ACTION ALERT – NESE in the News 4/13/19

ACTION ALERT – NESE in the News 4/13/19

Issues about the NESE Project were the subject of an investigative report by Brian Thompson that was aired on New York’s NBC Channel 4 on April 11, 2019 during the 11:00 news. To view this, check out NESE in the NEWS!

Remember:

  1. Folks in New Jersey have until May 2 to send comments to the NJDEP about Williams/Transco’s applications for NESE for Flood Hazard Areas, Coastal Wetlands, Waterfront Development and Temporary Dewatering. Send comments to: Matthew.Resnick@dep.nj.gov and Robert.Hudgins@dep.nj.gov, and send copies of comments to Governor Murphy & NJDEP Commissioner McCabe at: Constituent.relations@nj.gov and Commissioner@dep.nj.gov.
  2. All are encouraged to call Governor Murphy at (609) 292-6000 to strongly request that he makes sure that the DEP does not issue any permit if the application does not meet all standards of New Jersey’s regulations.

For comment ideas CLICK HERE (pdf)

The NJDEP will need to make a decision about granting or denying the permits by June 5, 2019. We need to let them know that we expect them to be the Department of Environmental Protection and listen to our concerns.

All comments matter! As Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”

ACTION ALERT – By May 2, tell NJDEP to deny Permit Applications

Action Alert – By May 2, tell NJDEP to deny Permit Applications

FERC will likely issue the “Certificate of Public Convenience & Necessity” this month, but NJDEP can stop the NESE Project if they deny any of the permit applications by June 5, 2019. This is their mandated 90-day deadline after they determined that the applications were “complete for review” as of the date they received all requested information about the applications (February 6).

We have until May 2, 2019 to send written comments to NJDEP to tell them to deny the water quality and dewatering permit applications for the NESE Project.

Send your comments to:

Matthew Resnick
Division of Land Use Regulation Mail Code 501-02A
P.O. Box 420
Trenton, New Jersey 08625 – 0420
Matthew.Resnick@dep.nj.gov

and

Robert Hudgins
Division of Water Supply & Geoscience Mail Code 401-04Q
P.O. Box 420
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0420
Robert.Hudgins@dep.nj.gov

Send copies of comments to:

Governor Phil Murphy
Office of the Governor
PO Box 001
Trenton, NJ 08625
Constituent.relations@nj.gov

and

Catherine R. McCabe, Commissioner
NJ Department of Environmental Protection
401 East State St. – 7th Floor, East Wing – PO Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402
Commissioner@dep.nj.gov

For comment ideas CLICK HERE (pdf)

Copy parts, add your personal reasons,
and remember that the goal is to get NJDEP on our
side so that they reject the applications.

Comments can be sent via snail mail or email.

Also see this document that shows there’s no need by New York for NESE’s gas: False Demand: The Case Against the Williams Fracked Gas Pipeline (PDF)

Former New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Regional Director Suzanne Mattei culled data from a huge range of sources to show that National Grid’s claim that this source of fracked gas is necessary to serve a growing demand is just that: a claim. In this March 2019 report, Mattei shows decisively that the demand for gas to heat homes and businesses will decline over the next ten years due to energy efficiency and the availability of alternative technologies.

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.

Action Alert – NJDEP Update

NJDEP has heard from us about issues with the Freshwater Wetlands Permit Application. 

  • See the attached transcript of the comments (PDF) at the November 5, 2018 hearing at Franklin High School.
  • By November 20 (the deadline to send comments to NJDEP about this permit), over 1,000 comments were sent. 

NJDEP is still reviewing the permit applications and asking Williams/Transco for more information.  Permits are needed from NJDEP for Freshwater Wetlands, Flood Hazard Area, Coastal Wetlands and Waterfront Development.

  • None of the applications have been deemed to be “technically complete”.
  • Applications were received by the NJDEP on June 20, 2018, and they have one calendar year to either grant or deny each permit.

NJDEP stated that there will be another hearing, but the details have not been publicized.  We suspect that the next hearing will be in Old Bridge or Sayreville.

ACTION ALERT: Send Comments to NJDEP by November 20, 2018

DO SOMETHING YOU’LL BE THANKFUL FOR

Speak up for the health, safety & environment of your family, friends and future generations.

Deadline:  Tuesday, November 20, 2018

This is the last date that the NJDEP will consider comments on the Freshwater Wetlands Permit Application of Williams/Transco for the Compressor Station 206 and onland part of the pipeline by Raritan Bay.

REMEMBER:  If all permits are not obtained, the Compressor Station 206 and pipeline near and under the Raritan Bay cannot be built. 

Over 300 concerned residents went to the NJDEP Hearing on November 5, and the 3-minute comments were still being made past 11:00 PM.  That was an amazing showing, but more is needed.

As Abraham Lincoln said in the Lincoln-Douglas debate of 1858,

Public sentiment is everything.
With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed.”

This is the time for all to make their concerns known to the NJDEP.  The power of many is needed to stop the Northeast Supply Enhancement Project from creating risks to our health and safety.  Every comment matters!

COMMENT SAMPLES (.docx):

  1. Incomplete Application that is also not compliant with Stormwater Management Rules
  2. Application does not meet “public need” or “public interest” requirements – long & short versions
  3. Application has concerning impacts on wetlands
  4. Application threatens habitats for threatened & endangered species
  5. Health issues related to Freshwater Wetlands Permit Application
  6. Safety issues related to Freshwater Wetlands Permit Application
  7. Summary of Concerns with the Freshwater Wetlands Permit Application

As Margaret Mead said,

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful concerned citizens can change the world.
Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”

ACTION ALERT: Review NJDEP Application Documents

For the NJDEP hearing, you can review application material from Williams/Transco to NJDEP at:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1Bm6kTq6Fv0JJIC-ra2pOXBH5SPYGWf0c?usp=sharing

These were obtained from the NJDEP through an OPRA request.

The hearing on November 5 is for the Freshwater Wetlands application.

Application for Freshwater Wetlands

Read full ACTION ALERT for the November 5 meeting on TAPinto

Note:  Files on the Google drive with “2017” contain material from the original application that was withdrawn.  The current applications, submitted June 20, 2018, should be marked as 2018.  Not all files are clearly labeled, however.

ACTION ALERT: NJDEP Hearing Monday, November 5

NJDEP scheduled a Hearing for the Wetlands Permit Application for NESE and Compressor Station 206.  See the attached notice.

Show up to let NJDEP know what you think about the proposed Compressor Station 206 & the pipeline in Sayreville & Old Bridge that is planned to also go through Raritan Bay.

DATE:  Monday, November 5, 2018

STARTING TIME:  6:00 PM

PLACE:  Franklin Twp. High School – Auditorium – 500 Elizabeth Ave., Somerset, NJ 08873

Fact-Finding Meetings: 

  • NJDEP staff will facilitate the meeting.
  • People usually get 3 minutes to speak at a microphone in front of the group about their concerns, and a stenographer records it.  It’s not like the FERC meeting where you went into a separate room.
  • Pre-written comments can be submitted at the meeting & can be sent after the meeting.
  • We do expect that pro-NESE people will be there to voice their support (like they were at the FERC public meetings), so we want to have many concerned folks there to tell NJDEP why we do not want NESE.
  • You do not need to be there at 6:00, but if you want to speak, you’ll need to sign-up when you arrive.

Then, NJDEP will give a time period and address for sending them more written comments. 

NJDEP has 90 days after holding fact-finding meetings to issue their decision.

From another hearing, NJDEP provided the following directions:

PUBLIC HEARING RULES OF CONDUCT

The purpose of the hearing is to gather public comment from anyone who wishes to speak. Any action taken by any person that prevents the public from commenting is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Anyone who violates these rules of conduct may be removed from the hearing.

  • No signs mounted on sticks, or otherwise attached to an object, are allowed within the auditorium
  • No food or drink is allowed within the auditorium
  • Please remain seated until called forward to provide comment
  • No interrupting when someone is speaking
  • No unruly/disruptive behavior (i.e. yelling, chanting, use of foul language)
  • Testimony will be limited to three minutes per speaker

The Department thanks you for your cooperation and participation in this public process

Status of Applications to NJDEP for water permits

Approximately 2,000 mailed and emailed letters were sent to the NJDEP requesting fact-finding meetings (“hearings”) on the water quality permit applications submitted by Williams/Transco on June 20, 2018.  THANK YOU!

NJDEP has started their review of the applications and, on July 18, 2018, they sent a letter to Williams/Transco and FERC identifying deficiencies with the applications.  

NJDEP has one calendar year to grant or deny the permit applications that they received on June 20, 2018, and Williams/Transco now expects to hear the decision in April 2019.

Since NJDEP has 90 days after holding fact-finding meetings to issue their decision, we are anticipating that the fact-finding meetings will be scheduled in the winter of 2018 once they have adequate information for the application reviews.  However, the meeting could be sooner. We’ll let you know when we learn more. Stay tuned!

Fact-Finding Meetings:

  • NJDEP staff will facilitate the meeting at a place that can hold many people.
  • People usually get 3 minutes to speak at a microphone in front of the group about their concerns, and a stenographer records it.  It’s not like the FERC meeting where you went into a separate room.
  • Pre-written comments can be submitted at the meeting & can be sent after the meeting.
  • We do expect that pro-NESE people will be there to voice their support (like they were at the FERC public meetings), so we want to have many concerned folks there to tell NJDEP why we do not want NESE.
  • It’ll probably start around 5:30 PM.  However, you can come later. If you want to speak, you will need to sign-up at the meeting to do this.

Send comments to the NJDEP

  • Commissioner Catherine McCabe: Commissioner@dep.nj.gov
  •  Director Ruth Foster: Ruth.Foster@dep.nj.gov

Williams/Transco submitted new applications for water permits (Freshwater Wetlands, Flood Hazard Area Control, Coastal Wetlands, & Waterfront Development) on June 19, 2018.

  • Tell NJDEP that you want them to hold two (2) public fact-finding meetings – one by the Raritan Bay (Old Bridge / Sayreville) and one by the proposed Compressor Station 206 area (Franklin Township / South Brunswick).
  • Tell NJDEP that you expect them to deny the permits unless they obtain and carefully review all needed information and actually find that the proposed project would not cause harm to the environment, people or wildlife.
  •  Tell NJDEP that an increase in reliance on fossil fuels for energy does not support New Jersey’s goal to transition to renewables and clean energy.

Sign the letter to NJDEP and either mail it or give it to a member of the Task Force to mail
Click here for link to the letter to print, sign & mail

NOTE: A request for fact-finding meetings needs to be in writing to NJDEP and received in Trenton by August 3.

Keep sending comments to FERC

Send comments to FERC that request a “reset” for the DEIS by asking them to publish a revised/supplemental DEIS that addresses all new information and all concerns of the public. Tell FERC that the March 23, 2018 DEIS was missing critical information, dismissed comments of the public & elected officials, and lacked supportive studies or data for FERC’s conclusions. Additionally, Williams/Transco submitted thousands of pages of new information and reports that needs to be reviewed and analyzed in a document that FERC publishes during the time period when the public can truly provide meaningful comments. These submissions were in May and June 2018 – after the DEIS was published & after the end of the “official” time period for sending comments to FERC.

FERC claims that they consider ALL comments they receive. Many people need to let them know that the DEIS was not acceptable.

SEND COMMENTS TO FERC NOW, AND COPY NJDEP.

The DEIS was incomplete & misleading.  Tell FERC that you want a revised or supplemental DEIS and an additional comment period of at least 45 days.

When you send a comment to FERC, also forward that comment to the NJDEP –

  • Commissioner Catherine McCabe: Commissioner@dep.nj.go
  • Director Ruth Foster: Ruth.Foster@dep.nj.gov

You can also forward your comments to your elected officials and ask them to support the opposition to NESE.