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Environmental Advocates Call on Governor to Deny Pending Oil Projects


BINGHAMTON, N.Y.-- Fires, explosions, spills, ruptures, and toxic discharges. Toxics Targeting President Walter Hang said there are more than 100 documented incidents of these across the state of New York.

"Time and time again, at pipelines all across the state of New York, there have been uncontrolled releases that have caused water quality hazards that were never cleaned up to the applicable standards," he said.

That's why he and hundreds of others signed a letter for Governor Andrew Cuomo, asking him to fix compliance issues and deny pending applications for natural gas, crude oil, and petroleum infrastructure projects.

"These are not emotional appeals; we're not yelling at him and saying he's bad," Hang said. "We're basically pointing out his obligations under the law. We're using his own agency's data and the proof is in the pudding. That's a very powerful way to shape public policy on these matters."

"I think it's unfortunate that some groups feel the need to try and sensationalize and create unnecessary fear in New Yorkers," said Chris Stockton, Constitution Pipeline spokesman. "The fact is, there are thousands of miles of pipeline which safely operate and reliably transport gas and other fuels in New York every other day."

Stockton said people have to take this documentation for what it is.

"They're using 40 years worth of data, and I only counted three incidents or leaks that were related to interstate natural gas transmission pipelines, and none of those appear to have involved injuries," Stockton said. "We invest a lot of time, resources, and dollars making sure our pipelines operate safely and that they don't leak."

While Stockton doesn't believe there's a reason for the uproar, advocates are confident the governor will take a good look at the research. They hope he makes a decision similar to the one he made a year ago, banning fracking in the state.