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Water Walk for Life to Follow Pipeline Route

The Water Walk for Life will travel 170 miles in 13 days, following the proposed pipeline route. (Andy Cross)
The Water Walk for Life will travel 170 miles in 13 days, following the proposed pipeline route. (Andy Cross)
July 20, 2017

NEW YORK -- On Saturday, a Buddhist nun will begin a 13-day, 170-mile Water Walk for Life to protest a proposed dual pipeline from Albany to New Jersey.

Jun Yasuda, a world renowned environmental and human rights activist, will be leading the walk. According to George Cho, a spokesman for Water Walk for Life, the 13-day prayer walk will follow the route of the proposed Pilgrim Pipelines that would carry highly volatile Bakken crude oil south, and refined products back north to Albany; across 235 regulated streams in New York and two drinking water aquifers in New Jersey.

"As we walk, we are raising awareness to be able to resist the leases and companies that want to be able to move forward with this pipeline,” Cho said.

Promoters of the pipeline say it would end the risky process of transporting oil down the Hudson River by rail and barge, and help stabilize the East Coast oil infrastructure.

Cho pointed out that the refinery at the southern end of the proposed Pilgrim Pipeline is owned by Houston-based Phillips 66, which is also responsible for the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.

"That is the same company that is running through all the way up to Albany,” he said. "So we want to show support and solidarity for No DAPL and Standing Rock."

The route of the Pilgrim Pipeline would run through tribal lands in northern New Jersey belonging to the Ramapough Lenape Nation, which is opposed to the project.

The Water Walk for Life will begin Saturday with an opening ceremony on Lenape land in Mahwah, New Jersey. Then, Cho said, as many as 50 people will join in as they start their journey north.

"As a prayer walk, we are there to protect the earth, to protect the waters and to protect, for future generations, a cleaner environment,” Cho said.

The walk is scheduled to end around the 72nd anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, at the New York Peace Pagoda in Grafton, New York.

More information is available at GraftonPeacePagoda.org.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - NY