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Franklin Township Task Force Holds Meeting to Brainstorm on Opposition to Gas Compressor Station

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Members of the FTTF Steering Committee meeting with concerned citizens from Franklin and surrounding towns. Credits: Malik Lyons
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FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - The Franklin Township Task Force, also known as the Gas Compressor Station Opposition Ad Hoc Committee held a meeting to plan its opposition to the proposed gas compressor station at the municipal building Tuesday, April 4. 
 
The meeting was in response to the filing of the formal application for the Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) Project. The project includes plans for building miles of pipeline under the Raritan Bay to increase the gas supply to residents outside of New Jersey.
 
Williams, who runs the pipeline from the Gulf of Mexico to New York, is looking to expand its operation with a loop that would end up supplying 1.8 million people in Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Long Island.


 
National Grid, who asked Williams for the loop to bring more natural gas into the region, serves those people.
 
 
“Customers and businesses in the local communities that we serve in New York City and on Long Island benefit from affordable, clean and reliable energy,” President of National Grid New York, Ken Daly said in a statement. 
 
During the meeting, the Franklin Township Task Force (FTTF) brainstormed on ways to outreach and engage Franklin residents through workshops, and information tables.
 
The task force also spoke about the need to find experts from the community that specialize in environmental, geological, fossil fuel and legal services fields to help prepare for the upcoming environmental impact study. 
 
The Franklin Township Task Force and many other local groups from Central Jersey oppose the project. 

 
The local governments have shown their opposition to the gas compressor station by passing resolutions, Franklin's mayor and council passed a resolution last month, South Brunswick's mayor and council passed a resolution last Tuesday, April 4. 
 
Franklin's Environmental Commission also agreed to sign up as an intervenor during their meeting last Tuesday as well. 
 
"An intervenor is a person who reserves the right to object to a pipeline/compressor and to FERC's decisions," according to the RAC website.  "An intervenor can also participate in (or bring) legal proceedings involving FERC and Transco.  They are also accorded elevated attention in FERC's decision-making process and final decision, and intervenor comments must be addressed in FERC's Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and decisions." 
 
The concerns expressed by the local groups and government officials range from health and safety concerns to the impact on the economy without any benefit coming back to Central Jersey residents, especially those in Franklin. 
 
 
Director of NJ Sierra Club, Jeff Tittel said during a forum in Franklin earlier this year, New Jersey was becoming "the crossroad of pipelines" because of a large amount of gas deposits in Pennsylvania that need to flow to other states. 
 
"New Jersey has more pipelines that produce more gas than the people of New Jersey will ever use," Tittel said. "Seventy-five percent of the households in New Jersey have natural gas already and there is no need. The pipelines that are being promoted in New Jersey right now or proposed actually have more gas than we are currently using or will ever use and it will go somewhere else or even overseas."
 
Senior Organizer with Food and Water Watch, Matt Smith spoke at the same forum and discussed health impacts associated with living near a gas compressor station especially during construction and acute events such as blowdowns. Smith reviewed specific health impacts experienced by individuals that live and work near compressor stations. 
 
"Sixty-one percent of health impacts are associated with chemicals present in the air in excess of short and long term health screening level," Smith said. The following conditions were associated to living near a gas compressor station: Nasal Irritation, Throat Irritation, Eyes Burning, Frequent Nausea, Sinus Problems, Bronchitis, Increased Fatigue, Muscle Aches and Pains, Severe Headaches, Dizziness, Weakness and Tired, Decreased Motor Skills, Depression, Frequent Irritation, Severe Anxiety.
 
The FTTF will be conducting workshops to engage and inform the public about the compressor station and how to sign up as intervenors if they oppose the NESE project. There are only two more weeks to sign up to become an intervenor.
 

Transco delivers natural gas to customers through its 10,200-mile pipeline network whose mainline extends nearly 1,800 miles between South Texas and New York City. The system is a major provider of cost-effective natural gas services that reach U.S. markets in 12 Southeast and Atlantic Seaboard states, including major metropolitan areas in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

More info about the project can be found at www.northeastsupplyenhancement.com.

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