Green

Letters to the Editor

Tired of trying to tell what’s real and what’s fake news?

93c84328e9c57886898a_mini_magick20180306-115440-qg5qz7.jpg
93c84328e9c57886898a_mini_magick20180306-115440-qg5qz7.jpg

So am I!  For nearly two years, I’ve been involved in efforts to stop the Northeast Supply Enhancement Project, and I’ve been off-put by exaggerations, half-truths, twists to evidence, omitted or ignored evidence, political plays, and more that has been put forth by both sides – those who want this pipeline and compressor station to be built and those who don’t want it. 

  • Does natural gas replacement of heating oil improve air quality and ozone levels, or does the leaking of methane from natural gas pipelines & compressor stations make it worse? 
  • Does fracked gas include radon as it travels to homes? 
  • Do standards for chemical air emissions truly protect our health?
  • Is it safe to operate a gas-fired compressor station next to a quarry that uses dynamite to blast rock and a Superfund Site with contaminated groundwater?

There are studies and “facts” about these questions that are pushed by both sides and, in the end, it’s not easy to determine what is real and what is gaslighting.  Much has not been studied, and much is not made public.  However, protecting our community now and for future generations is important, and there is enough information about risks to cause concern about Compressor Station 206 and the pipeline slated to go through wetlands, toxic sites, and under the Raritan Bay.

I’ve decided that what matters are things I can rely on as facts: 

Sign Up for E-News

  • There are accidents and explosions at natural gas pipelines and compressor stations.
  • Leaks of pipelines are more frequent than expected.
  • The chemicals that are sent into the air from gas-fired compressor stations can travel miles away and are strongly correlated to increases in significant health problems for people, including cancer.
  • There is a push to build more pipelines because there’s an abundance of natural gas being fracked in the Marcellus Shale region in Pennsylvania.

Companies that get federal approvals but still have not received permits for meeting air and/or water quality standards from states have the right to cut down trees along proposed pipeline paths or lots for compressor stations as long as they don’t disturb the trees’ roots.  Without moving the earth, it’s not considered to be “construction”.  The cutting of trees has happened before a state ultimately denied the water permits needed to proceed with actual construction.  For example, a family lost their maple tree farm because the federal agency issued a certificate that allowed for cutting the trees down before it was known if the state would issue the water quality permits.

We’ve all heard stories about fluid leaks that contaminate waterways, groundwater and wells.  Many of us remember the natural gas pipeline explosion in Durham Woods in Edison, NJ.  Accidents do happen, and people who live or work in the area suffer the consequences.

In the end, I’m convinced that the process for granting permits to build and operate natural gas pipelines and facilities does not protect us and does not consider the true costs of operating such things.  The companies talk about short-term temporary jobs and tax revenues, but these are not verified.

  • There is no true assessment of the cost from damage that occurs from health problems, fires, explosions, fluid leaks, and lost revenue of businesses during construction. 
  • There is no true assessment of the damage to the environment as well as costs from increased severe weather events. 
  • There is no true assessment of the cost to the fishing and recreation industries along the Raritan Bay from digging up and spreading toxins that kill or injure marinelife and their habitats a well as harm water quality. 

Years of efforts to clean up the Raritan Bay and Lower New York Harbor should be protected and not endangered by building another long pipeline there.  The toxic contaminants are buried lower in that seafloor, and they should not be dug up to build a pipeline.

The companies reap the profits, and we are left with decades of air pollution, threats to our environment and health, and potentially increased energy costs with decreased property values. 

One explosion is one too many.  One unexplained cancer, kidney failure, heart attack, birth defect or developmental delay is one too many.

There are better ways!  Focusing on increasing energy efficiency and renewable sources would not put us in harm’s way like natural gas pipeline and compressor stations do.  I’m not saying that the drilling, processing, transportation and use of natural gas are the main culprits of climate change, but I am saying that we can do something now to protect ourselves and future generations from threats that are real.

Please contact the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) now and ask that they deny the Freshwater Wetlands permit application of Williams/Transco for the Northeast Supply Enhancement Project by June 22, 2018.  They need to hear from a lot of us!  When you call, it takes a few minutes, and the staff people who answer the phone are very polite.  All you need to do is give your name, town and phone number, and say that you want the NJDEP to deny the Freshwater Wetlands permit by June 22.  Call Commissioner McCabe directly at 609-292-2885, or call the Governor at 888-724-8943 to be connected to his office to also ask for his support in rejecting the permit applications. 

 

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Franklin Township

Rockin In The Park

July 21, 2018

Rockin In The Park "Rockin The Park" Family Fun Day will be on August 19th at Springwood Park in Asbury Park at 12pm. This event will host food, fun and family activities. Music will be provided by DJ Smooth, DJ Hands Up and DJ KJBEST1.

We would like to thank the two organizations assisted in sponsoring this event, The Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce and the College Achieved Charter ...

John Mahoney Loses Appeal in Murder Case Against his Father

July 20, 2018

PISCATAWAY, NJ - John Mahoney loses appeal on murder charges for killing his father Jerry Mahoney, former Piscataway police officer and Piscataway School Board member.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced that a Piscataway man’s 2015 aggravated manslaughter and hindering conviction and sentence were affirmed today by the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate ...

New Brunswick Battles Hunger with Largest Food Pantry Network in County

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The Rev. Douglas Shepler became pastor of New Brunswick's Second Reformed in April 2008 and by October had a food pantry running that quickly attracted people in need, including Rutgers University students.

“We had graduate students coming to us and they had a choice of paying their rent or paying for food,” Shepler said. However, those students ...

Viewing Date Set for 1-Year-Old Boy Killed in July 7 Crash in Raritan

RARITAN, NJ - A viewing for the 1-year-old Raritan boy killed on Anderson Street July 7 will be held this week at St. Ann Church, in Raritan, according to an obituary released by the Bongiovi Funeral Home.

Matias Ortega-Rosales was killed on the evening of his first birthday when a vehicle hit two cars and then his family as he was being pushed in a stroller by his mother, Domitila Rosales.

South Plainfield Police Investigators Seek Public’s Help in Fatal Crash

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – The South Plainfield Police Department and Middlesex County Prosecutors Office are looking for the public’s help in the July 4, 2018 fatal motorcycle accident that killed 28 year-old Jessica Montes of Piscataway.

According to police, the accident occurred at approximately 4:50am as the vehicle Montes was a passenger lost control and crashed on New Brunswick ...

Tee times, Pairings Announced for Start of Next Week’s U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at Baltusrol GC in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, N.J. – The USGA U.S. Junior Amateur Championship starts Monday.  The pairings for the first two rounds of the 71st edition were recently announced.

Monday (July 16) and Tuesday (July 17) tee times will be played on the 7,280-yard, par-71 Upper Course and at the 7,313-yard, par-70 Lower Course at Baltusrol Golf Club.

Monday, Tuesday tee times & pairings

The ...

Newark Lures Amazon With $1 Billion Payroll Tax Incentive

NEWARK, NJ - Amazon will get a payroll tax break at a cost of $1 billion to the city should the company open its second headquarters here.

It’s one of two ordinances that were approved by the Newark City Council council to sweeten the deal for the corporate giant and stand out among other locations vying for Amazon’s so-called HQ2.

“The City Council has brought Newark a ...

John Mahoney Loses Appeal in Murder Case Against his Father

July 20, 2018

PISCATAWAY, NJ - John Mahoney loses appeal on murder charges for killing his father Jerry Mahoney, former Piscataway police officer and Piscataway School Board member.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced that a Piscataway man’s 2015 aggravated manslaughter and hindering conviction and sentence were affirmed today by the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate ...

New Brunswick Battles Hunger with Largest Food Pantry Network in County

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The Rev. Douglas Shepler became pastor of New Brunswick's Second Reformed in April 2008 and by October had a food pantry running that quickly attracted people in need, including Rutgers University students.

“We had graduate students coming to us and they had a choice of paying their rent or paying for food,” Shepler said. However, those students ...

Viewing Date Set for 1-Year-Old Boy Killed in July 7 Crash in Raritan

RARITAN, NJ - A viewing for the 1-year-old Raritan boy killed on Anderson Street July 7 will be held this week at St. Ann Church, in Raritan, according to an obituary released by the Bongiovi Funeral Home.

Matias Ortega-Rosales was killed on the evening of his first birthday when a vehicle hit two cars and then his family as he was being pushed in a stroller by his mother, Domitila Rosales.

Somerville: Gallery Hosts Photo Society's 90th Anniversary Exhibit

July 13, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Arts on Division is presenting “Visions of Raritan Photographic Society – A Celebration of 90 years” from Thursday, July 19 to Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018 at the Gallery on Division, 15B Division Street.

The Raritan Photographic Society, founded in 1929, is the oldest photography club in New Jersey. The exhibit celebrates the organization's 90 years ...

County Kicks Off Summer Concert Series with Bob Miranda and the Happenings

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset County Park Commission kicked off its Summer Concert Series at Duke Island Park Sunday with a performance by Bob Miranda and the Happenings.

A very large crowd turned out for the performance by the band made famous in part by the song "See You in September."

The next concert will be held July 15 at 7 p.m. at Duke Island Park, with Billy ...

"Xtreme" Adventures for Teens in Somerset County

BASKING RIDGE, NJ – The Somerset County Park Commission Environmental Education Center  has scheduled a challenging summer program series for teens 13 to 16.

“Xtreme Adventure” is a summer-long series of one-day outdoor programs that will entertain and educate teen girls and boys. All adventures begin at the Environmental Education Center, 190 Lord Stirling ...

Somerville: Gallery Hosts Photo Society's 90th Anniversary Exhibit

July 13, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Arts on Division is presenting “Visions of Raritan Photographic Society – A Celebration of 90 years” from Thursday, July 19 to Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018 at the Gallery on Division, 15B Division Street.

The Raritan Photographic Society, founded in 1929, is the oldest photography club in New Jersey. The exhibit celebrates the organization's 90 years ...

County Kicks Off Summer Concert Series with Bob Miranda and the Happenings

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset County Park Commission kicked off its Summer Concert Series at Duke Island Park Sunday with a performance by Bob Miranda and the Happenings.

A very large crowd turned out for the performance by the band made famous in part by the song "See You in September."

The next concert will be held July 15 at 7 p.m. at Duke Island Park, with Billy ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.