BUCHANAN, N.Y. -- Justin Wagner, Democratic candidate for State Senate in the 40th District, said he would oppose turning over parkland for the Algonquin pipeline expansion.
Wagner, at a playground in Buchanan on Wednesday, Aug. 20, said he would block legislation authorizing the transfer of town land to Spectra Energy for the proposed pipeline project.
The 42-inch Spectra Algonquin gas pipeline would replace a previous 26-inch pipeline that runs through Cortlandt and has existed for 60 years. The pipeline, which must be approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, would run across the Hudson River and into Peekskill and Yorktown.
Wagner accused Yorktown councilman Terrence Murphy, who is running for the Republican nomination, of voting to transfer Yorktown parkland to Spectra for the pipeline.
"Northern Westchester does not need a new large pipeline to carry fracked natural gas through Cortlandt, Peekskill and Yorktown -- and we certainly shouldn’t be permanently handing Spectra Energy public parkland to help them build it," Wagner said. "There are huge and well-founded community concerns about this project’s impacts on public health and safety.”
The Town of Cortlandt and City of Peekskill have both spoken out and passed resolutions expressing its concerns about the pipeline.
Supervisor Linda Puglisi and many residents have reservations about the pipeline's placement 450 feet from Buchanan-Verplanck Elementary School and the fact that the area already has Indian Point Power Plant.
“The risks to our children, communities and environment are too great. I join the prudent, bipartisan opposition of Cortlandt, Peekskill, and Buchanan’s local governments to this project," Wagner said. "I will stand with my concerned neighbors in Yorktown, whose concerns have gone unheeded by Terrence Murphy.”
TJ McCormack, a spokesman for Murphy said Wagner works for a law firm that has represented companies responsible for the worst incidents of water pollution in the country.
"It's funny watching Justin Wagner pretend to care about our environment," McCormack said in a statement.