State Sen. Harckham Calls for Closing of AIM Pipeline

Peekskill, NY – New York State Senator Pete Harckham called for the shutdown of the Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) Pipeline in a letter recently sent to Neil Chatterjee, chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Harckham’s letter follows the release of a report from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Inspector General that asserts a faulty and potentially dangerous analysis led to the approval of the underground AIM gas pipeline at the Indian Point Energy Center in 2015.

In the report, the NRC’s inspector general shows the Indian Point nuclear power plant’s owners, Entergy, influenced the approval with an analysis based on information related to an above ground pipeline, which was compounded by the NRC’s reliance on computer software not applicable to a proper analysis of whether the pipeline posed a risk of explosion and catastrophic harm.

“The Indian Point Energy Center is right in the heart of my State Senate District, which each day lives in the shadow of a nuclear power plant with a potentially dangerous high-pressure natural gas pipeline running under it,” Harckham writes to FERC. “The thought of a pipeline explosion under a nuclear power plant is horrifying.”

Although the NRC has assured Washington lawmakers that a re-analysis of the pipeline will be conducted within 45 days, that is not good enough, says Harckham: he asks in his letter that FERC shut down AIM, “at the very least until the NRC presents its report on the new analysis.” Afterwards, regulators should determine from the new findings whether the pipeline should be permanently shut down.

In a statement released on Feb. 28, Harckham worried that FERC, NRC and Entergy are now “plotting” Indian Point’s decommissioning, “massive project with its own potential risks.”