ascFrom the Morning Memo:

Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins this week sent a letter to federal regulators urging them to halt the construction of a pipeline being constructed near the Indian Point nuclear plant.

In the letter to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Norman Bay, Stewart-Cousins asks for work to cease on the project before an independent risk analysis can be performed.

“I believe that the myriad of questions raised with respect to the project’s potential risks to the public health and safety, as well as its proximity to Indian Point, underscore the need for such a study and analysis to be completed,” she wrote in the letter.

Stewart-Cousins’s Yonkers-area district sits down river the plant.

As Zack Fink reported this month, the Algonquin Incremental Market Project, or AIM, is a natural gas pipeline that is planned to cut through several states in order to meet energy demands in both New York and New England.

But concerns have been raised by outside experts that the pipeline is coming too close to Indian Point, a Buchanan-based nuclear facility that supplies 2,000 megawatts of power to New York City and the surrounding area.

The pipeline itself comes within 105 feet of some of the structures the provide needed power at Indian Point.

Stewart-Cousins, in her letter, notes at least one federal study has concluded the pipeline project poses “no additional risk” to Indian Point. But a separate review conducted by local officials differs from the conclusions reached by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Meanwhile, there are additional concerns the facility sits atop an earthquake fault line, with the NRC due to complete a separate study on Indian Point’s seismic vulnerabilities by June 2017.

“In light of these significant factors, I believe progress on the AIM pipeline should be halted until the NRC has completed its seismic analysis of Indian Point and a transient risk analysis by an independent entity is conducted,” Stewart-Cousins added.

AIM Pipeline Letter to FERC August 2015 by Nick Reisman