Caught in FERC legal limbo
Another issue that is repeatedly raised by StopMCS is that another site, called the Wagoner Alternative, located some 10 miles away from the Minisink site, would serve Millennium and the public better and would impact fewer people. According to the StopMCS website, www.stopmcs.org, the Wagoner Alternative is already owned by the company and previously housed a compressor station.
There are 190 homes within 0.5 miles of the Minisink site with plans for 49 more houses. At the Wagoner site, there are no homes within .75 miles, and StopMCS claims there are numerous other advantages to the site, such as 44% fewer air emissions because the alterative site would require a smaller compressor station.
But Millennium claims it would “need to clear about 47.61 acres of forested land and use approximately 22 acres of cleared agricultural land to build on the Wagoner site, compared to 0.4 acres of forested land and 9.8 acres of agricultural land, for construction of the proposed Minisink station,” which would likely make the Wagoner site more expensive.
StopMCS disputes Millennium’s “tree clearing” claims because, Malick said, the company already owns the rights-of-way and thus the entire line is already cleared of trees and other vegetation. She said, “Their 47.61 acres number is absolutely false and emblematic of the many false statements they have made in this process.”
Meanwhile, Congresswoman Nan Heyworth is supporting the residents’ call for an expedited rehearing.
Further, 80 members of StopMCS visited the offices of Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand on October 18, and according to StopMCS both senators subsequently indicated that they are going to contact FERC and support the request of an expedited rehearing.