WASHINGTON - Today, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, along with members of the state and local New Jersey government, sent a letter to Cheryl A. LaFleur, Acting Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), to express grave concerns regarding the Williams Transco’s Northeast Supply Enhancement project and proposed compressor station.
“This letter echoes the concern this community has continuously expressed to its federal, state and local elected officials as well as private sector partners. Williams has not done enough to ensure the community that these grievances are taken seriously nor done their due diligence to address the uncertainty of health and safety impacts in the surrounding communities,” said Rep. Watson Coleman. “The bipartisan group of lawmakers that signed this letter serves only to reinforce the level of community concern about this poorly planned proposal and project.”
The proposed 32,000-horsepower gas compressor is planned to be built at the Trap Rock Quarry on Route 27 in Kingston. Trap Rock Quarry, a quarry with active blasting, is located on New Jersey’s second largest aquifer. This quarry has been historically problematic to the health and safety of the residents in the surrounding area because of the noise, pollution and debris. Additionally, local first responders have limited access to the area and restricted fire safety resources in the event of a problem or accident at the substation.
Concerns with this project and others nationwide predicated legislation Rep. Watson Coleman introduced last year entitled the SAFER Pipelines Act. This bill would reform the gas pipeline approval process undertaken by FERC in order to ensure a comprehensive analysis that considers the cumulative impact of gas pipeline projects and better assesses need for new pipelines.