Yorktown residents protest fracked gas expansion with vigil

Posted: Updated:
YORKTOWN -

Members Yorktown's Willow Park community called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to help stop the build-out of fracked-gas infrastructure during an interfaith vigil Saturday afternoon. 

The event was one of several statewide gatherings linked to the "Walk the Talk" campaign – a reference to the governor's anti-fracking stance during his 2017 State of the State address. 

Some Willow Park community members say they are under siege by Spectra Energy Corp. and its Atlantic Bridge Pipeline project. 

Vigil organizers say they are concerned about the health and safety risks involved with the construction and expansion project of the fracked-gas pipeline traveling through the Northeast up to Canada. 

The project also involves running the pipe near the Indian Point Nuclear Power plant. 

"It's 105 feet from the critical infrastructures," says Bette Ann Jaster. "If it should explode, it would take out the Indian Power plant as well as a 50-mile radius of the plant, which includes New York City."

The group also expressed environmental concerns and said the project adds no benefit the area. 

Gov. Cuomo's office released a statement saying in part, “[The Department of Environmental Conservation] will continue to closely monitor this project during all phases of construction to ensure the environment and all New Yorkers are protected.”

Spectra told News 12 in a statement, “Algonquin Gas Transmission respects the right of individuals to peacefully express their positions. We encourage the public to provide input on our operations and projects, contact their local officials, and participate in the regulatory process for our projects. Our pipelines provide a vital source of reliable, affordable energy for the nation's homes, hospitals, businesses and schools.

The organization also says, “Low energy prices help everyone, particularly those least able to pay their bills - people making the tougher decisions about energy, food, and clothing for their families. The Algonquin system has been operating safely in the area for more than 60 years providing clean, reliable, domestic natural gas to heat homes and businesses.”

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