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Croton Wins a Big One

May 6, 2006

Crotonblog: Letters to the Editor, Croton-on-Hudson, New York 10520
Fran Allen wrote a wonderful letter to the Gazette a few weeks ago thanking all the people who worked so hard to defeat the Millennium Pipeline planned route through our community. It was a huge win and many people and communities joined Croton to contribute to the effort. The Town and Village of Ossining, the Village of Briarcliff and the Town of Cortlandt provided financial support and energy to the fight and it was very much appreciated.

Croton may be over $750,000 poorer but we are richly reimbursed by the knowledge that we have protected our treasured natural resources. Neil Levy of the Washington law firm of Kirkland and Ellis told us we can take particular pride in the tremendous value Croton’s Coastal Zone Management Program and Local Waterfront Revitalization Program played in the legal proceedings. This success can be directly attributed to the foresight our Village leaders showed years ago when the entire Village was covered by the protections indelibly written into these programs. As part of the federal and state Coastal Zone Management Program, from the middle of Haverstraw Bay through the Arboretum to the well fields, and all along the proposed pipeline path, Croton had CZM protections in place. These programs dictated the environmental basis for the case and without them there would have been no case. The pipeline very likely would have been built through all the unprotected areas — private properties, Teatown Lake, and our neighboring municipalities to name a few.

Now that Millennium has asked the Federal Regulatory Commission to “vacate without prejudice” the plans for this most destructive route, we need to go back in time and give credit to those who laid the groundwork to make it happen. Our beloved Danny Saltzberg, former Mayor Bob Elliott, and former Trustee Merrily Schalansky deserve recognition. Our long-time village volunteers who are the real protectors of our treasured environment deserve our undying thanks. Many contributed endless hours and expertise but special mention must be made of Fran Allen, Joel Klein, Ann Gallelli, Charlie Kane, Leo Wiegman, Karen Bernard and Sally Odlund. They were our “Founding Fathers.”

Croton is right to celebrate this major victory.

— Georgianna Grant, X-Trustee


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