Rally Against the NESE Project: By Land and Sea

Groups to Urge Governor Murphy to Stand Up for His Green Energy Agenda!

Saturday, September 14, 10:30am

Marine Park by the Pier, Red Bank, NJ

What:              Press conference and rally on the water and land urging Governor Murphy to deny the proposed Williams Transco Northeast Supply Enhancement Project (NESE) once and for all 

Who:               Concerned citizens and environmental, business and fishing groups, including: Central Jersey Environmental Defenders, Central Jersey Safe Energy Coalition, Clean Ocean Action, Environment New Jersey, Food and Water Watch, Indivisible Bayshore, J.T. White Clammers, Canyon Pass,  League of Women Voters of New Jersey, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, Surfrider Foundation, and Waterspirit

Where:            Marine Park by the Pier, Red Bank, NJ 07701

When:             Saturday, September 14, 2019 at 10:30am

Why:               Environmentalists, citizens and businesses are calling on Governor Murphy and the NJDEP to permanently deny the Williams NESE Project before the September 25th deadline.

Red Bank, NJ – As a critical deadline looms on the 3-year battle to stop the massive fracked natural gas project, Williams Transco Northeast Enhancement Supply (NESE), citizens are urged to attend a rally on the Navesink River to tell the Governor that the pending permits must be denied.  The NJDEP is obligated to make a final decision on the offshore pipeline section of the project by September 25, 2019, which put’s the Murphy Administration’s green energy agenda to the test.  Groups will urge that the decision be permanent, with no allowance to reapply.

NESE is the unnecessary, dirty, and environmentally destructive project designed to bring fracked natural gas from Pennsylvania to New York City.  The NJDEP denied permits this past June; however, the type of denial allowed Williams Transco to reapply, which they did. 

A coalition of environmental, fishing, business and community groups has united to fight the pipeline and is hosting a rally to urge Governor Murphy to deny the permits again, and this time to do so with provisions that prohibit reapplication.   The rally will be held by the pier at Marine Park in Red Bank from 10:30am – 12:00pm, and people of all ages are encouraged to attend and bring signs.   Immediately following the rally will be the celebration of the 44th Annual Clearwater Festival.

Cindy Zipf, Executive Director of Clean Ocean Action said,  “It’s imperative for citizens to attend this rally if they care about a healthy future.  While Governor Murphy has repeatedly promised a clean and green energy future for NJ, he needs to know we support that green vision and that his NJDEP must deny the permits.  There is nothing green about this project, in fact it is a lose, lose, lose for the Garden State, so saying no to this project is a no brainer.  We look forward to celebrating with the Governor once he sends Williams and Transco packing back to Oklahoma when his administration denies this project once and for all,” Zipf said.

“The Governor needs to do his job and stand for the environment and the people of New Jersey by denying this pipeline. We have told DEP time and time again that this is the wrong project in the wrong place. It is completely unnecessary and unneeded. The Northeast Supply Enhancement Project would cut through the already polluted and sensitive Raritan Bay and the New York Bay. This fossil fuel project would not only harm our fisheries and the ecology of the Bay but risk the safety and health of people too. Transco does not care about our safety, our clean air and water, they just want to put a dangerous compressor station and natural gas pipeline in our backyard and in our bay,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “DEP did their job in rejecting William Transco’s permits before, now it is their duty to reject them again.” 

“The Murphy Administration has a chance in the coming days to once again protect New Jerseyans from a dangerous source of air and water pollution and double down on its commitment to achieving a 100% clean energy future by permanently rejecting permits to the NESE project,” said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director of New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. “New Jersey has denied permits for NESE once. The Murphy administration should move to permanently reject the project and codify their strong decision made in June. I urge the public to join us on September 14th to show the governor we fully support his 100% clean energy goals and oppose NESE.”

State and local environmental organizations are not alone in their opposition to NESE. Numerous New Jersey residents have been actively opposing the project since it was first proposed. Dr. Barbara Cuthbert is a member of the Franklin Township Task Force, a group which formed three years ago to fight back and protect the communities which will be at risk from the proposed compressor station. “Governor Murphy and the DEP know that the NESE Project does not provide health or safety benefits to New Jerseyans. The laws and science, along with the clean energy goals of NJ, are on the side of NJDEP who should deny this third set of applications for good to protect our environment, health and safety from climate change impacts of fossil fuel extraction, transportation and combustion,” said Dr. Cuthbert.

Local community members along the Bayshore have expressed serious concerns over the impact the project will have on their communities and local economies. Despite the Bayshore region being on the front lines in terms of the impacts from the offshore pipeline, the DEP has failed to hold a public hearing on the project in the area. Elisabeth Eittreim, the head of Indivisible Bayshore explained that the organization, “firmly opposes the NESE Pipeline and urges our elected officials to protect our waterways before it is too late.”

Background:

NESE is an unnecessary, dirty, and environmentally destructive project designed to bring fracked natural/methane gas from Pennsylvania to New York City. To do so, Williams and their subsidiary Transco have sought permits to build both a massive new compressor station in Franklin Township and a 23.4-mile offshore pipeline through the Raritan Bay. The compressor station is being built next to an active quarry where blasting regularly occurs. Reports indicate that the compressor station will emit millions of tons of harmful pollutants annually into the air we breathe. Permits for these facilities are being evaluated separately by the NJDEP and a decision is expected in the fall. The nearly 24-mile pipeline, called the Raritan Loop, will rip Raritan Bay in half and continue all the way to the ocean spewing nearly a million tons of toxin muck and drilling mud into the waterways in which we swim and fish.  If approved, NESE will also rollback over 35 years of environmental progress for our waterways.  

ACTION ALERT – Make the Next Few Weeks Count – Speak Up Often

During the week of May 20, call the Governor often and tell him that you expect the NJDEP to deny the water permit applications for the Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) Project by June 5.

Call Governor Murphy between 9AM and 5PM at 866-586-4069

People in NJ and NY understand the risks and long-term impacts from the NESE Project to our health, safety, well-being & economy:

  • more air pollution with associated health problems
  • spread of toxics onland and in the Bay that threaten the health of people and life in the Bay
  • methane releases & risks of fires or explosions from the compressor station and leaks from pipelines that are over 50 years old
  • more frequent & intense weather events – causing flooding, destruction, displacement and lost income – from additional reliance on fossil fuels for the decades-long projected lifespan of NESE

People in NJ & NY are on the record opposing this dangerous Project:

  • On May 15, 2019, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) conditionally denied the Water Quality Certificate and permits for the Raritan Bay Loop part of NESE in NY waters since it would likely have significant Water Quality impacts in New York State. Williams/Transco can reapply since the application was denied “without prejudice”.
  • On May 14, 2019, Franklin Township Council passed a Resolution opposing issuance of permits by the NJDEP for the Northeast Supply Enhancement Project.
  • Thirteen Towns in the Bayshore community, along with Monmouth County Freeholders, passed resolutions opposing NESE during March and April 2019: Aberdeen, Atlantic Highlands, Hazlet, Highlands, Holmdel, Keansburg, Keyport, Long Branch, Matawan, Middletown, Rumson, Sea Bright, and Union.

Now, the ball is in NJDEP’s court to call the balls & strikes

  • Governor Murphy said, in response to questions of Junior Romero of Food & Water Watch on a Call the Governor event: “We review these things assiduously to make sure we do it right.”
  • The NJDEP has until June 5 to do the right thing and reject the permit applications.
  • The NJDEP decisions cannot be arbitrary & capricious in violation of laws and regulations.
  • The NJDEP is both the environmental rule-maker and rule-applier, and they decide the relevance of comments from the public as well as information from William/Transco in their best effort to be objective in their application and enforcement of the rules.
  • The NJDEP decisions must not be influenced by the “Matthew Effect” (found for baseball umpires’ unconscious biases in judgments of their calls of balls & strikes) of unconscious biases that could be influenced by the vast sums of money being spent in Trenton by lobbyists of Williams/Transco.

Williams/Transco continues to update and change information about the permit applications in response to issues raised by the public and questions from the NJDEP. They withdrew their permits in June 2018 because the supplemental information had not yet satisfied the regulatory requirements of New Jersey, and they claimed that this was done to give the NJDEP time needed to review the added information before making a decision. Their re-submitted applications (June 18, 2018) still do not satisfy all applicable regulations. Of note, in the suit filed against E.I. DuPont DeNemours & Co. by the State of New Jersey on 03/27/19 for the Parlin site, it was written that:

 The State has the ability “through the Department, to protect, conserve and manage the natural resources of the State, which are by law precious and invaluable public resources held by the State in trust for the benefit of the public; and the rights of the people of the State to enjoy their natural resources free from interference by pollution and contamination.” (#208, pages 61-62)

“The use, enjoyment, and existence of uncontaminated natural resources is a right common to the general public.” (#207, page 61)

“As the trustee over the State’s natural resources, the State has a duty to protect and restore all natural resources of the State and protect the health and comfort of its inhabitants.” (#216, page 64) Accessed from: https://www.nj.gov/oag/newsreleases19/Parlin_Filed-Complaint_and_Jury- Demand.pdf

It’s time for the NJDEP to acknowledge that the NESE Project is not in the public interest, will not benefit the municipalities where it would be located, and does not meet all regulatory requirements, including those of Stormwater Management, for the permits.

ACTION ALERT – Urge Governor Murphy and NJDEP TO DENY WATER PERMIT APPLICATIONS for the Northeast Supply Enhancement Project (NESE)

Many have sent comments to NJDEP about the deficiencies in the applications of Williams/Transco for water permits needed to construct the NESE Project. The comment period ended on May 2.

Even though FERC issued their “Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity” Order on May 3, the NESE Project cannot be constructed without receiving water permits from NY’s Department of Environmental Conservation and NJ’s Department of Environmental Protection.

Below are links to recent publications showing the risks of NESE as well as the fact that NESE is not needed even though gas companies in New York are threatening moratoriums if the NESE Project is not approved.

DO NOT BE SWAYED BY SUCH PROPAGANDA!

  • There are other options for future developments to get energy in New York.
  • The claim that the gas is needed to help National Grid’s customers change from using oil to using gas is false.

Pipeline planned for Raritan Bay is a safety risk that keeps us all dependent on dirty fossil fuels, environmentalist says

Rigorous report proves lack of need for Williams fracked gas pipeline – This Press Release makes note of the critical findings in the report and includes a valid link to the Study.

FALSE DEMAND: The case against the Williams fracked gas pipeline

Also, see the comment letters submitted to NJDEP by:

ACTION ALERT: Urge Governor Murphy & NJDEP to Deny Water Permit Applications for Compressor Station 206

2019 is the last phase of the permitting and regulatory process for NESE.

We’ve been at this for a long time, and now is a critical time to have your voices heard where they can make a difference.

THE BALL IS IN GOVERNOR MURPHY’S COURT!

FERC issued their final Environmental Impact Statement on 1/25/19. They claim that any impacts from NESE will be temporary or minor. Though we disagree and have sent comments about our concerns to FERC, we still continue to anticipate that FERC will issue the Certificate of Public Convenience & Necessity since FERC does not seriously consider all that we care about and has only rejected a few pipeline projects (because the company did not have buyers for the gas). The Certificate could be issued as early as the end of February and as late as late April 2019.

Now, it’s up to Governor Murphy and the NJDEP to deny or approve water permit applications. NJDEP can stop the assault on our health, safety and the environment posed by the NESE Project.

Williams/Transco submitted their water permit applications to NJDEP on June 20, 2018. They expect to receive the permits in April 2019, but NJDEP has one calendar year to provide or reject the permit applications.

The proposed Compressor Station 206 and pipeline under Raritan Bay will not be built if Williams/Transco does not get all permits needed from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) & New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC).

Please see the new summary of concerns with the NESE Project (PDFs attached) for:

TO DO

Urge Governor Murphy and the NJDEP to look at all aspects of the applications for water permits and hold Williams/Transco to high standards.