Northeast Supply Enhancement Project (NESE) Overview

Goal of Williams/Transco for the Northeast Supply Enhancement Project (NESE):

  • Deliver 400,000 dekatherms/day of natural gas to NYC
  • Williams/Transco already has a commitment from National Gas to buy this gas.

In Pennsylvania, they plan to add:

  • a 10-mile, 42-inch pipeline loop of Mainline D in Lancaster County, PA; and
  • a 21,902 horsepower electric-powered compressor unit at STA200, Chester County, PA (where there are already 13 compressor units)

Plans for New Jersey

Raritan Bay Loop Pipeline
Sayreville, NJ into Raritan Bay

Madison Loop Pipeline
Old Bridge & Sayreville, NJ

23.49-mile, 26-inch loop (0.16 mile onshore and 23.33 miles offshore) of Transco’s Lower New York Bay Lateral from Mile Post 12.00, southwest of the Morgan Meter & Regulator (M&R) Station in Sayreville, NJ to the Rockaway Transfer Point in New York State waters 3.43-mile, 26-inch loop of Transco’s Lower New York Bay Lateral from Compressor Station 207 at Mile Post 8.57 to Mile Post 12.00, southwest of the Morgan M&R Station

Compressor Station 206    Franklin Township (Somerset County)

new compressor station near Transco’s mainline,
consisting of two natural gas-powered turbine-driven compressor units
total horsepower: 32,000

Two 50-foot smokestacks where:

  • exhaust exits at 210,000 cubic feet per minute
  • exit temperature is 849.2 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Per Hour Release:  13 pounds of Carbon Monoxide

Williams/Transco:
Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC (Transco) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Williams Partners Operating LLC, which is a subsidiary of Williams Partners L.P., which is a subsidiary of the Williams Companies, Inc.

 

Issues

  • The proposed compressor station would create air and noise problems that would affect Franklin Twp., South Brunswick, Montgomery & Princeton. Measurements of air quality are completed regionally and are averaged over time. Thus, monitoring of emissions in the air is not proposed to occur near the site, and measurement is not proposed to account for fluctuations where peak emissions are especially problematic. Additionally, all known carcinogenic emissions from compressor stations are not measured at nearby residences, places of workshop, etc.
  • Compressor stations pose serious health risks, especially for pregnant women, the elderly and the young, due to emissions that are planned, fugitive and accidental. Chemicals emitted from compressor stations include known carcinogens.
  • There is a history of catastrophic accidents at compressor stations and transmission pipelines, and an accident could result in deaths/injuries, destruction of property, limited potential for residents to evacuate, and devastation to the waterfront and waters of the Raritan Bay.
  • Increasing compression to transport natural gas through aging pipelines is a safety concern due to the increased velocity/heat of the moving gas and hastening of pipeline corrosion that could result in an explosion.
  • Though a segment of pipeline on Trap Rock Quarry property was replaces in the late 1980’s, there is no publicly available information about the age of the other pipeline associated with this project which, as far as it is known, were constructed in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Additionally, according to a Pipeline Safety Trust analysis of federal data, new pipelines are failing at a rate on par with gas transmission lines installed before the 1940s.
  • The NJ Buddhist Vihara & Medication Center borders the property where CS 206 is proposed. The noise, odor and emissions from the compressor station threaten their religious practice of walking meditation on trails which extend to the site of the compressor station. It is not known what effect the noise and pollution could have on their Buddha Statue which is the largest outdoor Buddha statue in the Western Hemisphere and a Cultural Landmark in Franklin Township.
  • Plans for construction of the compressor station and pipelines are near Superfund Sites.
  • There is not adequate water service in the area of the proposed compressor station to address potential accidents.
  • The habitat in/near the Bay would be disrupted during construction for marine mammals, fish, shellfish and horseshoe crabs that rely on it. Dangers of vessel strikes, accidental fluid releases, and disruption of the seafloor are concerns.
  • Sea mammals (Gray Seal, Harbor Seal, Harp Seal, North Atlantic Right Whale, Bottlenose Dolphin, Harbor Porpoise, & Short-Beaked Common Dolphin) are expected to be affected by exposure to seismic activity such that Williams/Transco will apply for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to account for sound pressure from construction that has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering [Level B harassment].
  • Tourism and commercial fishing activities in the Raritan Bay area would be impacted by construction that is planned to occur for 9 months, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day (weather permitting).
  • For a project like this, there is no public vote; local ordinances can be ignored; and there is limited public input. The US Congress is working to increase the authority of FERC while lessening the rights of States to protect the public through their determinations about required air and water permits.

Learn more, read the information packet from the South Brunswick Informational Meeting held by Food and Water Watch.

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