Judge rejects ‘necessity defense’
More than two years after three protestors spent most of a day inside a natural gas pipeline under construction near the Indian Point nuclear power plant, a Cortlandt town judge found them guilty of trespassing.
Justice Kimberly Ragazzo allowed the protestors to present a “necessity defense” — that their actions were designed to prevent a catastrophe if the pipeline were to break or burst close to the aging plant. While she rejected the argument and found them guilty, she imposed no punishment. Prosecutors had asked that each serve 300 hours of community service with a non-environmental group.
The project, an expansion of the Alqonquin Incremental Market (AIM) pipeline, is being built by Enbridge (formerly Spectra) to transport gas between Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.