NUTLEY, NJ - The Nutley Board of Commissioners passed a resolution requesting an independent safety study on the Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company “Transco” pipeline during the Tuesday, May 19 virtual public meeting. All five commissioners were present from separate locations. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the remainder of the 2020 year public meetings have been moved online to Zoom until further notice.
Resolution 114-20 was approved supporting a safety study to evaluate the dangers of an expanded Roseland Compressor Station and a 60-year-old pipeline coming from Roseland and going through Nutley. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the NJ Department of Environmental Protection approved the 2013 construction and the 2019 expansion of a natural gas compressor station in the Borough of Roseland on Eagle Rock Avenue that is owned and operated by Williams Partners Company and their subsidiary known as the Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company "Transco."
The resolution states that there have been explosions, fires and accidental leakages of toxic pollutants at numerous Williams gas infrastructure facilities over many years. An explosion on March 31, 2014 in Washington State injured five people and led to an evacuation within a two-mile radius of the facility. The gas compressor station is on land adjacent to a PSE&G electrical switching station and the eastern terminal of the high-voltage, Susquehanna-Roseland electrical transmission lines which can transmit up to 730,000 volts of electricity. Nov. 21, 2019, a fireball explosion took place close to the gas compressor station. PSE&G said that a very large piece of equipment malfunctioned at their Roseland Switching Station on Eisenhower Parkway, causing a fireball that extinguished itself.
The board requested Governor Phil Murphy to immediately stop the expansion of the compressor station until there is a serious, independent safety study of the risks of operating a very large compressor station next to high-voltage transmission lines and a switching station on a flood plain, increasing pressure within a 60-year-old pipeline.
In 1998-1999 the township objected to a proposed expansion project to replace the gas line that ran through Nutley as it was presented as aging pipe with questionable integrity. On Aug. 2, 2011 the board passed a resolution opposing the Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company's northeast supply line. According to then resolution, the proposed project would increase the capacity of the existing line by 13 percent from 638 psi to 722 psi, which is half of the maximum design pressure and the maximum allowed by law. Safety concerns were expressed that its potential harm to municipal and county infrastructure and potential impact on property values.
The next Board of Commissioners meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, June 4 via Zoom. To gain access to the meeting go to zoom.us/j/98805921694. Password: 876956. For those without computer access or mobile device you may dial into the meeting at: (number based on your current location) US: +1 929 205 6099; +1 312 626 6799; +1 301 715 8592; +1 346 248 7799; +1 669 900 6833; or +1 253 215 8782. Meeting ID: 988 0592 1694.
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