CHATHAM, NJ - Mayor Kevin Sullivan and the Chatham Township Committee wasted no time in telling the public that it is paying attention to the concerns of the residents, unanimously passing a strongly worded resolution opposing the proposed Pilgrim Pipeline.
Pilgrim is proposing to build a crude oil pipeline from Albany, N.Y. to Linden, which would run underneath the PSE&G right-of-way path through both Chatham Borough and Chatham Township. Pilgrim has reportedly been bullying residents in other communities, such as Kinnelon, in an effort to gain access for surveys on privarte property.
Following the overflow crowd at the Borough of Chatham Council meeting on Monday, which demanded and received opposition to surveys on borough property, the township let the public know that it was on board with that approach.
Not only did the Chatham Township Committee vote to deny a request by Pilgrim for surveys on township property, each committee member spoke out against the proposed Pipeline. All members of the committee warned the public that the issue will not end with a resolution, but a grass-roots effort by the citizenry to use its political will to stop it.
Mayor Kevin Sullivan reads resolution, which was amended with stronger language, to oppose pipeline below
Committee member Kathy Abbott said she learned quite a bit by attending the borough meeing on Monday and quoted Dawn Ferguson, of "Chatham Citizens" about the importance of protecting our water sources. She also noted that "there was something odd" about a company that had been in business since 2003, but had yet to build an oil pipeline.
Committee member Robert Galllop suggested that the language in the resolution should be stronger. He said the committee should make it clear that Pilgrim will not be able to meet a standard of safety that would allow for its construction of the pipeline.
Committee member Bailey Brower, Jr. said, "The people in this room are not going to stop this pipeline," adding that it would take a more collective "grass roots' effort to turn this plan back.
During the public portion of the meeting, residents expressed concern that the "fix" was in and that Pilgrim already had some assurance from some unknown official that it could get approval. That, they surmised, was the reason Pilgrim was threatening citizens with "eminent domain" powers and speaking rudely to Kinnelon residents in a youtube video.
Deputy Mayor Curt Ritter said that this meeting represented just "The first step in a long journey," to defeat this plan by Pilgrim and urged residents to get more people involved.
Ken Dolsky gives some facts about the proposed Pilgrim Pipeline at Chatham Township Committee meeting
Chatham Township resident Joe Basralian says he is ready to fight the Pilgrim Pipeline in video below
Chatham Borough resident Brendan Keating speaks about how residents are organizing for the battle ahead