Action Alert – Urge Governor Murphy’s NJ DEP to Deny Permits for the Williams-Transco Northeast Supply Enhancement Project

Everyone’s voice is needed again

Urge Governor Murphy’s New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to Deny Permits for the Williams-Transco Northeast Supply Enhancement Project


The NJDEP declared that Williams/Transco’s January 2020 application was “complete for review” on February 7, 2020.  That starts the 90-day timeline within which the NJDEP must issue a decision which should happen by May 6, 2020.

NJDEP’s Identification Number for the 1/21/20 Applications is:

Program Interest # 0000-01-1001.3         Activity # LUP200001

NJDEP has provided application documents and ways to submit comments on a Portal that can be found at:

The deadline for sending comments to NJDEP is Monday, April 6.


Urge Governor Murphy and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to deny this harmful and unnecessary project once and for all.  Demand Murphy and the NJDEP put actions behind their promises of a clean energy future.  Demand that the NJDEP says NO to NESE!

  1. Sign the petition letter to ask for more time to review materials and submit comments + hearings (fact-finding meetings) scheduled by the NJDEP to hear our concerns.  The only NJDEP hearings for four different application times were on 11/5/18 and 3/18/19.
  2. Sign the petition letter that asks for the NESE permit applications to be denied.
  3. Look for online petition letters to sign.  We’ll provide information about them once they are live.

The 2 petition letters are here:

  1. NJDEP – Request Hearings + Extra Time to Comment
  2. NESE – Encourage Denial of NESE Permits

You can email your petition letters:

  • Format needs to be MSWord-compatible and not locked/read-only.
  • Put the following in the SUBJECT box:  Transco NESE Comments
  • Email to:  Governor Murphy, Commissioner McCabe & the NJDEP’s NESE Portal for comments

You can mail paper copies to:

TRANSCO NESE Public Comment
Land Use Regulation
N.J. Department of Environmental Protection
501 East State Street
Mail Code 501-02A; P.O Box 420
Trenton, NJ   08625-0420

Governor Philip D. Murphy
Office of the Governor
State of New Jersey
20 West State St., 4th Floor
Trenton, NJ 0862

Catherine R. McCabe
N.J. Department of Environmental Protection
401 East State St., 7th Floor
Trenton, NJ 0862


For the fourth time in three years, Williams-Transco is seeking approval for the Northeast Supply Enhancement (“NESE”) Project.  The massive expansion project would require the construction of a highly air polluting gas-fired compressor station in Somerset County, New Jersey, as well as the construction of a 23.4 mile offshore pipeline that will rip through Raritan and Lower New York Bay.  The project is designed to carry fracked methane gas from Pennsylvania through New Jersey and sensitive marine waters to New York.  If approved, the project would lock the region into decades of fossil fuel dependence, significantly contributing to catastrophic climate change while creating significant and severe environmental harm throughout New Jersey and New York.  

Why Is The Project A Bad Idea?

A Climate Disaster 

  • A major reason to oppose NESE is the impact it will have on accelerating climate change.  This billion dollar project will lock the region into decades of continued reliance on fossil fuels.  If approved, the project will bring climate altering methane gas to New York City, resulting in the equivalent of over 7 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year!

Incompatible with New Jersey and New York’s Clean Energy Agenda 

  • To address climate change, both Governor Murphy of New Jersey and Governor Cuomo of New York have unveiled progressive climate plans to significantly reduce emissions and promote a swift transition to renewable energy.  NESE creates a legacy incompatible with these goals. 

Destruction of Decades of Water Quality Improvement in the Raritan and Lower New York Bays

  • The Raritan Bay and Lower New York Bay are the oldest industrial watersheds in the nation.  Decades of pollution, dumping, and mismanagement resulted in widespread contamination.  However, environmental efforts in the last few years have significantly improved the area.  NESE threatens to reverse these improvements.  Dredging of a 23.4 mile trench through the heart of these waterways will re-suspend sediment containing harmful toxins such as PCBs, dioxin, lead, mercury and arsenic.
  • The company behind the project also plans to discharge over 690,000 gallons of drilling fluids into the water releasing untold chemicals and biocides into the marine environment.

Harm to Marine Life 

  • The area the proposed pipeline will disrupt is home to a wide variety of marine life.  The Raritan and Lower New York Bay is home to over two-hundred species of fish, sixteen species of marine mammals, including the Atlantic Right Whale, and five species of turtles. Several of these species are considered endangered or threatened. 
  • Construction of the offshore pipeline will result in widespread industrial activity which will harass and harm marine life.  The resuspension of the toxic contaminants will destroy important ecosystems such as oyster reefs, clam beds, wetlands and shallow waters.  As the toxic sediment resettles, it will also suffocate fish eggs and larva, killing the next generation of marine life.  

Ocean Dumping – Contaminating the Atlantic Ocean 

  • The company plans to not only re-suspend harmful toxic sediment, but has proposed to dump over 735,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment into the ocean.  This will expose marine life to toxic pollutants, reintroducing toxins into the environment and allowing it to enter the food chain.

A Threat to Public Health and Safety 

  • Over the past years, pipelines and pumping stations owned and operated by the company proposing NESE have experienced over ten explosions or fires.  In the last five years, the company has continued to receive safety and risk violations from various federal agencies including penalties in New York and New Jersey.  The company has also received numerous fines from the EPA for unsafe discharges of pollutants. 
  • Compressor Station 206 is proposed to be built in a densely populated area, next to an active blasting quarry and a Superfund site. 
  • Compressor Station 206 will increase the velocity of gas through pipelines that are over 50 years old which will accelerate the rate of corrosion that leads to fires and explosion.   

Increased Air/Noise Pollution 

  • The proposed Compressor Station 206 will result in harmful emissions of toxic air pollutants such as Carbon Monoxide, Sulfur Dioxide, Nitrous Oxides, Particulate Matter 2.5, Volatile Organic Compounds, Formaldehyde, and Benzene, and some of these emissions will increase Ozone, which is unhealthy for children, the elderly, and those with respiratory ailments.
  • For the second consecutive year, the American Lung Association gave both Monmouth County and Middlesex County an F in the annual State of the Air report for ozone pollution. 
  • Low-frequency noise from compressor stations, it has been reported, is harmful to both humans and wildlife.

An Unneeded Cash-Grab

  • The billion dollar project will be paid for by ratepayers in New York. If approved, federal regulations will give Williams-Transco a mandatory 14% return on investment for the harmful project.  There are better, less harmful alternatives to this massive overbuild of a project based on profit and not need.  
  • In fact, after New York regulators previously denied the project for the environmental harm it would create, National Grid, the utility contracted to purchase the gas from the project, issued a moratorium on all new connections and urged customers to support the project.  New York regulators concluded that there was no proof that the moratorium was needed and fined the company 35 million dollars, and ordered the company to lift the moratorium.  

Action Alert – Speak Up to Scrap NESE

NESE has new filings at the Federal & State levels, and our voices are needed again.

Williams/Transco now proposes to use (improve + extend) the access road from Route 518 to the EPA building on the Higgins Farm Superfund Site to get to the proposed Compressor Station 206.


FERC has opened up a new docket just for Williams/Transco’s January 31, 2020 “Application to Amend Certificate” to allow it to use & extend the Higgins Farm/EPA road to access the proposed Compressor Station 206.  The FERC Docket Number for this specific proceeding is CP20-49.  This is distinct from the FERC Docket for the overall NESE Project (FERC Docket Number CP17-101), which remains open/active.

Use this new docket number for the following actions:

  • March 20, 2020 = deadline to submit comments to FERC on the proposed “environmental document” which FERC will produce

To view the Amendment application, go to:


January 21, 2020:  new applications were submitted to NJDEP.

February 19, 2020 DEP Bulletin:  public notification that the new applications are “administratively complete” as of 2/7/20.

  • NJDEP has a portal (available here) on their website where they posted application materials (available here) & where there’s a form that can be used to submit comments online (available here).    You can use that or send comments as attachments to  
  • 45 day comment period has been provided for these applications by the DEP.  Thus, comments = need to be at DEP by April 3 (Friday).

There is hope!

On February 21, 2020, Williams/Transco stopped their investment in the Constitution Pipeline after 8+ years of legal battling.  They noted that “greenfield” (new) projects have weaker risk-adjusted returns. For NESE, the proposed Compressor Station 206 + most of the Raritan Bay Loop are not within their right-of-way areas and, thus, are “greenfield” components.

What can you do?

Sign up to be an intervenor with FERC on the new Docket No. for NESE CP20-49 by Feb. 26, 2020.

Find your prior comments that were sent to NJDEP on prior versions of the permit applications, and send them anew since, for the most part, the issues still exist. Submit your comments here.

Sign the online petition(s) to NJDEP about denying these latest permit applications, giving more time for making comments, and holding fact-finding (public hearing) meetings. Sign our MoveOn petition to the NJDEP here.

FYI:  This April 22 = the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.