CHATHAM, NJ - The Borough of Chatham Council passed a resolution to oppose the proposed Pilgrim Oil Pipeline, and formed a citizens advisory committee in the same resolution, by a 5-1 vote Monday at its regular meeting.
The lengthy and strongly worded resolution drawn up by Mayor Bruce Harris and read into the record, also calls for the formation of a Chatham Borough Pilgrim Pipeline Advisory Committee, which would obtain information and advise the mayor and borough council about organized efforts to oppose the pipleline.
The members named to the advisory committee were Len Resto, Kate Murphy, Tony Britt and Dick Plambeck. Council members John Holman, James Collander and Alida Kass were named the liaisons to the citizens committee. Kass cast the dissenting vote on the resolution, explaining that she felt it was too early in the process to vote in opposition.
"We have citizens who are interested in forming an advisory committee who will help both us and the public understand everything that is going on," Holman said. "It's the formation of towns coming together, it's a formation of groups coming together. It's given us advice on the actions taken by other people. We're going to be very active on this."
Pilgrim Pipeline is proposing to build an underground oil pipeline from Albany, N.Y. to Linden, which would pass through Chatham Borough's PSE&G right-of-way.
"This is going to be a long, difficult and probably expensive process," James Collander, council member, said in relation to the legal fight to stop the Pilgrim Pipeline. "There seems to be some sense that if we have any communication with Pilgrim Pipeline that it would be the wrong thing to do. If you're in negotiation with anyone, you must know who your enemy is and have some concept of what they're thinking. To ignore them would be a mistake. You have to sit down and understand what they're trying to do, if nothing else."
Mayor Bruce Harris reads resolution, which he wrote, opposing the Pilgrim Pipeline into the record
Council member Alida Kass explains her no vote on passing the resolution to oppose the Pilgrim Pipeline
According to a release from Cindy Kane of "Chatham Citizens Opposing the Oile Pipeline," Chatham Borough became the 10th New Jersey town to officially oppose the pipeline. Chatham joins joins East Hanover, Chatham Township, Madison, Mahwah, Montville, Oakland, Parsippany, Watchung, and Kinnelon in passing similar resolutions. The Passaic County Freeholders and the New York towns of Rosendale and New Paltz have also passed resolutions against the pipeline.