Press Releases

Environmental Victory – Transco Withdraws NESE Pipeline Application to DEP

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In a small victory for the environment, Transco withdraws DEP’s application for their compressor station in Franklin Twp. on June 14, 2018 for approval under the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act rules & Flood Hazard Area Control Act rules. Transco also withdrew DEP’s application for their pipeline on the Old Bridge Raritan bay for approval under Coastal Wetlands Act rules, Waterfront Development Rules, and 401 Water Quality Rules.

It is a good day for the environment, Transco withdrew all of their applications to DEP. We said it is unneeded and this application is flawed and incomplete and it is. Any time they have to withdraw a permit or slow down the application process, it is a win. What is critical is that if they didn’t withdraw, DEP would have rejected them,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “Transco has reapplied, we beat them once, we will beat them again. Franklin Township and Raritan Bay will be saved for now, but we will keep battling. Time is on our side because it will take Transco another year to reapply.”

Transco’s NESE will interfere with Governor Murphy’s 100% renewable clean energy goals. If we continue to support natural gas projects including power plants and pipelines, it will undermine these goals for renewable energy.

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“This pipeline is dangerous and not needed and hurt our environment. What makes it worse is that Transco will make the money, Long Island gets the gas and we get stuck with the pipe. New Jersey has to move forward on renewable energy if we want to reach 100% renewable by 2050,” said Tittel.

Transco already applied for Wetlands and Flood Hazard permit for their compressor station in Trap Rock Quarry in Franklin Twp. that is part of the Northeast Supply Enhancement Project (NESE). The project would put 3.5 new miles of pipe in Old Bridge and Sayreville and 22 miles under the Raritan Bay. This would attach to a compressor station in Trap Rock Quarry in Franklin Twp. This pipeline would bring natural gas across our state and our waterways. An accident with this pipeline could contaminate our waterways and environment and put people at risk.

 “The NESE project is on hold for now, but Transco already reapplied. This means the battle will continue. Now Transco has up to a year to fix their problems to get approved. This project would cut through the already polluted and sensitive Raritan Bay and the New York Bay. It could carry and release contaminated sediment into the environment and both bodies of water and disturb contaminated sites. When you cut through a bay like the Raritan, it has an impact on the fisheries as well as the ecology of the Bay. The fish, plants and other living creatures in the Bay would be threatened by this pipeline. If someone happens along the route, it would have a ripple effect that would harm the entire waterway,” said Jeff Tittel.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) has twice told Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. (Transco) that its application for a water quality certification required by the federal Clean Water Act and other state permits for the Northeast Supply Enhancement Project (NESE) is incomplete.

“In New Jersey, they withdrew their permits and in NY their permits were denied and incomplete. This is a one-two punch that sets this project back. This project would cut through the already polluted and sensitive Raritan Bay and the New York Bay. It could carry and release contaminated sediment into the environment and both bodies of water and disturb contaminated sites. When you cut through a bay like the Raritan, it has an impact on the fisheries as well as the ecology of the Bay. The fish, plants and other living creatures in the Bay would be threatened by this pipeline. If someone happens along the route, it would have a ripple effect that would harm the entire waterway,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “Any time we slow down a pipeline is a victory. However, we must remain vigilant and we must keep on fighting. We need to double our efforts to stop NESE because Transco has already reapplied. We stopped them once and we will stop them again!  

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