As you know, Williams/Transco has put in an application to put in a 32,000-horsepower gas powered gas compressor station near an active dynamite blasting site behind the Buddhist Vihara and Meditation Center in a residential area near 25 schools and many places of worship, off Route 27 in Franklin Township.
Compressors are used to send fracked gas out at a greater velocity to its destination. In the case of this proposed project (Northeast Supply Enhancement Project or NESE, with the FERC docket number CP 17-101) plans are to transport natural gas out under Raritan Bay to Rockaway, NY. Much of this pipeline dates back to the 1950s and 1960’s, and the aged or vintage welds were placed prior to any regulations on welds, which were passed in 1972.
Due to the increased velocity of the gas coming out of compressor stations, it was discovered after a very unfortunate explosion in Salem County PA last April, that this increase in velocity causes an increase in temperature which causes an increase in the rate of chemical reactions, and an unprecedented and unexpected rate of corrosion had occurred. This is happening downstream of compressor stations, especially in older pipes which already have some degree of corrosion. Another safety concern, unique to this proposed site, is that it is adjacent to Trap Rock Quarry, where active blasting takes place on a regular basis.
The adverse health effects of the fracked gas, which is especially concentrated in and around compressor stations, have been studied and documented by physicians and environmentalists. Toxins and pollutants include volatile organic compounds, known carcinogens (such as benzene and formaldehyde) as well as radioactive chemicals including lead and fine particulate matter which is breathed in and then circulates in the blood.
Asthma and other lung diseases, cancers including childhood leukemia, neurological problems such as Autism, developmental delays, birth defects, increased hearts attacks and increased incidence of strokes are associated with the toxins that would spew from the two 50-foot smoke stacks on a regular basis, as well as increased amounts from the planned or unplanned blowdowns at the compressor stations, or anywhere along the pipeline where there are routinely regular leaks.
The other safety issue which has been expressed by local fire fighters is the lack of water pressure and functioning water hydrants in the area in case of a fire or explosion. Fire experts have stated that it would take two hours to get an adequate supply of water to the area so that a blaze could be fought. It has also been stated that if there were an explosion, it could affect a radius of 75 miles.
We are already in an area with high asthma rate and poor air quality. Why would we allow another compressor station or pipeline through NJ when the gas is neither needed by us nor will be used by us? To pollute our land, water and air makes no sense at all. The Townships of Franklin, South Brunswick, and Montgomery have all passed resolutions objecting to building of this highly polluting, noisy and dangerously sited compressor station.
The Middlesex County Freeholders and the Somerset County Freeholders are intervening in opposition to this project. Let’s all work together and take a stand against allowing our state to be further polluted with no benefit at all to the residents of New Jersey.
Barbara Cuthbert, Kirk Frost, Carol Kuehn,
Bernadette Maher and Linda Powell
Franklin Township Task Force
on Compressor Station 206 & NESE