DRBC Grants New Gibbstown LNG Hearing
Today, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) unanimously voted to hold another hearing to revisit its June 12, 2019 approval of a docket for the Delaware River Partners, LLC Gibbstown Logistics Center Dock 2 project.
“DRBC has agreed to hold a rehearing on the Gibbstown LNG case. We believe DRBC were wrong when they had the first hearing. They completely failed to have an adequate public hearing without proper notice. The public also did not have enough time to comment given the size and complexity of the project. New Fortress has been hiding what they have been doing and this entire process has rushed and behind closed doors,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “Now with a rehearing, all of the facts will be on the table which and the DRBC should reject this disastrous proposal for an LNG facility. It’s too important for the safety of the public and environment.”
In June, the Delaware River Basin Commission voted to approve an application for a new dredging project at the Delaware River Partners (DRP) Gibbstown Logistics Center, a multi-use deep-water seaport and international logistics center currently under development, located at River Mile 86.5 of the Delaware River in Greenwich Township, Gloucester County, New Jersey. Yesterday, September 10th, DEP approved DRP’s application for their Waterfront Development Permit.
“The rehearing announcement from the DRBC comes just a day after DEP decided to side with polluters and grant Delaware River Partners their Waterfront Development Permit again after suspending them. DRBC is doing the right and the DEP should listen. We don’t know how the DEP could give this project a Waterfront Development Permit given all of the pollution and environment problems this project could bring. Development in this area will cause runoff and make flooding much worse. It is not just an LNG terminal, they will be storing other liquids and gas and on site,” said Tittel.
LNG facilities are extremely dangerous to the nearby communities and can have wide-reaching environment consequences. Toxins from the site can leach into the ground from the underground tank. These toxins can threaten the Delaware River which provides drinking water for millions of people in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Since the River is tidal, a spill or explosion could impact our drinking water supply. Sensitive ecosystems like wetlands along with endangered species like the Atlantic sturgeon could also be impacted.
“Delaware River Partners will bring 3.5 million gallons of LNG a day to the port from truck or rail, this is equivalent to 2 billion gallons of natural gas. These numbers can be greatly expanded if New Fortress gets an export license. Transporting LNG by rail is not legal yet. These trucks will be bombs on wheels, maybe hundreds a day going to the site, traveling miles and miles in all kinds of weather, through our neighborhoods and along our highways,” said Tittel. “The potential blast zone from an explosion will threaten residents all along the way. There is also the concern that in the future it would lead to them wanting to bring in pipelines to transport more fossil fuels.”
The NJ Department of Environmental Protection have not given the DRP their 401 Water Quality Certificate, and the project still needs to be approved by the Army Corp. and FERC.
“The responsibility and duty to protect us and the Delaware now falls on the DRBC. They have a second chance now. They must look at the impacts it will have on the Basin and reject the proposal altogether. An LNG port in the Delaware will not only cause catastrophic damage to the river and surrounding area, but prompt more fracking, and more use of GHG’s. We ask the DRBC to protect our safety, our health, and our environment by rejecting the LNG port in Gibbstown. It is too important for too many people,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.