Minisink, mothers, fathers and children take their fight to Capital Hill! Click here for full story! The decision to place a heavy industrial site in the center of a residential community has got this community up in arms and rightfully so. Moms from NYC came to support and rally side by side with Minisink mothers, fathers and children in a show of solidarity. Minidisk is located in southwest Orange County, New York northeast of the New Jersey border between the Town of Greenville and the Town of Warwick.. The population was 4,490 at the 2010 census.
Tanyette Colon tours Minisink, interviewing some residence to gain a perspective on the magnitude of this event to the residents. Her film really helps us get a good look at this town and the people who will be detrimentally affected.
I drove through this beautiful bucolic town with my associate on a beautiful Fall Saturday afternoon, 10/06/12, preparing to join the community’s rally against the pipeline and 15000 ton Compression station that was to make Minisink a “hub” for the natural gas distribution. Some of what you see captured here reflects my compassion and empathy for these young mothers – fighting to keep their children from being poisoned.
What is granted as a right and what we so often just take for granted as fundamental to life is in jeopardy here-clean water and clean air. As mothers we all need to be in solidarity with these Moms-that is why I started.
The Mothers Project Angela Monti Fox.
Moms Never Give Up at Protest Rally 10/06/12
Household composition: Young Families, children, 911 First Responders, and Older Americans.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,585 people, 1,182 households, and 945 families residing in the town. The population density was 155.2 people per square mile (59.9/km²). There were 1,245 housing units at an average density of 53.9 per square mile (20.8/km²). The census further tells us that there are 1,182 households out of which 44.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.3% were married couples living together, 7.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.0% were non-families. 15.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older.
Further Minisink is the quiet lovely town where many 911 first responders now live –on the recommendation of their doctors –the air and water is is clean-stress from noise non-existent-reinforcing their need to let day to day life present no further challenges to their already compromised immune system.
So one has to ask, what is wrong with this picture? Why was this spot chosen to become the “hub” for the transmission of methane in a pipe line ironically named Millennium, and a 15,000 ton compression station-to be placed right smack in the middle of thisresidential neighborhood. Yes, what is wrong with this picture! We don’t know the answer to this question but we do know this very quiet community with clean air and clean water is about to be criminally invaded and ruined..and maybe not immediately as in war..but sooner and later lives will be lost.
Some Critical Facts about the safety record of The Millennium Pipeline Company, which owns and operates a 180-mile gas pipeline that stretches throughout New York’s Southern Tier has not had a good safety record. Defective welds in these pipes have been found by Federal inspectors posing a serious risk to public and environmental safety. An indication of clear and present danger for this residential community, not to mention the health consequences for the residents, particularly the children inherent in the normal operation of any compression station.
Excellent article in Eco Watch provides more in depth details on the 16 months battle that the residents have been engaged in.
FOR MMEDIATE RELEASE by www.stopmcs.org
Stop The Minisink Compressor Station/News Release
Minisink Residents for Environmental Preservation and Safety
Oct.4, 2012- On Saturday, October 6th, beginning at 2pm, residents of Minisink, NY, will again be marching for justice in efforts to halt construction activities of the proposed Minisink Compressor Station, in the hamlet of Westtown, NY
Despite the fact that a rehearing is pending, and further litigation is imminent, Millennium Pipeline has started construction of the facility this week.
For four consecutive days, Minisink residents have managed to seriously delay construction activities by physically blocking the entrance to the site of the proposed compressor station.Two residents were arrested for disorderly conduct- a father of two young children on Monday, and a local farmer on Tuesday.
This case is shaping up to be a historic landmark decision, and it will set a legal precedent not only for NY state but also nation-wide.
The plan calls for the siting of a 12,260 horsepower compressor station in the midst of a residential / agricultural zoned community; it is predicted that the station would release (from two 52-ft stacks) over 61,000 tons of pollutants into the air each year, including many known carcinogens, as turbines compress natural gas into pipelines.
Residents also have serious misgivings about the safety of the proposed facility. Millennium, a subsidiary of NiSource (who is responsible for the devastating compressor station explosion in Artemas PA last fall), proposes to site the compressor just over 600 ft. away from the closest homes. There are 239 homes within a half a mile from the site and several small organic farms. Minisink has no town police, and only volunteer firefighters, should a gas emergency occur at this location. To add insult to injury, Minisink is home to a large community of 9/11 First Responders living with respiratory and other health problems.
Publicly unveiled over a year ago by Millennium Pipeline, the Minisink Compressor plan has met with incredible opposition, largely because there is an alternative plan now exists that ensures dramatically less impact on local communities, farms, and the environment. This community-backed proposal is known as the Wagoner Alternative.
The Wagoner Alternative would site a much smaller compressor station- with less than half the horsepower- in an industrially zoned location in without one home within a half-mile
Last month, FERC ruled in a 3-2 split decision to approve the Minisink Compressor project. Chairman Wellinghoff and Commissioner LaFleur, however, wrote strong statements of dissent, agreeing the community-backed alternate plan, the Wagoner Alternative, was a superior proposal
Earlier this month FERC (The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) issued a tolling order on the controversial project. The agency is taking more time to review the community’s issues, the Environmental Assessment, and viability of the Wagoner Alternative
Carolyn Elefant, the D.C.-based attorney representing the residents of Minisink, believes the community has an excellent chance of having the decision overturned.
An emergency motion to stay construction until a final decision is reached has been submitted to FERC, but as of yet has not been granted or denied. Meanwhile residents are vowing to defend their community from any construction activity on the highly controversial natural gas project. They say Millennium is rushing the project because they are worried that the FERC ruling may be overturned by a superior court.
The community is calling for immediate action from Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, as well as Representative Hayworth to intervene on behalf of the community to ensure their due process and constitutional rights, and say industry pressure is the only explanation for the ambiguous FERC rulings.
Minisink residents are prepared to peacefully intervene throughout the coming weeks, at 90 Jacobs Rd., Westtown, NY,10998. A very large turnout is expected on Saturday at 2pm.
More information about Minisink’s fight can be found at www.stopmcs.org 911 First Responders, and Older Americans.or on FERC’s e-library, Docket CP11-515.