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Environmentalists Intervene to Oppose Pipeline Expansion Project

Date : Tue, 22 Oct 2013 11:35:53 -0400

Expansion Project

For Immediate Release

October 22, 2013

Contact: Jeff Tittel, Director, NJ Sierra Club, 609-558-9100

Lauren Petrie, Food and Water Watch, 732-993-8966

Doug O'Malley, Director, Environment New Jersey, 917-449-6812

Environmentalists Oppose Pipeline Expansion Project

Groups File for Intervener Status before FERC

Today environmental groups called on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to deny approvals for the Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company's (Transco) Leidy Southeast Expansion Project, which would cut across environmentally sensitive areas, important streams and forests, and critical habitat to carry gas produced through the dangerous technique of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

"There is no need for this pipeline.The purpose is to promote fracking and the burning of fossil fuels that impact clean water and promote climate change. This pipeline is going to go through environmentally sensitive areas creating an ugly scar, adding to pollution, and putting people at risk. Just ask the people of Bellingham Washington, Burlingame, California and Edison, NJ. This line not only threatens the neighborhoods it passes through but threatens our environment," said Jeff Tittel, Director, NJ Sierra Club.

Transco is applying for a certificate of public convenience and necessity from FERC.Transco filed their application with FERC at the end of September and the agency has given the public until October 31st to submit comments on the Notice of Application and file for intervener status.By intervening, individuals and groups can challenge the FERC approval later.

"New Jersey is under imminent threat from fracking's harsh side effects: pipelines, toxic waste, and air and water pollution. The Leidy South East Pipeline would only compound this misery for local families. The pipeline expansion project offers no benefits to the community while jeopardizing the health and safety of residents through accidents, lack of regulation and oversight, and unexpected incidents due to extreme weather events," said Lauren Petrie, organizer, Food and Water Watch.

Numerous resources that would be negatively affected by the project from the Princeton Ridge to local air quality to climate change impacts.As part of the approval process an Environmental Assessment is being prepared by FERC to determine what environmental impacts and viable alternatives. Environmental groups are requesting a more through environmental study, an Environmental Impact Statement, be prepared.Due to the sensitive nature of the Princeton Ridge region and the numerous waterbodies the companies is proposing to cross with open cuts, environmental groups are urging FERC to prepare a full EIS for the project.

"A full Environmental Impact Statement is needed on this project due to the significant impacts the pipeline expansion will have on potential threatened and endangered species habitat, loss of forest cover and wetlands, threats to our public open spaces, intensifying and expanding the use of fracking in the Marcellus Shale and intensifying climate change," said Kate Millsaps, Conservation Program Coordinator, NJ Sierra Club.

The groups are also urging FERC to include the environmental impacts resulting from fracking as a cumulative impact of the project as the pipeline is being built to serve Marcellus Shale gas fields.The FERC must also look at the potential impacts of exporting gas overseas as this pipeline will expand capacity to the southern United States where there are a number of proposals to expand export capacity. The project will provide expanded capacity, allowing more drilling to move forward in the region and the consequences of that expansion should be examined as part of the review.

The Leidy Southeast Expansion project would install over 12 miles of 42 inch pipeline in New Jersey.The Skillman Loop would run 6.36 miles through Princeton and Montgomery Townships. The Pleasant Run Loop would run 6.85 miles in Branchburg, Readington, and Clinton Townships.The Pennsylvania portions of the project are in Luzerne and Monroe counties.

Princeton Township Council passed a resolution stating they will also file for intervener status.Readington Township and Montgomery Township Municipal Councils have passed resolutions expressing concerns over the impacts of the project and requesting more information.

Transco is in the process of putting into service 28 miles of new pipeline in New Jersey and Pennsylvania as part of the Northeast Supply Link project. That project also involves expanding the capacity of an existing pipeline in New Jersey, as well as construction of a new 25,000 horsepower compressor station next to the Essex County Environmental Center. FERC is also considering an application for Transco's Northeast Connector Project, which includes proposed upgrades of two compressor stations of at least 5,000 horsepower each in Mercer and Middlesex Counties. As part of the Leidy Southeast Expansion Project, Transco is requesting approval for an additional 1,000 horsepower upgrade of the same Mercer County station in Lawrence Township, Station 205.

"This fracking gas pipeline will tear a scar across Central Jersey's environment & will double down on dirty fracked gas,"said Doug O'Malley, director of Environment New Jersey. "FERC shouldn't rubber stamp this pipeline - this is an incomplete application that plays down the likely environmental damage."
by Food and Water Watch,et al.

On 10222013, the following Filing was submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Washington D.C.:

Filer: Food and Water Watch
                        Sierra Club- New Jersey Chapter
                        Environment New Jersey
                        Food & Water Watch (as Agent)
                        No Organization Found (as Agent)
                        No Organization Found (as Agent)

Docket(s): CP13-551-000 Lead Applicant: Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC Filing Type: Motion/Notice of Intervention Description: Motion to Intervene of Food and Water Watch, et. al. under CP13-551.

To view the document for this Filing, click here http://elibrary.FERC.gov/idmws/file_list.asp?accession_num=20131022-5025

_________________________________________________________ NJ-Sierra-Chapter-Ex-Committee List Info & Archives: http://lists.sierraclub.org/archives/NJ-EXCOM.html

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Received on 2013-10-22 08:35:53

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