FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 23, 2018
Junior Romero, firstname.lastname@example.org, (909) 202-5961
Sandra Meola, Sandra@nynjbaykeeper.org, 201-336-4647
ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS, HOMEOWNERS SLAM DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW FOR WILLIAMS’ NORTHEAST SUPPLY ENHANCEMENT PROJECT
Franklin Township, NJ – Environmental groups and impacted homeowners today condemned the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) over the agency’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Williams Transco Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) Project, which would transport fracked gas from Pennsylvania through New Jersey and across the Raritan Bay to New York City.
According to the groups, the draft EIS falsely claims that the project would not cause significant adverse environmental impacts or harms to public health. This ignores the significant range of concerns raised by elected officials, scientists and thousands of nearby residents, who argue that important details are missing about how the project will adversely affect air quality. The groups also note that a recent study shows that New York state will not meet its 2030 emissions goals if proposed pipelines like NESE are approved.
“I’m very concerned about the detrimental effects that this pipeline and compressor station would have on our air, the Raritan Bay, and the health of the people of New Jersey. It would have unacceptable and irreparable impacts on our communities.” said Senator Kip Bateman (LD-16).
“FERC has so far failed to include the essential information on the NESE project that would accurately show the impact to New Jersey communities and our environment. Their behavior is shameful,” said Ron Waetzman, President of Princeton Manor Homeowners Association. “FERC has failed to provide the public with an accurate risk assessment for dangerous pipe failures, including explosions similar to the Edison pipeline explosion in 1994, where the fire could be seen from 50 miles away. Our community is only half a mile from the proposed Compressor Station 206 and the significant safety risks for the 750+ residents who are seniors is substantial and FERC has not addressed these risks.”
Lawyers at Eastern Environmental Law Center (EELC) have stated that the DEIS is a poor start to what should be a comprehensive review. Will Bittinger, the EELC attorney handling the case said, “There’s a lot of compelling evidence that the human health and environmental impacts from NESE are significant. It’s one thing to have all these impacts if the project is truly in New Jersey’s interest, and an effort has been made to eliminate or minimize the impacts. But several communities and experts have concluded that’s just not the case on this project.”
In the South Brunswick/Franklin Township area where Williams plans to build a new compressor station, there are approximately 1,000 homes, several condominium developments, as well as a shopping center, preschools, and places of worship.
“We will not stop our efforts fighting this pipeline puts our air, water, and the safety of our families at risk. The NJ citizens voices are clear on this project and we will stay committed to stopping it,” said Kevin Corcoran of the Central Jersey Safer Energy Coalition. “Our concerns about our air quality in central New Jersey are not adequately addressed by Williams, and our community is justly worried about increased negative health impacts such as asthma, cancer, and cardiovascular disease that could be caused from the emissions from this project’s toxic compressor station.”
“The pipeline will disrupt fishing, boating and recreational activities in the Raritan Bay, a sensitive and fragile ecosystem that has recently been experiencing significant regrowth,” said Sandra Meola, Communications and Outreach Director of NY/NJ Baykeeper. “Construction of the pipeline will disturb 14,000 acres of habitat for clams, horseshoe crabs, fish, and other marine animals.”
“The Raritan Bay fracked gas pipeline and the central New Jersey compressor station are unnecessary, dangerous proposals that only get in the way of Governor Murphy’s vision for 100 percent renewable energy for our state,” said Junior Romero, Regional Organizer with Food & Water Watch. “This project presents serious threats to residents near the pipeline, and to the many more who will be exposed to methane and benzene from the compressor station. It will further degrade the environments of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, it will do contribute to more climate chaos. These risks to public health and safety far outweigh the profits that Williams Transco stands to gain. We look forward to demonstrating the community opposition to NESE in the weeks and months to come.”
FERC has scheduled the following hearings on the DEIS:
April 25, 5-9pm at George Bush Senior Center, Old Bridge, NJ
April 26, 5-9pm at Best Western Gregory Hotel, Brooklyn, NY
May 2 5-9pm at Franklin Township Community Center, Somerset, NJ
May 3, 5-9pm at Solanco High School, Quarryville, PA
All interested parties can comment on the DEIS at that time, or submit their comments to FERC through their website within the 45 day comment period.
About NY/NJ Baykeeper
NY/NJ Baykeeper is the citizen advocate of the NY-NJ Harbor Estuary. Since 1989, we’ve worked to protect, preserve, and restore the environment of the most urban estuary on Earth – benefiting its natural and human communities. Through our Estuary-wide programs we seek to end pollution, improve public access, conserve and restore public lands, restore aquatic habitats, encourage appropriate and discourage inappropriate development, carry out public education, and work with federal and NY/NJ state regulators and citizen groups as partners in planning for a sustainable future for the NY-NJ Harbor Estuary watershed.
About Food & Water Watch
Food & Water Watch champions healthy food and clean water for all. We stand up to corporations that put profits before people, and advocate for a democracy that improves people’s lives and protects our environment. One of the first national environmental groups to call for a permanent ban on fracking, we organize communities and educate policymakers regarding fighting fossil fuel infrastructure proposals, the monopolization & privatization of food and water, and championing a New Jersey & country Off Fossil Fuels & onto 100% renewable energy.
About Central Jersey Safe Energy Coalition
The Central Jersey Safe Energy Coalition is a group of residents of Central Jersey which includes citizen leaders, environmental scientists, professional engineers, home owners, and others who are seriously concerned that the energy solutions introduced in our area properly protect our environment and our residents. The group stands in opposition to the Williams/Transco Northeast Supply Enhancement Project (FERC Docket PF16-5) which proposes additional pipeline under Raritan Bay and a large gas-powered gas Compression Station #206 on the border between Franklin and South Brunswick Townships.