CHATHAM, NJ - An ordinance to amend land-use regulations that will effectively prohibit the construction of the Pilgrim Pipeline in Chatham Township was unanimously adopted by the Chatham Township Committee on Thursday night.
Pilgrim Pipeline is planning an oil pipeline that would start in Albany, N.Y. and travel to refineries in Linden and then back to Albany, with a route that passes through Chatham Township and Chatham Borough.
Committee members Mike Kelly, Curt Ritter, Karen Swartz and Mayor Kevin Sullivan all voted for the amendment. Committee member Robert Gallop was absent.
The township ordinance, the first of its kind in the battle to keep Pilgrim from building the crude oit pipeline, prohibit "unregulated" pipelines
"Pipelines that are not public utilities that distribute services to end users and are unregulated by the State of New Jersey Board of Public Utilities are prohibited in all zone districts," states the ordinance, in part.
During the public comment section of the meeting before the vote, Dr. Michael S. Leung informed the committee of the extensive study he conducted on the dangers of crude oil. Basically, in his highly technical report, Leung pointed out that Benzine, a chemical added to gasoline products, could cause cancer.
He also detailed many other health risks that could arise if there was an oil spill from a pipeline such as the one Pilgrim is proposing.
Attorney Albert Cruz says ordinance agrees with Chatham Township's Master Plan