Persistent concerns about air, water and noise pollution from the proposed Northeast Supply Enhancement Project (NESE) were discussed at the February 5 meeting of the Franklin Township Task Force on Compressor Station 206 & NESE.  Participants also spoke about increasing awareness and engagement in the opposition by citizens and elected officials.   

Williams/Transco’s proposed compressor station is slated to be constructed, next to Trap Rock Quarry an actively mined location and the Buddhist Vihara and Meditation Center, as well as the pipeline planned to go under Raritan Bay, are near Superfund Sites.  Both the compressor station and pipeline pose potential safety and health risks to wildlife and humans during construction as well as during operation. 

All risks and planned methods to address them need to be presented in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).  The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) plans to publish their DEIS for NESE in March 2018.  It will include sections about land use & construction methods; impacts on wetlands, vegetation and wildlife, air quality & noise; economics; reliability & safety; and analyses of alternatives as well as cumulative impacts from NESE with other projects in the areas.

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FERC will probably allow only 45 days after the DEIS is published for people to review and comment on this document to help ensure that all potential environmental, health and safety issues are address in ways that are thoroughly reported, analyzed, and protect the public, environment and wildlife on land and in the bay. 

Participants discussed the need for people with knowledge or a background in chemistry / biology, health impacts of air pollution, economics, leakage of pipelines & compressor stations, engineering – explosives, drilling & safety, water & wetlands, environmental impacts, wildlife & protection, and geology to volunteer to review a part of the DEIS and join with others to develop meaningful comments, questions and requests that are based on science and data. 

  • For more information about NESE, people were directed to the Task Force’s website, www.scrap-NESE.org
  • To volunteer to review a part of the DEIS or otherwise increase public awareness, participants were asked to email the Task Force at stopftcompressor@yahoo.com
  • Members of the Task Force and other organizations are available to speak with small groups, provide information to share with others, work with volunteers, and answer questions.

In contrast to the proposed Northeast Supply Enhancement Project which would increase reliance on fossil fuel energy for many years as well as increase methane emissions, a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide, Governor Murphy’s January 31 Executive Order #8, which supports offshore wind development as a way to move New Jersey to be a leader in the development of sustainable, renewable energy sources, was shared with the participants.  Governor Murphy’s Executive Order noted that wind, as a renewable and sustainable form of energy, will allow New Jersey to shift away from outdated energy sources, which have polluted our natural environment for decades.

Many people in New Jersey and New York are working to stop this risky proposed NESE project.  Everyone is encouraged to participate in the Franklin Township Task Force monthly meetings.  At each meeting, someone raises issues or offers ideas that are novel and help forward the action.  Meetings start approximately at 8:00 PM on Monday evenings at the Municipal Center (after the Environmental Commission meetings).  Dates for the upcoming 2018 meetings are:  March 5, April 2, May 7, June 4, July 16, August 20, September 17, October 1, November 5, and December 3.