Saturday, April 13, 2013

Diana, Skoufis talk KJ pipeline face to face 

When Orange County Executive Edward Diana and Assemblyman James Skoufis attended the same event at Stewart Airport on Friday, they wound up talking to one another about the Kiryas Joel pipeline controversy.

The county legislature one week ago passed a resolution calling for the work on a county road – Silver Springs Road – to stop, but Diana has consistently said the resolution was advisory and all of the county permits have been approved to open up the should of the road to lay the pipeline to tap the New York City aqueduct.

Skoufis and County Legislator Roxanne Donnery, both Democrats, have been at the construction site this week calling for the work to stop.

After their private discussion, Republican Diana acknowledged that Skoufis and he have different beliefs about the project.

“There are two difference issues here; one is a road opening permit to put a pipe in the ground, which they have everything in place – their municipal right-of-ways; any municipality can do it, I believe it’s a state law that says that,” Diana said. The water is another issue, he said.

“That will be addressed by New York State and eventually the DEP of New York City on the aqueduct.”

Skoufis has a different point of view.

“You can’t build a shed in your backyard or put a porch on your front deck without all the permits in place, and that’s all we are asking here. I don’t think that’s too much to ask,” Skoufis said.

The freshman lawmaker, meanwhile, has organized a busload of people to go to the construction site on Monday morning and protest the continued work.


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