ROSELL, NJ – The Roselle Borough Council voted Wednesday night against constructing a pipeline through the Borough of Roselle that would transport crude oil and refined petroleum products between Albany, N.Y. and nearby Linden.
The resolution votes down the Pilgrim Pipeline and says the council is “expressing grave concerns about this project negatively affecting the health, safety, and welfare of our citizens,” according to a press release.
Separately, two state senators in New Jersey are introducing a bill against the pipeline, and in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo yesterday banned what is called “fracking.” New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has not stated his public position on the pipeline.
Although fracking for shale oil is not occurring in New Jersey or New York, residents in these highly populated states are concerned about the resources on which they rely. Some citizens fear the possibility of spills or explosions, as Bakken oil currently enters the region by train and barge.
New York has officially banned fracking after receiving the study on the potential negative effects it can have the environment and public health. The study presented on Wednesday, revealed few positive things about fracking.
Bakken crude oil is more dangerous than any other type of crude oil. The short-term exposure can lead to headaches, nausea, and skin irritation; long-term effects include damage to major organs and nervous system.
“Basically the priority of the situation is to make sure that anything that goes through our borough is safe and it won’t jeopardize any of our people," Christine Dansereu, councilwoman at large, said at the meeting. "We have to make a safe environment, if it’s just about greed and money, then our great grandchildren are going to suffer. It is a global issue, We have to find other resources and better resources.”
Roselle Mayor Jamel Holley said he is concerned about highly flammable oil flowing through the pipeline, crossing into neighborhoods.
“These communities throughout Roselle would be considered in the `impact radius’ if an explosion should occur. That is unacceptable,” he said in the prepared release.
Roselle is already qualified as an Environmental Justice Community, impacted by 1.8 miles of rail, gas pipelines, and overhead High Tension Electrical Transmission Lines along the proposed route of the pipeline., the release stated.
Holley said there could also be a loss of tax revenue for the borough based on right-of-way agreements with Pilgrim Pipeline and a decline in the property values of homes along, and adjacent to, the new pipeline and surrounding neighborhoods. He added the line would traverse St. Georges Avenue’s Areas of Redevelopment, hindering planned and future projects.
Coretta Edwards is reporting this story as part of the journalism program at Kean University