Stockton also noted that the pipeline planners have had ongoing discussions with state DOT officials, indicating that the agency “prefers that the pipeline is not located within the I-88 corridor.”
In order to co-locate the pipeline in the I-88 controlled access areas, the pipeline company would be required by both the state agency and the Federal Highway Administration to show that there are no viable alternative routes, Stockton said.
“Clearly in this case, there are other viable alternative routes,” he said.
However, in the view of Anne Marie Garti of East Meredith, an organizer of the grassroots group Stop the Pipeline, the fact that both the state agency and the Army Corps of Engineers have significant reservations with the preferred route suggests the project could be shot down.
“The only reason they want to go through central New York State is so they can frack along the way, and then export the gas via Canada,” said Garti in suggesting the project is a Trojan horse for the drilling industry.
Garti said there are existing routes for sending the gas to the stated destinations of Boston and New York City, but “they want to go to Schoharie County so they can more money by exporting the gas.”
The pipeline company projects that construction could being as early as June 2014 if FERC approves the project. The company also estimates that the construction phase would create 1,300 construction jobs and result in property tax collections of some $13 million for the four counties in New York and the one in Pennsylvania that would be traversed by the 122-mile pipeline.