to “Keystone” the Constitution Pipeline.A key group associated with the blocking of this particular pipeline is Stop the Pipeline or STP. More information on their efforts can be located at: www.stopthepipeline.org
The Pilgrim PipelineThis pipeline would comprise two parallel pipelines, each 24 inches in diameter that would run from Albany to Linden, N.J.It would cover 178 miles each crossing Albany, Greene, Ulster, Orange, and Rockland Counties.In the Capital Region, laterals are proposed to cross the Hudson to tank farms in Rensselaer County.Bakken Oil will be sent south, and refined oil will be sent north.The pipeline would pass through the Highlands region in Northern New Jersey, an area which provides half the water for the state of New Jersey.The Coalition against the Pilgrim Pipeline, or CAPP is a good resource for information on this issue and how to take action against the pipeline. Additional information about CAPP can be found at: http://stoppilgrimpipeline.com/
Note: Many thanks to our colleagues at the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) for providing content and additional resource information. They are deeply involved in this issue and more information on their efforts can be found at: http://www.outdoors.org/
Sierra Club Hudson Mohawk Group
P.O. Box 8447
Albany, NY 12208
See "Activities and Events" section for volunteer opportunities