Resolution No. 388

Requesting The New York State Department Of Environmental Conservation And The New York Thruway Authority Assure Opportunities For Meaningful Public And Municipal Participation In The Scoping Process For The State Environmental Quality Review Of The Pilgrim Pipelines Project

Resolution Information




Referred to: The Energy and Environment Committee (Chairman Richard Parete and

Legislators Bartels, Heppner, Lapp and Wawro)

Legislator Jennifer Schwartz Berky and Legislators Bartels, Heppner and Wawro

offer the following:

WHEREAS, Pilgrim Pipeline Holdings, LLC, has proposed to construct two

pipelines carrying crude oil and refined petroleum products between Albany, New

York, and Linden, New Jersey, cutting through various residential areas in Ulster

County running through the Towns of Esopus, Lloyd, New Paltz, Plattekill,

Rosendale, Saugerties, and Ulster, as well as the City of Kingston; and

 WHEREAS, the Ulster County Legislature adopted Resolution No. 38 on

February 17, 2015, opposing the Pilgrim Pipeline for the potential threat to the

health, safety, and welfare of the community; possible decrease to the values of

homes located along its route and in surrounding neighborhoods; and potential to

negatively impact future development in Ulster County; and

 WHEREAS, pursuant to Resolution No. 485, dated December 15, 2015, the

Ulster County Legislature urged the Acting Commissioner of the NYS Department of

Environmental Conservation (DEC) to reject the request by the New York State

Thruway Authority to serve as lead agency for the environmental review process and

instead direct the NYS DEC to assume the role of lead agency; and

WHEREAS, the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) process for this

project is underway, and a decision may be made any day with regard to a

Declaration of Significance and the Scoping Process; and

WHEREAS, NYS DEC Acting Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel

Thomas Berkman stated in a letter regarding lead agency, dated December 21, 2015,

that “there is the potential for significant adverse environmental impacts associated

with the construction and operation” of the pipelines, “including, but not limited to,

impacts to hundreds of acres of forest, regulated water bodies and wetlands;” and

WHEREAS, Deputy Commissioner Berkman further stated that the SEQR

process for this proposed project “will be extensive and complex due to the myriad of

issues likely to be raised, the number of involved State and local agencies, and the

demonstrated public interest in the project;” and 


WHEREAS, the construction and operation of pipelines poses significant risks

not only to communities in the pipelines’ pathway but also to the many communities

along the rail line delivering oil to these pipelines, which could see a two- or threefold increase in crude-by-rail traffic if pipelines operate at full capacity; and

WHEREAS, the very large number of affected communities demands a

scoping process that can accommodate their effective participation to identify issues

of local and regional concern; and

WHEREAS, this participation will require time-consuming research by

municipalities and the public to analyze the proposal and identify potential impacts

on local land, water and air resources, cultural, historic, and community resources

and economic development; and

WHEREAS, broad public input in the SEQR process is vital, given the

millions of people potentially impacted by this project; and

WHEREAS, any local issue or concern related to the proposed Pilgrim

pipelines will only be examined in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement if

identified in the scoping process, making community participation in this step vital to

a comprehensive review; now, therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Ulster County Legislature requests the DEC and the

Thruway Authority, as Co-Lead Agencies, provide a minimum 90-day public

comment period following the release of a Draft Scoping Document; and, be it


RESOLVED, that the Ulster County Legislature requests that public

information sessions and hearings be held in every county in the pipeline pathway,

with at least one meeting along the crude-by-rail route that would serve the pipelines;

and, be it further

RESOLVED, that the Co-Lead Agencies make an extraordinary effort to

maximize public engagement regarding the scoping process, to make all the meetings

and comment deadlines widely known, and to help the public understand the

significance of their opportunity to participate in the scoping process; and, be it



RESOLVED, that the Clerk of the Ulster County Legislature shall forward

copies of this resolution to the NYS Thruway Authority Acting Executive Director

Bill Finch, NYS DOT Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll, U.S. Senators Charles

Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Congressman Chris Gibson, Governor Andrew

Cuomo, NY Public Service Commission Chairwoman Audrey Zibelman, Assembly

Member Kevin Cahill, Senator John Bonacic, and NYS DEC Commissioner Basil


and moves its adoption.


AYES: 17 NOES: 0

(1 Abstention: Legislator Greene)

(Absent: Legislators Belfiglio, Briggs, Litts,

Loughran, and Maloney)

Passed Committee: Energy and Environment on September 12, 2016






I, the undersigned Clerk of the Legislature of the County of Ulster, hereby certify that the foregoing resolution is

the original resolution adopted by the Ulster County Legislature on the 20th Day of September in the year Two Thousand

and Sixteen, and said resolution shall remain on file in the office of said clerk.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and seal of the County of Ulster this 21st Day of

September in the year Two Thousand and Sixteen.

|s| Victoria A. Fabella

Victoria A. Fabella, Clerk

Ulster County Legislature 

Current Text: PDF


Updated: January 25, 2019