Anne Marie Garti of East Meredith, one of the organizers of the grassroots group Stop the Pipeline, called the route adjustments being made by the Constitution Pipeline inadequate.
“It’s still in bad places,” said Garti,. She accused the pipeline planners of ignoring encouragement from the state Department of Environmental Conservation to co-locate the transmission system along existing rights of way for utility and highway projects.
“Little tweaks are meaningless,” she said.
Another component of the Constitution Pipeline project involves expanding an existing compressor station in the town of Wright. This week, the Schoharie County Planning Commission, spurred by Robert Nied of the Center for Sustainable Rural Communities, directed the town of Wright to conduct a more comprehensive environmental review of the compressor station’s impact.
Nied, a lawyer who is also aligned with Stop the Pipeline, said he believes the gas industry is targeting the region for eventual drilling, and the pipeline could become an eventual incentive to lure the industry to set up drill pads nearby.
In its latest response to FERC, the pipeline company said it was taking steps to address concerns regarding the impact of the project on organic farms. Some farmers have voiced fears that they would lose their organic certification because the area along the pipeline would be periodically treated with herbicides to stop vegetation from growing above the buried pipe.
Stockton, responding to a question about the organic farms, wrote: “A special construction plan will be developed in cooperation with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets to outline the steps Constitution Pipeline would take to protect organic farms along the construction route to ensure they keep their organic certification.
The pipeline project is strongly supported by business groups and labor unions.