FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - The Franklin Township Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to form an ad hoc committee that will oppose the installation of a gas compressor station.  

During the next council meeting, Mayor Philip Kramer and the council will make the Gas Compressor Station Opposition Ad Hoc Committee official through a resolution. 

The committee is run by citizens who want to inform the public of the Willams/Transco Northeast Supply Enhancement Project (NESE). According to the committee part of the project includes plans to build a gas powered gas compressor station for the existing natural gas pipeline at an active blasting site at Trap Rock Quarry in Franklin Township near route 27. 

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"Now is the time to act to do what we can to have any impact on how this project proceeds or doesn't," committee member Linda Powell said to the town council. "...I would hate for people in this township to ignore this project now and then if it does come to be built say why didn't I do something to stop this?"

The committee has stated they are focused on preserving the health and safety of the community and providing advice to the Franklin Township Council on how to proactively engage the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). They are also looking to identifying and risks to the following:

  • The health and safety of residents and visitors
  • The contamination of the air, soil and water in the local area
  • The environmental impact of heat, exhaust, noise, emissions and leaks
  • Franklin Township services to the local area such as fire, ambulance, police, and utility services
  • Property values
  • The quality of life

Councilman Theodore Chase (ward 1), and Councilman At-Large Rajiv Prasad were thanked by the committee for their persistent support of the group, that started out as a task force in December. The township council passed a resolution opposing the construction of the compressor station, and submitted it to FERC on September 13. Mayor Kramer submitted a letter to FERC urging them to provide detailed information from Williams/Transco, that wasn't originally provided. 

"7 months have gone by since the township has become aware of this," committee member Barbara Cuthbert said to the town council. "It is urgent for township officials, departments, and commissions to become very engaged now because, in March, Williams will file their application with FERC."

The committee is seeking the assistance of professionals in town that can lend their expertise in helping to review the lengthy reports that will be filed. Members of the community are urged to attend the committee's next meeting scheduled for Feb. 6 at 8 p.m. at the municipal building. 

There will also be a forum about the compressor station held at Sampson G. Smith School Feb. 27, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. 

According to the committee during the forum attendees can expect to:

  • Learn from others who have had experience with interstate natural gas projects involving pipelines and compressor stations.
  • Be informed about dangers posed to the health and safety of residents, visitors, wildlife and the environment from emitted toxic gasses, noise, potential fires and/or explosions.
  • Learn more about the safety record of Williams/Transco as well as concerns about a gas-fired compressor station being built in an area where the quarry is involved in active blasting.
  • Find out how you can get involved to stop the proposed compressor station, a pipeline under Raritan Bay and the expansion of the fossil fuel industry.

To contact the Gas Compressor Station Opposition Ad Hoc Committee with questions, concerns, or for more information and to get involved email: stopftcompressor@yahoo.com

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