Send comments to NJDEP by August 23 to demand that they follow State regulations and deny the permits for the NESE Project.
We’re celebrating the return of whales and dolphins to the Raritan Bay after years of efforts to clean the waters have paid off.
The shore economy is vital to New Jersey.
This is at risk from the proposed Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) Project which, if approved, would threaten surface water quality standards; fish and marine life migration, feeding and breeding; and the livelihoods of those who depend on the cleaner waters of Raritan Bay.
Coastal water has improved significantly since their low point in the 1970s. Stricter environmental laws, investments in waste treatment, and the decline of industries on the rivers that flow into the region have led to a dramatic improvement in water quality. The old toxins have become buried beneath the seabed of the Raritan Bay.
Under the Federal Water Quality Act, states have the right and the duty to protect the quality of their local waters. Under New Jersey State law, it is the Department of Environmental Protection that carries out this responsibility. The NJDEP must evaluate any project that might degrade the color, clarity, temperature, or odor of NJ waters, or that might introduce oils, chemicals, or other refuse. Thus far, Williams/Transco has not demonstrated that they would not degrade water quality in Raritan Bay or wetlands from construction of the NESE Project.
NJDEP denied the 2018 applications on June 5, 2019, and Williams/Transco submitted new applications on June 12.
Bayshore community councils around the proposed Raritan Bay Loop passed resolutions opposing NESE in March & April 2019: Aberdeen, Atlantic Highlands, Hazlet, Highlands, Holmdel, Keansburg, Keyport, Long Branch, Matawan, Middletown, Rumson, Sea Bright, and Union Beach. However, resolutions will not stop it.
NJDEP has the ability to “protect, conserve and manage the natural resources of the State, which are by law precious and invaluable public resources held by the State in trust for the benefit of the public; and the rights of the people of the State to enjoy their natural resources free from interference by pollution and contamination.” - from 3/27/19 State lawsuit against DuPont Accessed at: https://www.nj.gov/oag/newsreleases19/Parlin_Filed-Complaint_and_Jury-Demand.pdf
We have less than two weeks to show Governor Murphy and the DEP that opposition to the pipeline is growing and demand they do the right thing to protect our waters, communities and climate by stopping the NESE Project for good.
We have until August 23 to send comments to NJDEP about the requested permits for NESE.
Now is the time to let the NJDEP know that the NESE Project is a threat that we do not want and one that violates State regulations. If we don’t do everything we can now to stop this Project, Williams/Transco will be building a fracked gas pipeline through the Raritan Bay this time next year.
Some Issues with the Raritan Bay Loop of NESE:
The 23.49 mile Raritan Bay Loop of Williams/Transco’s proposed NESE Project – starting onland and then going under Raritan Bay off the shore of Sayreville and Old Bridge near the Raritan Bay Slag Superfund Site to an offshore spot near Rockaway NY - would dig up the toxins that are currently buried beneath the seafloor during 7 to 8 months of 24/7 construction. These toxins (PCBs, mercury, arsenic, copper, lead, zinc, DDT & dioxins) would be spread in the waters, smother clams and other bottom dwelling creatures, and be ingested by creatures that rely on this area for food. The toxins would then get into the food chain and could wash up on the shore.
The noise from inserting and removing piles in the bay is expected to be damaging enough that Williams/Transco has asked for permission to cause permanent hearing loss to 7 gray seals and 16 harbor seals. They have asked for permission for construction to disrupt behavioral patterns (including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering) for: 6,331 bottlenose dolphins, 95 common dolphins, 826 gray seals, 1,780 harbor seals, 4 harp seals, 1 minke whale, 11 harbor porpoises (Species of Concern in NJ and NY), and the following Endangered Species - 30 humpback whales, 5 fin whales, 2 North Atlantic right whales.
A critical mass of comments is needed to demand that NJDEP protects our waters and denies permits for the NESE Project.
Comment ideas can be found on the websites:
Send comments to: Joslin C. Tamagno - Environmental Supervisor
NJDEP, Division of Land Use Regulation - Mail Code 501-02A - P.O. Box 420 - Trenton, NJ 08624
You can also sign online petition letters sending this message. One, from Sierra Club, can be found at: Petition Link: https://secure3.convio.net/scnj/site/Advocacy…