The proposed Northeast Supply Enhancement Project (NESE) is a Williams Transco Company pipeline which would bring natural gas from Pennsylvania across New Jersey under Raritan Bay to New York. It has three sections: Madison loop, Franklin Township compressor station, and Raritan Bay Loop. The alleged purpose is to feed 400 million BTUs of methane gas to New York. However, this pipeline could also lead to the building of an offshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility – such as the seven proposed since 2009. Fortunately, they were all defeated, but this pipeline would be a gift to assist in the development of an offshore LNG terminal. An export facility would be DISASTROUS to millions of citizens living in the Marcellus Shale region as it would cause a “gas rush” resulting in a surge of hydro-fracking to exploit gas exports to Europe and beyond.
The land-based pipeline will go through residential neighborhoods and near schools, and the compressor station poses severe public health risks by emitting noxious pollutants, such as formaldehyde, benzene, methane and carbon. In Raritan Bay construction will re-suspend contaminated sediments polluting the waterway. Dredging and construction noise will disturb wildlife, including threatened and endangered species.
Some good news is that the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) has denied Williams Transco a Water Quality Certification for the bay and ocean section. NYDEC found the application incomplete and materials submitted shared potentially “significant environmental impacts that raised serious concerns.”
However, more must be done. Please send a letter to NJ Department of Environmental Protection and urge them to use all legal tools to stop the pipeline.
The primary agency reviewing the plan is the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. They have released the Draft Environmental Impact statement, and even that document admits there will be environmental harm. It is also severely flawed. Please submit public comments by May 14th and visit www.nynjbaykeeper.org for instructions and information.