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Pipelines Need More Review By DRBC

Date : Thu, 11 Apr 2013 11:43:27 -0400

For Immediate Release
March 6, 2013 Contact: Jeff Tittel, Director, 609-558-9100

Pipelines Need More Review By DRBC A number of polluting gas pipelines, compressor stations, and other transportation infrastructure has been proposed across the Delaware River Basin to service the development of drilling operations in the Marcellus Shale.These new projects and expansions are having devastating impacts on resources in the watershed and the New Jersey Sierra Club is joining other environmental groups and hundreds of citizens in calling on the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) to exercise their full authority over all pipeline projects proposed in the region.We need full DRBC review to determine the secondary and cumulative impacts these projects have on the watershed as more and more projects are being proposed.New Jersey has already had waterways destroyed and forests cleared as a result of these pipeline projects and we need the DRBC to act now to stop further damage.

"The DRBC has ignored the public, the facts, and the law.They should be taking jurisdiction over these pipelines and have instead refused to do their job.DRBC needs to change their ways to follow the law. They are doing a disservice to the people of the basin and the 15 million people who depend on the basin for drinking water.Their silence and refusal to act shows they are taking the side of polluters and the gas industry over their responsibility to protect the basin," *said Jeff Tittel, Director, NJ Sierra Club*. Pipelines crossing these areas will create tremendous impacts in the watershed.These construction projects will result in loss of vegetative cover, increased erosion and drilling under rivers and wetlands.Construction on steep slopes will cause muddier waterways, making it harder for aquatic life to survive.We will see more invasive species and edge impacts deeper into our forests.These projects require large water diversions for testing and drilling, impacting aquatic ecosystems.

"With all the projects being proposed across the Basin there is only one agency that can look at all the impacts and that is the DRBC.We need a thorough review to be conducted across the Basin so we can understand the true impacts the proposed proliferation of pipeline construction will have on the region," said Jeff Tittel. Fracking creates a glut of natural gas in Pennsylvania that drillers want moved to high-priced East Coast markets.To export that fracked gas, companies are requesting new and expanded pipeline projects across New Jersey's public lands, environmentally sensitive, areas, and residential communities.These projects also call for new or upgraded compressor stations, increasing toxic air and climate change pollution in our state.We have seen pipeline explosions across the country where people have been killed and property destroyed.Right now there are 13 projects being proposed across the entire Basin at the federal level and more are expected with the continued expansion of fracking in the Marcellus Shale.We need the DRBC to regulate these projects and hold them to the highest standards to ensure them do not destroy the critical resources of the watershed. Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company (TGP) has proposed two projects that devastate public land and impact drinking water supplies in the Highlands Preservation area of Sussex, Passaic, and Bergen Counties.The 300 Line project was completed in November 2011 and we continue to see the impacts. Earlier this year the DRBC decided to review the project after it was already completed, limiting their influence to mitigating problems not preventing damage. Groups are urging the DRBC to view the new TGP project, the Northeast Upgrade project, before construction is fully underway to avoid the impacts we have seen stemming from the 300 Line project.There we have seen waterways along the project have been destroyed due to heavy erosion and flooding has increased in surrounding areas. Close to 50% of TGP's second project, the Northeast Upgrade, is located on publically owned land.The pipeline will crossover and destroy portions of the Appalachian Trail, High Point State Park, Long Pond Ironworks State Park, Ringwood State Park, and Ramapo County Reservation.Drinking water supplies could be jeopardized as the pipeline will cross under the Delaware River and the Monksville Reservoir in Wanaque, potentially impacting over 5 million state residents. New Jersey is also impacted by pipelines outside the watershed.Transcontinental Pipeline Company has received approvals for the Northeast Supply Link project which includes installing a new pipeline in Hunterdon County, increasing the pressure in their existing pipeline in northern New Jersey and expanding their compressor station.This project crosses the Highlands and the Meadowlands and travels underneath the South Branch of the Raritan River which supplies clean drinking water to approximately one million people.Transco has proposed a second project the Leidy Southeast expansion which would impact parts of Mercer, Somerset, and Hunterdon counties. The proposed Spectra Energy Pipeline will go through our state's most densely populated communities, Bayonne, Jersey City and off the shore of Hoboken into New York City.This area is already burdened with excessive pollution and adding this pipeline will put residents at risk and degrade the public health and the environment of this area.

"There are more impacts from fracking on New Jersey then we realize, threatening our water, air, and open spaces.Marcellus Shale development not only threatens the water supply for 3 million New Jersey residents but will also push pipelines through environmentally sensitive areas.We need the DRBC to review all these impacts to better protect this critical watershed.It is not only bad for our environment but dangerous, whether its wells being polluted or pipelines going through densely populated areas," said Jeff Tittel.

-- 
Kate Millsaps
Conservation Program Coordinator
NJ Chapter of the Sierra Club
609-656-7612
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Received on 2013-04-11 08:43:27

New Jersey Sierra Club, 145 West Hanover St., Trenton, NJ 08618, USA
tel: 609 656 7612, fax 609 656 7618
or email Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator, at nicole.dallara@sierraclub.org

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