CHATHAM, NJ -- A grass roots group, Chatham Citizens Opposing the Oil Pipeline, has joined a larger effort to fund an independent environmental review of Pilgrim Pipeline Holdings, LLC’s plans to build two major oil pipelines through local neighborhoods and critical areas supplying water to residents of Chatham Borough, Chatham Township and many other municipalities in northern New Jersey.

Chatham Citizens’ fundraising event will take place on Thursday, July 14th  from 7-9 p.m. at Twin Elephant Brewing Company, located at 13 Watchung Ave,, just off River Road, in Chatham.

The newly opened Twin Elephant brews high-quality, handcrafted ales and lagers using water sourced from Chatham’s pristine Buried Valley Aquifer. All residents are encouraged to attend this spirited community event. 

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Funds raised at the event will help pay the $30,000 cost of an independent environmental review being undertaken by Princeton Hydro, a highly qualified environmental engineering firm. An independent review is deemed a necessity. If such a review is not conducted, New Jersey State officials will have little choice but to accept Pilgrim’s own review at face value.

“We are now at a crucial moment in our opposition to Pilgrim’s plans,” said Brendan Keating, chair of Chatham Citizens Opposing the Oil Pipeline. “By supporting an independent environmental review of the massive and dangerous project, everyone in Chatham can do something to help protect our water supplies, our neighborhoods and our homes.”  

Cindy DeRama, a co-owner of Twin Elephant Brewing Company said, “We’re fortunate to live in a region known for its clean and plentiful water, which is naturally an essential ingredient in the fresh and unique local beers we’re creating.”

DeRama and co-owners Scott McLuskey and Tim Besecker are Berkeley Heights natives, who are delighted with their Chatham location.

The fundraising effort joins the multi-faceted work of the Coalition Against Pilgrim Pipeline (CAPP) and the New Jersey Sierra Club to oppose the oil pipeline. Matt Smith, an organizer of Food & Water Watch in New Jersey and active participant in the Coalition, said, “The proposal to build two large oil pipelines through major water supply areas and residential communities in New Jersey benefits only a small group of out-of-state private executives, leaving New Jersey families and local first-responders to bear all the risk.”

Sally Rubin, Executive Director of the Great Swamp Watershed Association, which also supports funding an independent environmental review, said, “The pipeline could pass through and along many environmentally sensitive areas in New Jersey, including both the Highlands and the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

An underground leak would not only affect the wildlife in these areas, but also pollute groundwater and people’s drinking water supplies.”

In 2015, the Chatham Township Committee and Chatham Borough Council, supported by hundreds of residents in attendance, passed resolutions opposing unregulated pipelines.  However, specific additional steps, such as the development of an independent environmental review, are considered vital.

Admission to the July 14th event at Twin Elephant Brewing Company is $40, which includes a taster flight of Twin Elephant's beer, an additional pint, and light hors d'oeuvres.

Tickets can be purchased online at https://greatswamp.ejoinme.org/twinelephant or in person at the event. Questions about the event can be directed to contact@chathamcitizens.com or (917) 596-7807.

For more information about the proposed pipeline, residents are encouraged to

visit www.stoppilgrimpipeline.com.  For more information about Twin Elephant Brewing Company, please visit www.twinelephantbrewing.com.