WESTFIELD, NJ — In response to questions posed by TAP into Westfield about the proposed Pilgrim Pipeline project, Mayor Andy Skibitsky answered Wednesday via email:
“The Town has been following this matter very closely and will continue to do so. I would note that in your statement [in TAP’s questions], ‘the Pilgrim Pipeline … is planned to go through Westfield,’ the word ‘through’ is potentially misleading. The current proposal shows approximately 2,000 feet of the proposed pipeline affecting three contiguous parcels of non-residential property abutting the railroad tracks bordering Clark Township.
"The largest of the affected properties is owned by PSE&G and the latest information we have is that PSE&G has not yet rendered a decision on allowing access. The second property is owned by the County of Union Open Space, which likely has inherent protection by virtue of the ‘Open Space’ designation, and the third parcel is commercial property privately owned by a corporation whose main portion of property is on the Clark side.
“In such complex, interstate matters that do not fall within the scope of the local government's authority, falling instead under the jurisdictions of the federal government and the state government as well as multiple independent authorities, it is necessarily the practice of the Town to not only be sensitive to the understandable outpouring of emotions, but to comprehensively examine as many applicable facts as is possible when considering which course of action would be most effective as it applies to Westfield. Further, we must be mindful of both intended and potential unintended consequences of any actions under consideration.
"Remember, at this point, the pipeline is merely a proposal, not a formal or final plan (as evidenced by the fact that no applications have been received by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection), and therefore the situation remains fluid. Accordingly, it would be very premature to comment any further or declare a specific course of action at this time except to assure our residents that we will continue to diligently monitor the matter and keep abreast of all developments.”
To read our earlier story, “Pilgrim Pipeline Could Still Run Below Westfield, Company and Opponents Say,” click here.