ACTION ALERT – New Jersey does not want NESE, and New York does not need NESE

NJDEP should reject NESE’s applications for water permits by June 5.

WHY?

  • The applications for water permits do not meet state standards.
  • The NESE Project fails to preserve, protect and enhance our natural environment.
  • The NESE Project would harm public health, safety and the general welfare.
  • NESE would not provide benefit to NJ or the municipalities, and there is no proof that NY needs more gas.

PEOPLE & GOVERNMENT GROUPS HAVE SPOKEN

  1. On May 14, Franklin Township passed a resolution urging the NJDEP to deny the applications from Williams/Transco for water permits for the NESE Project.
  2. On May 2, 2019, signatures of over 10,000 people on petitions and letters urging the NJDEP to deny the permit applications were delivered to the NJDEP.
  3. The Town Councils/Committees of Franklin Township, Montgomery, South Brunswick, and Princeton (around the proposed Compressor Station 206) and Aberdeen, Atlantic Highlands, Hazlet, Highlands, Holmdel, Keansburg, Keyport, Long Branch, Matawan, Middletown, Rumson, Sea Bright, and Union Beach (around the proposed Raritan Bay Loop pipeline), along with the Freeholders from Somerset and Monmouth Counties, have adopted resolutions opposing the Northeast Supply Enhancement Project due to risks about safety and health, and the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act Rules require the Department to determine if the Northeast Supply Enhancement Project is in the “public interest” after considering, among other things, the “probable individual and cumulative impacts of the regulated activity on public health and fish and wildlife”.
  4. On May 5, 2019, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation conditionally denied Williams/Transco a Water Quality Certification because the Project, as currently conceived, would likely have significant Water Quality impacts in New York State.

“[A]s currently conceived, construction of the Project would likely have significant water quality impacts in New York State. This includes significant water quality impacts from the resuspension of sediments and other contaminants, including mercury and copper. In addition, as currently proposed, the Project would cause impact s to habitats due to the disturbance of shellfish beds and other benthic resources. … [B]ased on the information currently available, the Department is unable to determine that Transco has demonstrated that construction and operation of the Project would comply with applicable water quality standards.” Additionally, “Transco has not provided sufficient documentation to the Department that any reduction in the rate of dredging to comply with water quality standards would be possible within applicable specified protection work windows.”

Williams/Transco submitted a new application to New York on May 17, 2019.

Offshore Issues

New Jersey does not want NESE, and New York does not need NESE

The construction of the proposed pipeline will result in significant negative impacts to marine fish and fisheries though:

  • increased turbidity
  • re-suspension of toxin-laden sediment
  • noise impacts
  • hydrostatic testing

Furthermore, Williams/Transco does not appear to be able to comply with necessary time of year restrictions that exist to protect fisheries and marine fish, and there has been no known agreement with agencies about Williams/Transco’s request to bypasss these protections to complete construction under a modification of the time- of-year restrictions that were designed to protect species in the Bay.

Construction of the Madison and Raritan Bay Loops of the NESE Project would affect 3,843.6 acres of land (3,726.5 offshore + 117.1 on land) according to FERC’s 1/25/19 FEIS (pg. 2-9).

Construction of the Raritan Bay Loop would inhibit travel of commercial and recreational vehicles in the Bay for nine months, 24/7 within the 14,165.5 acre construction workspace footprint.

The process of installing the pipeline will disturb the toxic-laden sediments at the bottom of the Raritan Bay which will smother marine life dwelling on the floor and elsewhere. The construction of the Raritan Bay Loop in New Jersey, New York and Federal waters would directly disrupt 87.8 acres of seafloor which now provides cover to years of toxics such as PCBs, mercury and copper that would be unearthed and result in deposition of toxics on the seafloor.

The proposal to build approximately six miles of pipeline under the Raritan Bay in NJ waters (out of a 23.5 mile pipeline in the NY Bight) will quite likely end up re-releasing arsenic, lead, PCBs and other toxic substances in the sediment back into the Bay. The resuspension of toxic-laden sediments, throughout the dredging and drilling process as well as through the discharge of drilling muds, hydrostatic testing, vessel anchoring and operations, will significantly degrade the water quality of the Raritan Bay and result in concentrations harmful to fish and shellfish that are detrimental.

Construction of the Raritan Bay Loop of NESE will unearth and re-suspend toxic-and-pathogen-laden sediment.

  • NESE’s Final Environmental Impact Statement revealed that construction of the Raritan Bay Loop would result in the resuspension of 1,091,734 cubic yards of toxic-laden sediment.
  • The re-suspended fine-grain sediments will not readily resettle and contain known harmful chemicals such as heavy metals, methylmercury, dioxin, and others.
  • The re-suspended contaminates will affect habitat quality and risk contamination of fishery resources.
  • The seafloor would be covered by over 1.2 inches of sediment – known to include harmful pollutants – on areas up to 21.7 acres (from clamshell dredging), up to 3.7 acres (from use of a hand jet and submersible pump/suction dredge), and over 183.2 acres (from backfilling over the pipeline).
  • Thinner deposits of 0.12 inches or more would cover over 251.7 acres from excavation and another 695.7 acres for backfill (total of 947.4 acres).
  • Over 134 acres of NJDEP 2014 hard clam beds would receive some level of additional sedimentation, with 76 acres receiving more than 1.2 inches of sedimentation.
  • The redistribution of sediments that fall from suspension, will bury benthic and demersal species, resulting in mortality of eggs and other life stages, including winter flounder that spawn in shallow, inshore waters in the project area. The FEIS specifically notes that eggs and larva of this species could be directly affected by excavation or by smothering in toxic-laden sediments during construction.
  • The FERC FEIS indicates that when benthic habitat is physically disrupted from dredging and smothering, the community can be expected to recolonize in roughly 1-3 years. However, this estimate does not account for the toxic-laden sediment which will now be unearthed, impacting the benthic layer and its viability as potential habitat for marine life.
  • If absorbed by phytoplankton, the contaminants risk bio-accumulation throughout the food chain and will significantly impair fish populations and the fishing industry which depends on these species.
  • Bottom dwelling marine life in or near the excavation will be exposed to toxins and therefore significantly harmed. Dredging up buried industrial toxins (like arsenic, lead, zinc and mercury) and organic compounds (PCBs, DDT, dioxins) from the seabed will poison fish, shellfish and marine life in the Raritan and Sandy Hook Bays. Recovery from such sedimentation for bottom-dwelling species such as surf clams could take 3 years, or even longer if the physical characteristics of the habitat are altered (e.g., sediment type, hydrology), resulting in recolonization of different species.
  • Construction of the pipeline would cause over 134 acres of NJDEP sport ocean fishing grounds to be subjected to some level of additional sedimentation. Across the Project Area, up to 573.3 acres of shallow bay waters would be subject to some level of additional sedimentation. If this sedimentation occurs during the spawning period of some fish, fish eggs could be smothered and die.

Construction of the Raritan Bay Loop of NESE would increase turbidity. The sediment resuspension and subsequent increase turbidity will result in direct and indirect adverse impacts on designated essential fish habitat.

  • Increases in turbidity can affect fish physiology and behavior which may impair migration, breeding, spawning and development.
  • Potential physiological effects from increase turbidity include mechanical abrasion of surface membranes, delayed larval and embryonic development, reduced bivalve pumping rates, and interference with respiratory functions.

Construction of the Raritan Bay Loop would go through the Raritan Bay Slag Superfund site, specifically in Area 7 (Morgan Shore Approach HDD exit pit) and pipeline pre-lay trenching for about 1,000 feet in Area 11.

  • Offshore samplings of sediment by Williams/Transco near the Morgan Shore portion of the pipeline showed a greater number of exceedances of established thresholds for several contaminants including dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls, and heavy metals, such as mercury.
  • Disruption of this soil will push contaminated soil into the bay and further impact water quality and human health.
  • The currents in Raritan Bay will ensure that not all re-suspended sediment will fall back down to the seafloor, but will continue to mix in the water column.

Williams/Transco intends to discharge over 690,000 gallons of drilling fluid into the water of the Bay.

  • Williams/Transco has indicated that it will use biocides, which will contaminate the water quality and impact the food chain, increasing the impairment for fishing and shellfishing in these areas.

The process for the hydrostatic testing will also result in negative impacts to fisheries by killing fish eggs and larva, as well as by further disturbing the benthic habitat and layer of the Raritan Bay.

  • During the process, a hose would be placed into the bay which will syphon up 3.5 million gallons of water. The water will be syphoned at an extremely fast rate of 2,350 gallons per minute. The water will be filtered through a mesh screen before entering the pipeline. The position of the water intake will be halfway into the water column or at least 10 feet below the surface. Importantly, the Raritan Bay is a shallow waterway.
  • Therefore, due to the proximity of the intake, the shallowness of the water and the pressure of the intake, the benthic layer will be significantly disturbed. Juvenile and early stage adult fish and invertebrates could be impinged on the intake screens and zooplankton (including plankton) could be entrained or entrapped.
  • This will result in increased re-suspension of toxic sediment, increased turbidity, and the destruction of all larva and eggs near the intake.

Williams/Transco plans to release water, treated with a known toxin, used in hydrostatically testing the pipeline into the bay.

  • Their plan involves releasing 3.2 million gallons of seawater that was treated with the toxic chemical CORRTREAT 15316. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, CORRTREAT 15316 is a highly toxic substance harmful to humans and marine life.
  • Clariant, the manufacturer of CORRTREAT specifically notes on its Safety Data Sheet that “the product should not be allowed to enter drains, water courses, or the soil.” [Clariant, Safety Data Sheet: CORRTREAT 15316. Pg. 4.]

The construction of the Raritan Bay Loop would cross 8.1 miles of the Raritan Bay Significant Habitat Complex; and it would cross 7 recreational fishing grounds in NJ and NY waters that are designated as “prime fishing areas”.

  • The redistribution of sediments that fall from suspension, will bury benthic and demersal species, resulting in mortality of eggs and other life stages, including winter flounder that spawn in shallow, inshore waters in the project area.
  • The resuspension of toxic sediment will bioaccumulation osprey and bald eagle populations through ingestion of contaminated marine life.
  • There was no analysis provided to document anticipated synergistic effects of exposure to a combination of toxins to any marine species (benthic or pelagic, migratory or otherwise).

REGULATORY CONSIDERATIONS

  1. Under the Coastal Zone Management Rules, at N.J.A.C.7:7-9.5(c), development which lowers the water quality to such an extent as to interfere with the movement of fish along migratory pathways is prohibited.
    • The construction of the Raritan Bay Loop would threaten to harm marine mammals’ communication, navigation, travel, feeding and breeding with noise from construction as well as increased turbidity in the water, and it would kill (smother and poison) benthic communities from dredging and backfilling activities. Construction of NESE’s Raritan Bay Loop will impact the endangered Atlantic sturgeon’s migratory pathway, and harm to Atlantic sturgeon, which are benthic feeders, includes exposure to re- suspended contaminants, bioaccumulation of toxins from contamination of benthic invertebrates, seafloor and benthic habitat disturbances, noise, and vessel strikes.
  2. Currently, NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) determined that the NESE Pipeline may affect, and is likely to adversely affect the right whale, fin whale, and Atlantic sturgeon. Therefore, formal consultation pursuant to the Endangered Species Act has been requested. Until consultation is finalized, the impacts to these species are unknown. [NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service. Revised Determination of Effect and Request for Consultation. Feb. 7, 2019.]
  3. Construction of the Raritan Bay Loop of NESE would violate NJ’s Surface Water Quality Standards.
    • Construction of the Raritan Bay Loop would pollute the water so that their existing uses, such as shellfish harvesting and the maintenance, migration, and propagation of natural and established biota, would be impaired, in violation of Surface Water Quality Standards – N.J.A.C. 7:9B-1.12(d).
    • Construction of the pipeline would increase the level of total suspended solids in Raritan Bay to an extent that it would render the water unsuitable for designated uses, in violation of N.J.A.C. 7:9B- 1.14(d)(7).
    • Construction would also resuspend toxic substances in the water column such that they would be detrimental to the natural aquatic biota, rendering the waters unsuitable for the designated uses, in violation of N.J.A.C. 7:9B-1.14(d)(12).
    • Resuspended sediment could also exceed numerical criteria for several contaminants, including mercury and copper, as set forth in N.J.A.C. 7:9B-1.14(d).
    • Construction would cause the suspension and eventual deposition of settleable solids in amounts that would be noticeable in the water and on aquatic substrata in quantities detrimental to the natural biota and rendering the waters unsuitable for the designated uses, in violation of N.J.A.C. 7:9B-1.14(d)(3).
    • By resuspending sediment in the water column, construction of the pipeline would also exceed numerical criteria for several contaminants, including mercury and copper, set forth in N.J.A.C. 7:9B- 1.14(f)(7),(g).
  4. According to N.J.A.C. 7:7A, Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act Rules, the Department may not issue a Freshwater Wetlands permit unless the Project
    • will not cause or contribute to a violation of any applicable State water quality standard;
    • will not cause or contribute to a violation of any applicable toxic effluent standard or prohibition imposed pursuant to the Water Pollution Control Act;
    • will not cause or contribute to a significant degradation, as defined at 40 C.F.R. 230.10(c), of ground or surface waters;
    • is in the public interest, as determined by the Department in consideration of the following: The extent and permanence of the beneficial or detrimental effects which the proposed regulated activity may have on the public and private uses for which the property is suited; and
    • will not involve a discharge of dredged material or a discharge of fill material, unless the material is clean, suitable material free from toxic pollutants in toxic amounts, which meets Department rules for use of dredged or fill material.

Onland Issues

In New Jersey, the Northeast Supply Enhancement Project would result in a permanent loss of:

  • 3.9 acres of wetlands,
  • 14.5 acres of forest, and
  • 8.5 acres of upland vegetation.

Construction of the NESE Project would disturb another:

  • 10 acres of wetlands (6 of which are designated as exceptional value resources) and
  • 65.8 acres of upland vegetation (37.1 open acres + 28.7 acres of forest).

Forests help to address stormwater runoff, and the Department considers impacts to forested areas to be permanent if not restored within six months. Recovery of forested areas that are not permanently removed could take 50+ years, so the real permanent loss of forested area in NJ would be 43.2 acres.

The NESE Project in New Jersey would cross 14 streams/waterbodies (8 for the pipeline & access road, and 4 in construction worksites) and 5.2 Flood Hazard acres onland.

The Compressor Station 206 site is in the Millstone Watershed which is designated as impaired, and no new construction there can impair this watershed further.

Plans for construction of an infiltration basin to control stormwater runoff at the CS206 site need to meet requirements of Dam Safety Standards at N.J.A.C. 7:20. Williams/Transco initially submitted an application for a Dam Safety Permit in April/May 2019 – nearly one year after they submitted their second application for water permits to the Department on June 20, 2018 – and they continue to submit changes in plans to address concerns about the application expressed to them by the Department.

Construction of the Madison and Raritan Bay Loops would cross or be next to toxic or Superfund sites such as the Raritan Bay Slag & Global Sanitary Superfund Sites and E.I. DuPont DeNemours & Co.

Construction of the onland pipeline would go through acid producing soils, rendering re-vegetation extremely problematic, potentially exacerbating erosion and excess stormwater runoff.

REGULATORY CONSIDERATIONS

  1. Given the likely presence of acid producing soil in the areas where HDD is proposed, the permit applications to Land Use and Water Supply & Geoscience do not meet the Goals of the Stormwater Management Act Rules for stormwater management planning found at N.J.A.C. 7:8-2.2(a)(1) – Reduce flood damage, including damage to life and property or N.J.A.C. 7:8-2.2(a)(3) – Reduce soil erosion from any development or construction project. As has been noted in my prior comment and those of others, excavation in acid producing soils leads to poor revegetation possibility which then threatens increased risk of erosion and flooding.
  2. According to the Coastal Zone Management Rules, N.J.A.C. 7:7-9.39(a), “Special hazard areas include areas with a known actual or potential hazard to public health, safety, and welfare, or to public or private property, such as the navigable air space around airports and seaplane landing areas, potential evacuation zones, and areas where hazardous substances as defined at N.J.S.A. 58:10-23.11b are used or disposed, including adjacent areas and areas of hazardous material contamination.” (italics added)
  3. According to N.J.A.C. 7:7A, Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act Rules, the Department may not issue a Freshwater Wetlands permit unless the Project –
    • will not cause or contribute to a violation of any applicable State water quality standard;
    • will not cause or contribute to a violation of any applicable toxic effluent standard or prohibition imposed pursuant to the Water Pollution Control Act;
    • will not cause or contribute to a significant degradation, as defined at 40 C.F.R. 230.10(c), of ground or surface waters;
    • is in the public interest, as determined by the Department in consideration of the following: The extent and permanence of the beneficial or detrimental effects which the proposed regulated activity may have on the public and private uses for which the property is suited;
    • will not involve a discharge of dredged material or a discharge of fill material, unless the material is clean, suitable material free from toxic pollutants in toxic amounts, which meets Department rules for use of dredged or fill material; and
    • in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:7A-2.7, is part of a project that in its entirety complies with the Stormwater Management rules at N.J.A.C. 7:8.
  4. With planned trenching and HDD construction of parts of the Madison Loop through or near toxic sites, the applications for permits for the NESE Project do not meet the Goals of the Stormwater Management Act Rules for stormwater management planning found at N.J.A.C. 7:8-2.2(a)(6) – Prevent, to the greatest extent feasible, an increase in nonpoint pollution.
  5. Considering the inappropriate and/or incomplete data about soils and geology constraints for the proposed retention basins and the tie-in pipeline at Compressor Station 206, and incomplete consideration of alternative sites for Compressor Station 206 that would not involve a wetland or have less adverse impact on the aquatic ecosystem, the permit applications for the NESE Project do not meet all the conditions listed in N.J.S.A. 13:9B-9, the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act.
  6. Considering the identified issues with the design of the infiltration basin at the Compressor Station 206 site, and lack of consideration of the immediate and long-term impacts from all of NESE’s pipeline construction, the applications for water permits for the NESE Project do not meet the Goals of the Stormwater Management Act Rules for stormwater management planning found at N.J.A.C. 7:8-2.2(a).

Greenhouse Gas Issues

Building and operating a 32,000 horsepower gas-fired compressor station and 23.4 miles of offshore pipeline that will have a 50-60 year minimum useful will create an unneeded but available supply of natural gas at a time when we have acknowledged the need for drastic emission reductions. This Project goes against the renewable energy goals of New Jersey & New York, and will see renewables continue to be blocked from fair market entry.

Construction and operation of the compressor station and pipelines that are part of the NESE Project would exacerbate climate change and increase the severity and intensity of the impacts associated with it.

FERC acknowledged the specific vulnerability of New York City to climate change by listing projected changes on page 4-388 in the FEIS (1/25/19) for NESE:

New Jersey is an Ozone Compromised Region, and the proposed Compressor Station 206 would emit 33.41 tons of Methane (CH4) and a projected 3.29 tons of Nitrous Oxide (N2O) every year, and this does not include methane leaked from the pipelines.

Compressor stations and gas pipelines leak methane – the most potent short-term greenhouse gas.

Even over CO2’s average 100-year lifetime in the atmosphere, methane yields 25 to 32 times the global warming potential of CO2. Methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2, producing 84 times the global warming potential (GWP) of an equivalent weight of CO2 over a 20-year period. Nitrous oxide is worse still, creating 298 times the global warming potential of CO2 over a 100-year period, as well as causing depletion of stratospheric ozone, leading to more sun burns and skin cancer.

In short, methane and nitrous oxide are much worse greenhouse gases than CO2, especially when we consider the speed with which we need to act. CO2 is only the most damaging greenhouse gas emission because there is so much more of it emitted worldwide.

NESE’s Applications & reviews clearly omitted assessing actual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, both initially and cumulatively, for the impact on Central New Jersey from Compressor Station 206 (CS206).

* Note: Any accounting for fugitive emissions (leaks) is likely grossly underestimated.

The threshold for comparing this to the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) threshold of 75,000 tons per year of emissions of 132,720 tons of Greenhouse Gas Equivalent per year (as noted in the ap4plication) was not triggered because CS206 was not considered a major source for the NJDEP.


According to NOAA / NASA, 2018 was the 4th warmest year on record (since 1880). “2018 is yet again an extremely warm year on top of a long-term global warming trend,” said GISS Director Gavin Schmidt.

Since the 1880s, the average global surface temperature has risen about 2 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius).

This warming has been driven in large part by increased emissions into the atmosphere of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases caused by human activities, according to Schmidt. (SOURCE: nasa.gov)

The leakage of methane from pipelines and methane release of will contribute to ongoing climate change with real impacts to New Jersey. The construction of new fossil fuel infrastructure will hamper New Jersey’s clean energy goals and is against the State’s Global Warming Response Act goals.

Health Issues

In addition to threats to health from the toxic emissions from the gas-fired compressor station units, the NESE Project’s impact on climate change would also harm our health, security and economy from leaking and burning of natural gas – more significant flooding, hurricanes, heat waves, air and water temperature increases, other health risks and the likelihood of infectious diseases and stress, and displacement.

  • Extreme weather events not only result in damage to property, businesses, infrastructure and the environment, but also trigger stress and depression in people and are associated with costly health risks like water borne infections as well as increases in dampness and mold that trigger more allergies and respiratory disorders. Milder, shorter winters have increased the population of disease-carrying insects in our area. Longer and wetter seasons lead to more asthma, allergies and respiratory disorders. Flooding events are a pathway for pollution and bacteria to enter our waterways.
  • As the climate warms and atmospheric carbon dioxide increases, the amount and potency of the allergens like ragweed and airborne fungi increases, with significant consequences for exacerbating asthma and other forms of respiratory distress.
  • Other consequences could include higher cooling costs and a heightened risk of heat stroke.
  • Warmer temperatures will also exacerbate the risk of vector-borne diseases like Lyme and West Nile

Toxins from proposed Compressor Station 206

The Department and FERC have denied requests to conduct a Health Impact Assessment around the site of the proposed Compressor Station 206 even though the emissions will contain cancer-causing elements; the Department adopted more stringent reporting thresholds for HAPs after issuing an Air Pollution Permit for Compressor Station 206 under the less protective standards; and the emissions from Compressor Station 206 will exceed the levels of the new, more protective HAPs standards. NJDEP determined that the compressor station would be a “minor” source of air pollution and, as such, the permit issued by the NJDEP was for each turbine as a separate unit rather than basing their decision on facility-wide emissions from two turbines at a site adjacent to another air polluting industrial facility – Trap Rock Quarry.

Williams/Transco reported that they expect the two gas-fired turbines at Compressor Station 206 to emit the following each year:

Formaldehyde

  • Known Carcinogen
  • Suspected gastrointestinal/liver, immune system, neuro, reproductive, respiratory, and skin/sense organ toxicant

Acetaldehyde

  • Possible human carcinogen
  • Suspected cardiovascular/blood, developmental, gastrointestinal/liver, neuro, respiratory, skin/sense organ toxicant

Acrolein

  • Known irritant of eyes, skin, nasal passage & respiratory system
  • Lethal if high level of exposure for short time

Benzene

  • Known Carcinogen
  • Recognized developmental and reproductive toxicants

Ethylbenzene

  • Possible human carcinogen
  • Suspected blood/cardiovascular, developmental, endocrine, gastrointestinal/liver, kidney, neuro, reproductive, respiratory, and skin/sense organ toxicant

Naphthalene

  • Possible human carcinogen
  • Suspected cardiovascular/blood, developmental, gastrointestinal/liver, neuro, respiratory, skin/sense organ toxicant

Propylene Oxide

  • Possible human carcinogen
  • Known irritant of eyes, skin, nasal passage & respiratory system

Toluene

  • Recognized developmental toxicant
  • Suspected cardiovascular/blood, gastrointestinal/liver, immune system, kidney, neuro-, reproductive, respiratory, and skin/sense organ toxicant

Xylenes

  • Suspected cardiovascular, developmental, liver, immune system, kidney, respiratory, skin, reproductive, and immune system toxin

Ammonia

  • Suspected gastrointestinal/liver, immune system, neuro, reproductive, respiratory, and skin/sense organ
  • toxicant

Toxins from proposed Raritan Bay Loop

The re-suspension of toxic-and-pathogen-laden sediment and the discharge of chemically laden drilling fluid would have significant health impacts to the people of New Jersey. The toxins include arsenic which is known to cause a variety of cancers in humans. Lead, another heavy metal which samples found exceeded the state thresholds is proven to cause neurologic impairment, especially in children. The re-suspended PCBs will enter the food chain and have significant effects on human health. More than 90% of human exposure to PCBs is through food, including fish and shellfish.

The currents in both the Raritan and Lower New York Bays run counter-clockwise. Therefore, both the toxic-and- pathogen-laden sediment and the chemically laced drilling fluid will be caught by the currents and pushed toward the shores of the Bayshore. The pipeline construction is planned to go through Areas 7 and 11 of the Raritan Bay Slag Superfund Site where the slag is contaminated by known pollutants such as lead, arsenic, antimony, copper, iron and chromium. Other metal contaminants here include manganese, vanadium and zinc. EPA sampling has found contaminates in the soil and surface waters in these areas. These known harmful chemicals may make their way onshore, polluting the coast and impacting public health.

A release of 3.2 million gallons of seawater that was treated with CORRTREAT 15316 from hydrostatic testing of the Raritan Bay Loop poses a threat to the health of people and marinelife. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, CORRTREAT 15316 is a highly toxic substance harmful to humans and marine life. Clariant, the manufacturer of CORRTREAT specifically notes on its Safety Data Sheet that “the product should not be allowed to enter drains, water courses, or the soil.” [Clariant, Safety Data Sheet: CORRTREAT 15316. Pg. 4.]

REGULATORY CONSIDERATIONS

NESE does not serve essential health or safety needs of the municipality in which the proposed regulated activity is located, and the proposed use does not serve existing needs of the residents of the State.

Reference: Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act Rules 7:7A-1.3 Definitions
“Compelling public need” means that based on specific facts, the proposed regulated activity will serve an essential health or safety need of the municipality in which the proposed regulated activity is located, that the public health and safety benefit from the proposed use and that the proposed use is required to serve existing needs of the residents of the State, and that there is no other means available to meet the established public need.

NJDEP may only issue a Freshwater Wetlands Individual Permit if the agency determines that the regulated activity is in the public interest after considering the “functions and values provided by the freshwater wetlands and probable individual and cumulative impacts of the regulated activity on public health and fish and wildlife.” [N.J.A.C. 7:7A–10.2(b)12vii]. The term “public health” requires the Department to consider the potential safety and air pollution impacts of proposed Compressor Station 206, Madison Loop and the Raritan Bay Loop as part of its “public interest” analysis.

Safety Issues

Natural gas is primarily methane, a highly flammable and explosive gas.

Data and plans about addressing the risks of and preventing catastrophic accidents from increased corrosion and leaks on components of the compressor station and the pipelines have not been fully disclosed by Transco; and explosions, fires and leaks would likely contribute to degradation of water quality and impact wetlands.

Franklin Township received a report from a local resident and pipeline engineer expert through its Franklin Township Task Force (FTTF) detailing the erosion risks of Transco’s Mainline A and C segments traversing through Franklin Township, installed in 1950 and 1969 respectively, and another report from an expert who reviewed confidential CEII data provided by Williams/Transco to FERC and concluded that he could not independently verify or evaluate claims of Transco pertaining to safety of Transco’s existing and proposed pipeline system parameters – pipe grade, thickness and diameter as well as maximum operating pressure (MAOP) that can change by pipe segment – since important information was missing.

Williams/Transco has not provided any details to FERC or NJDEP regarding the current state of their aging pipeline segments, any reports of degradation of pipeline integrity, or any specific counter-measures taken over the past 50 years to abate the propagation of corrosion on its pipeline system despite Transco claiming to inspect mainlines A and C every 10 years.

Williams/Transco has a poor safety record in the management of its pipelines, compressor stations, and processing plants. In the past ten years, facilities of Williams/Transco have been cited for numerous violations for not following their own safety procedures, and they have reported at least 15 incidents of explosions and/or fires at their facilities to PHMSA.

REGULATORY CONSIDERATIONS

NJDEP may only issue a Freshwater Wetlands Individual Permit if the agency determines that the regulated activity is in the public interest after considering the “functions and values provided by the freshwater wetlands and probable individual and cumulative impacts of the regulated activity on public health and fish and wildlife.” [N.J.A.C. 7:7A–10.2(b)12vii]. The term “public health” requires the Department to consider the potential safety and air pollution impacts of proposed Compressor Station 206, Madison Loop and the Raritan Bay Loop as part of its “public interest” analysis.

Need Issues

There is no demonstrated need for NESE, and existing facilities can and will continue to meet energy demands in National Grid’s service territory.

Williams/Transco and National Grid have failed to establish a “demonstrated need that cannot be satisfied by existing facilities.” The alleged purpose of the project is to bring an “incremental” amount of natural gas to National Grid’s service territory to meet winter heating needs. However, the need for this project has not been independently documented, and studies show existing facilities can currently meet the heating needs for the service territory. Williams/Transco and National Grid have claimed that the project is necessary to meet a 10% increase in natural gas demand over the next decade; however the projection is based on outdated information.(1) Independent studies contradict the claims of Williams/Transco and National Grids for these reasons:

  • The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), which maintains and regulates the state’s energy system, found that energy use in New York is expected to decrease over the next decade.(2)
  • The Long Island Power Authority, which serves 1.1 million customers on Long Island, the Rockaways and Queens, has also forecasted flat energy demand until 2035.(3)
  • New York City recently passed the most aggressive building energy efficiency standards in the nation. The Climate Mobilization Act will require buildings over 25,000 square feet to cut climate emissions by 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050. Therefore, residential and commercial buildings will be required to invest in energy efficiency which will further decrease heating demands over the coming decades.
  • According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, from 2000 to 2050, natural gas consumption in the residential and commercial sectors will remain flat due to efficiency gains and population shifts which counterbalance demand growth.(4)

Williams/Transco’s justification for the alleged increase in demand is based on the locally mandated elimination of heavy No. 6 and No. 4 fuel oil from use in residential boilers, from which Williams/Transco and National Grid claim they will convert roughly 8,000 customers per year to natural gas.(5) This claim has also been questioned and challenged based on the following facts:

  • All of the No. 6 boilers in New York City residential buildings were converted from heavy oil long ago.
  • The New York City Housing Authority stopped using both No. 6 and No. 4 oil and converted to natural gas. Currently, the Housing Authority relies on natural gas for 98% of its heating needs.(6)
  • The oil burners which convert to No. 2 oil will be required to use No. 2 oil mixed with biodiesel. New York City currently requires 5% biodiesel mixed with ultralow sulfur No. 2. In 2025, the standard increases to 10% and eventually 20% by 2034.(7)
  • Less than 446 No. 4 oil boilers (which must be converted by 2030 under New York City regulations) exist in National Grid’s service area. Even if all were converted to natural gas and not ultra-low sulfur No. 2 oil and biodiesel, this conversion does not require anything close to the 400 million cubic yards the applicant is seeking to bring to New York per day.(8)
  • The remaining oil burners either use or will convert to ultralow sulfur No. 2 oil, which can replace heavier dirtier home heating oil without any modifications to furnace systems. Due to the fact both No. 2 and biodiesel can be adopted without any modifications to home furnace systems, it acts as a true bridge to renewable energy and energy efficiency. Home and building owners will not need to invest in a new heating system and therefore will not be deterred from future distributed renewable energy investments or energy efficiency investments.

Thus, the projection and conversion statistics highlight how demand is currently met, and will continue to be met, through “existing facilities.” Moreover, with the new focus and requirements in New York City, investments in energy efficiency will be expected. Energy efficiency is readily available and is a cheaper and more environmentally sound. Energy efficiency programs have proven to be the most cost effective means of both lowering rates and reducing carbon emissions.(9)

(1) 350 Brooklyn, False Demand: The Case Against the Williams Fracked Gas Pipeline. March 2019.

(2) New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), Power Trends: New York’s evolving Electric Grid 2017, p. 12. The report’s data is from the 2017 Load & Capacity Data Report, known as “the Gold Book.”

(3) LIPA, “Integrated Resource Plan and Repowering Studies – FAQs” (2017).

(4) U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook 2019 (Jan. 24, 2019), p. 82.

(5) See, Mark Harrington, supra. National Grid’s own proffered energy plan for 80% GHG reductions by 2050 calls for increased burning of natural gas for heating from 55% to 60% of heating sources. For natural gas GHG reductions, it primarily recommends converting half of all vehicles to electric by 2030. National Grid, Northeast 80×50 Pathway (June 15, 2018).

(6) City of New York, Local Law 43 of 2010 and Rules of the City of New York, Title 15, §§ 2-15(b)(2), (c)(1) and (d). The Rules were promulgated by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (“NYCDEP”). In 2010, only one percent of buildings were using No. 4 and No. 6 heating oil – but those boilers’ emissions were causing 86 percent of soot pollution in the City. D. Seamonds, D. Lowell, T. Balon, The Bottom of the Barrel: How the Dirtiest Heating Oil Pollutes Our Air and Harms Our Health (Environmental Defense Fund, 2016).

(7) See Local Law 119 of 2016 and NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services, “New York City Submits Strong Comments to EPA Supporting Biodiesel,” Biodiesel Magazine (Oct. 2017).

(8) New York City adopted more comprehensive legislation in 2015, Local Law 38, that effectively bans the burning of No. 6 fuel oil for any purpose by January 1, 2020, and the burning of No. 4 fuel oil by January 1, 2030 (except that any boiler replaced before the deadline must use a cleaner fuel). City of New York. “Local Laws of The City of New York for the Year 2015, No. 38” (Apr. 16, 2015.

(9) See, The Cost of Saving Electricity Through Energy Efficiency Programs Funded by Utility Customers: 2009 – 2015. Energy Analysis and Environmental Impact Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. (June 2018).

REGULATORY CONSIDERATIONS

Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act – The NJDEP’s determination of “public interest” must consider the “relative extent of the public and private need for the proposed regulated activity.” N.J.S.A. 13:9B-11(b) and N.J.A.C. 7:7A–10.2(b)12ii

The criteria for “need” for a project under the Natural Gas Act, governing FERC’s decisions, is distinct from the criteria from “need” under the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations as well as the “public interest” under New Jersey’s Freshwater Wetlands and Water Quality Certificate Standards.

The NESE Project does not meet the standards for “public interest” noted in N.J.S.A. 13:9B-11, the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act when one looks at the need to preserve natural resources; the relative extent of the public and private need for the regulated activity; the practicability of using reasonable alternative locations and methods (e.g., renewable energy sources and energy efficiency initiatives); the economic value both public and private, of the proposed regulated activity to the general area; and the ecological value of the freshwater wetlands and probable impact on public health and fish and wildlife.

Note:

Many points noted in this document, along with their references, are from FERC’s 1/25/19 Final Environmental Impact Statement for NESE, the 5/2/19 comments provided to the NJDEP by attorneys from Clean Ocean Action & the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the report by Suzanne Mattei (3/19/19), False Demand: The case against the Williams fracked gas pipeline. 350.org.

Attachments / Links:

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.

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.

New Jersey’s Attorney General and others wrote to FERC about their Policies & Procedures.

New Jersey’s Attorney General joined with 6 other Attorneys General in a 36-page submission to FERC when FERC asked for input about revising their policies and procedures.  (on 7/25/18 on Docket No. PL18-1). In it, they detail and support their recommendations:

First, regarding project need, we recommend that the Commission assess need on a comprehensive, regional basis, and expand its analysis beyond the current dependence on precedent agreements, employing heightened scrutiny of precedent agreements with affiliates of project proponents.

Second, we urge the Commission to conduct a more thorough and robust NEPA analysis, comprehensively assessing on a regional basis the impacts of, and alternatives to, a proposed project, considering clean energy and other non-pipeline alternatives, thoroughly analyzing upstream and downstream greenhouse gas emissions, and considering state greenhouse gas emission-reduction policies.

Third, we recommend that the Commission consider environmental harm, including climate impacts quantified using the best available measure—the Social Cost of Carbon—and more heavily weigh the harm from use of eminent domain takings in its public interest assessment when balancing project benefits and harm in making a Certificate decision.

Fourth, we urge the Commission to better incorporate and consider state environmental and land use policies, no longer issue Certificates conditioned on later receipt of state certifications and permits under federal statutes, and to condition Certificates on obtaining and complying with state and local permits that do not unreasonably conflict with or delay approved projects.

Finally, we recommend that the Commission no longer issue partial notices to proceed with construction when Certificate rehearing requests are pending and limit the use and time of tolling periods for rehearing requests.

Click to read the full document from the Attorneys General (7/25/18, PDF)

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.

2018-05-08 Montgomery Township posts to FERC opposition

Special thanks to Montgomery Township for posting resolution #18-5-112 opposing CP17-101 to FERC on 5/8/2018.  

Includes Memorandum from Montgomery Township Mayor

MT-Mayor_Conforti_Memo

Montgomery Resolution #18-5-112 

MT-Montgomery_res-18-5-112

Map of area where proposed compressor CS206 is relative to Montgomery Township.

MT-map with cs206

FERC acknowledges adverse impact to Princeton Area, but refuses to perform environmental impact analyses.  Instead the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) issued by FERC on 3/24/2018 states reasons why FERC doesn’t believe assessing the toxic chemical emissions and high heat/ high discharge of the 50-foot smokestacks.  The DEIS acknowledges real threats, but doesn’t bother to analyze impact or mitigation possibilities – core components of a legitimate DEIS.  The DEIS only underscores that CP17-101 is a Public Threat to New Jersey and not a public convenience.

Montgomery Township and Franklin Township have both sent strong rebukes of the none-material DEIS.  We need more municipalities standing up to this sham to protect the residents of New Jersey.

 

NESE proposed Compressor Station 206 Chemical Emissions

NESE PROPOSED COMPRESSOR STATION 206:

Chemical Emissions & FERC’s Claim That There’s No Need To Do A Health Impact Assessment In The Area

Update of Concerns & Issues

after FERC published the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on March 23, 2018

FERC’s claims and conclusions in the DEIS:

  • Construction and operation of the Project would not have a significant impact on air quality and a health impact assessment for a facility of this size and limited impact is not warranted.  (DEIS – page E-7)
  • Full-capacity upper-bound (i.e., the station’s potential to emit) emissions from Compressor Station 206 would be less than the NAAQS, which were established to protect human health (including sensitive subpopulations such as children or those with chronic illnesses) and public welfare  (DEIS, page 4-292)
  • There are no national air quality standards for HAPs, but their emissions are limited through permit thresholds and technology standards.  New Jersey maintains regulations limiting emissions of HAPs. (DEIS, page ES-6)
  • The emissions from Compressor Station 206 would comply with the NAAQS, which were established to protect human health (including children, the elderly, and those with chronic illnesses) and public welfare.  Compressor Station 206 would be a minor source of air emissions under federal programs and would comply with applicable federal and state regulations intended to protect air quality. (DEIS, page 4-222)
  • Transco performed an ambient air quality modeling analysis to determine local impacts from Compressor Station 206 using the EPA’s AERMOD dispersion model (Version 16216) in screening mode, which indicated that the maximum modeling concentrations of criteria pollutants would not contribute to an exceedance of the NAAQS. (DEIS, page ES-7)   

However:

  • FERC has not published their final controls and mitigation “recommendations”.
  • Federal and New Jersey state agencies have recognized airborne chemical emissions as highly toxic to human health and causing a variety of immediate and chronic health conditions for the following that Williams/Transco already reported would be emitted from Compressor Station 206 if it is built: Formaldehyde, Ammonia, Acrolein, Acetaldehyde, Ethylbenzene, Benzene, Toluene, Propylene Oxide & Xylenes.
  • Estimated caustic chemical emissions from Compressor Station 206, in pounds per year (lbs/yr), were reported by Williams/Transco to be:
    Formaldehyde= 660lbs/yr; Ammonia = 29,580lbs/yr; Acrolein = 6lbs/yr;
    Acetaldehyde = 44lbs/yr; Ethylbenzene = 34lbs/yr; Benzene = 14lbs/yr; Toluene = 142lbs/yr; Propylene Oxide = 32lbs/yr; Xylenes = 70lbs/yr.
  • The chemicals, listed above, are not measured or regulated under the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) which only provide standards for seven (7) “criteria pollutants”:    ground-level ozone, carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxode (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), fine particulate matter (inhalable particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter less than or equal to 10 microns [PM10] and less than or equal to 2.5 microns [PM2.5]), and airborne lead (Pb).  

NOTE:  Ozone is not directly emitted into the atmosphere from an emissions source; it develops as a result of a chemical reaction between NOx and VOC in the presence of sunlight.  Therefore, NOx and VOCs are often referred to as ozone precursors and are regulated to control the potential for ozone formation. VOCs are defined as any compound of carbon which participates in atmospheric photochemical reactions; however, VOCs do not include CO and CO2, nor methane and ethane (among other organic compounds), which have been determined to have negligible photochemical reactivity (40 CFR Part 51.100(s)(1)).  VOCs associated with transmission-quality natural gas are limited to butane, propane, pentane, and hexane. (DEIS, page 4-277)

  • Airborne emissions from Compressor Station 206 have been identified from Williams/Transco, in their Application (Resource Report 9) as estimated to be the following in tons per year (tpy) –

CO = 56.86tpy NOx = 22.74tpy VOC = 8.35tpy; PM10 = 18.94tpy

PM2.5 = 18.94tpy SO2 = 3.07tpy GHG (natural gas) = 132,720tpy

  • Just because the reported emissions are ESTIMATED to be below the NAAQS does not mean that the emissions during blowdown or at other times would not be so high as to actually cause harm.  
  • Measurements of  these seven criteria pollutants are taken at Air Quality Monitoring Stations in Elizabeth (for carbon monoxide & sulfur dioxide) , East Brunswick (for nitrogen dioxide & ozone), North Brunswick (for particulate matter 2.5) and in Philadelphia (for particulate matter 10).  Source: Draft Air Quality Technical Report (December 2017) by Environmental Resources Management, page 6 (published on FERC docket on 12/22/17 in Accession No. 20171222-4003)
  • There was no on-site measurement of air quality that took into account the potential compounded effects of two industrial sites next to each other:  Trap Rock Quarry & the proposed Compressor Station206.
  • In the Application from Williams/Transco for NESE, they report an expectation, based on modeling,  that PM2.5 emissions for Compressor Station 206 and background air would approach the minimally “acceptable” thresholds:

Annual: 10.1 microgram/m3 (EPA-NAAQS threshold:  12 microgram/m3 )

24-hour 32.1 microgram/m3 (EPA-NAAQS threshold:  35 microgram/m3 )

  • The emitted toxins for the natural gas-fired compressor station have been known to have synergistic effects, and this was not considered by FERC in their DEIS.
  • There are current studies that report health impacts from emissions around natural gas compressor stations.  (see references below)

SOME STUDIES OF HEALTH HAZARDS OF EMISSIONS FROM NATURAL GAS-FIRED COMPRESSOR STATIONS

Bowe, B., Xie, Y., Li, T., Yan, Y., Xian, H. & Al-Aly, Z.  (2017, September 21). Particulate matter air pollution and the risk of incident CKD and progression to ESRD.  Journal of American Society of Nephrology, 29: 218-230. Retrieved from http://jasn.asnjournals.org/content/29/1/218.full.pdf+html

Compendium of scientific, medical, and media findings demonstrating risks and harms of  fracking (unconventional gas and oil extraction) (5th ed.)  (2018, March). Concerned Health Professionals of New York & Physicians for Social Responsibility.  Retrieved from http://concernedhealthny.org/compendium/

Kloczko, N.  (2015, November).  A brief review of compressor stations.   Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project.  Retrieved from http://www.environmentalhealthproject.org/files/A%20Brief%20Review%20of%20Compressor%20Stations%2011.2015.pdf

NY Compressor Station Report.  Retrieved from http://www.environmentalhealthproject-ny.org/

Russo, P.N. & Carpenter, D.O. (2017, October 12).  Health effects associated with stack chemical emissions from NYS natural gas compressor stations: 2008-2014.  Institute for Health and the Environment – A Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization Collaborating Centre in Environmental Health, University at Albany.  

Retrieved from https://www.albany.edu/about/assets/Complete_report.pdf

Summary of Minisink Monitoring Results.  

Retrieved from http://www.environmentalhealthproject.org/resources/10/click/5

Summary on compressor stations and health impacts.  (2015, February 24). Southwestern Environmental Health Project.  Retrieved from http://www.environmentalhealthproject.org/files/Summary%20Compressor-station-emissions-and-health-impacts-02.24.2015.pdf

The hazards of a compressor station:  A town wakes up to the realities of corporate deception.  (2015,

November).   Retrieved from http://350ma-berkshires.org/the-hazards-of-a-compressor-station-a-town-wakes-up-to-the-realities-of-corporate-deception/

 

RISKS OF CHEMICALS THAT WILL BE EMITTED FROM THE PROPOSED COMPRESSOR STATION 206

AMMONIA

CS206 emission 29,580 lbs per year

  • Suspected liver, gastrointestinal, reproductive, respiratory, skin, and neurotoxicant (EDF Goodguide)
  • Exposure from inhalation may cause bronchiolitis obliterans; symptoms include cough, wheezing, obstructive/restrictive defect, chronic shortness of breath and difficulty breathing from low activity, increased inflation of lungs (HAZMAP)
  • Exposure through inhalation may cause toxic pneumonitis (acute inflammation of lungs); symptoms include burning, chest tightness, conjunctivitis, cough, dark or bluish color of skin due to oxygen deficient blood, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing from low activity, crackling when listening to breathing with stethoscope, excessive tearing of eyes, sore throat, pulmonary edema (increased fluid in lung tissues), runny nose, wheezing (HAZMAP)
  • Exposure through inhalation may cause chronic bronchitis; symptoms include coughing up phlegm, wheezing (HAZMAP)
  • TOXIC; may be fatal if inhaled, ingested or absorbed through skin; vapors are extremely irritating and corrosive (NOAA)
  • High exposure can cause a build-up of fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema) (NJ Fsheet)
  • Strong irritant to eyes, skin, respiratory tract (HSDB)
  • Exposure to high levels of ammonia in air may be irritating to skin, eyes, throat, and lungs and cause coughing and burns; lung damage and death may occur after exposure to very high concentrations of ammonia; some people with asthma may be more sensitive to breathing ammonia than others (ASTDR)
  • Populations at increased risk include asthmatics, those hyper reactive to other respiratory irritants, and those with glaucoma, corneal disease, and chronic respiratory disease (HSDB)
  • Agency exposure limits:
    • CDC Acute Inhalation Risk Level at 1.7 Parts Per Million (PPM)
    • OSHA: 50ppm over 8 hour work shift
    • NIOSH: 25ppm over 10 hour work shift (NJ Fsheet)
FORMALDEHYDE

CS206 emission 660 lbs per year

  • Known carcinogen (HAZMAP)
  • Suspected gastrointestinal/liver, immune system, neuro, reproductive, respiratory, and skin/sense organ toxicant (EDF Goodguide)
  • Adverse effects from exposure include asthma and toxic pneumonitis (inflammation of the lungs) (HAZMAP)
  • High exposure through inhalation can cause a buildup of fluids in the lungs (NJ Fsheet)
  • Repeated exposure may cause bronchitis and an asthma like allergy (NJ Fsheet) 
  • Limited evidence that exposure may damage developing fetus and affect female fertility (NJ Fsheet)
  • Eye, skin, and respiratory tract irritant (HSDB)
  • People with asthma may be particularly sensitive to exposure (HSDB)
  • Exposure through inhalation can cause burning sensation, cough, headache, nausea, and shortness of breath (NIOSH)
  • Agency exposure limits:
    • CDC Acute Inhalation Risk Level at .04 parts per million (PPM)
    • OSHA: 0.75ppm averaged over 8 hour work shift
    • NIOSH: 0.016ppm averaged over 10 hour work shift (NJ Fsheet)

 

RISKS OF CHEMICALS THAT WILL BE EMITTED FROM THE PROPOSED COMPRESSOR STATION 206

 

BENZENE

CS206 emission
14 lbs per year

  • Listed as a known carcinogen (HAZMAP)
  • Listed as a recognized carcinogen and developmental and reproductive toxicants (EDF Goodguide)
  • Listed as a cause of anemia (decrease in number of red blood cells) (HAZMAP)
  • Listed as a neurotoxin (cause of central nervous system solvent syndrome) (HAZMAP)
  • Listed as a reproductive toxin (HAZMAP) 
  • Listed as a suspected cardiovascular/blood, endocrine, gastrointestinal/liver, immune system, neuro-, respiratory, skin/sense organ toxicant (EDF Goodguide)
  • The major effect of benzene from long-term exposure is on the blood; causes harmful effects on the bone marrow and can cause a decrease in red blood cells leading to anemia; can also cause excessive bleeding and can affect the immune system, increasing the chance for infection (ASTDR)
  • Occupational diseases associated with exposure include: leukemia and aplastic anemia (symptoms include fever, bleeding into the skin, mouth, nose, and gastrointestinal tract caused by the low platelet count of aplastic anemia and the damage to capillaries caused by viral hemorrhagic fevers, decreased white blood cell count, tiny circumscribed foci of extravagated blood in the skin); large areas of confluent petechiae are called purpura, ecchymoses, or bruises (HAZMAP)
  • Acute exposure to high concentrations of benzene in air results in neurological toxicity (headache, dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, tremors, and loss of consciousness) (HSDB)
  • Agency exposure limits:
    • CDC Acute Inhalation Risk Level at .009 Parts Per Million (PPM)
    • OSHA: 1ppm averaged over 8 hour work shift
    • NIOSH: 0.1ppm averaged over 10 hour work shift (NJ Fsheet)
ETHYLBENZENE


CS206 emission
34 lbs per year

  • Possible human carcinogen (ASTDR)
  • Listed as a suspected blood/cardiovascular, developmental, endocrine, gastrointestinal/liver, kidney, neuro, reproductive, respiratory, and skin/sense organ toxicant (EDF Goodguide)
  • Limited evidence that ethylbenzene may damage the developing fetus (NJ Fsheet)
  • Exposure to relatively low concentrations of ethylbenzene in air for several months to years causes kidney damage in animals (ASTDR)
  • High exposure can cause symptoms similar to chronic solvent encephalopathy, a syndrome with a variety of central nervous effects (HAZMAP)
  • Exposure may cause acute toxic effects such as difficulty concentrating, confusion, dizziness, fatigue, irritability, lethargy, impaired speech (HAZMAP)
  • Most severe irritant of benzene series (HSDB)
  • Exposure to high levels of ethylbenzene in air for short periods can cause eye and throat irritation; exposure to higher levels can result in dizziness (ASTDR)
  • Irreversible damage to the inner ear and hearing has been observed in animals exposed to relatively low concentrations of ethylbenzene for several days to weeks (ASTDR)
  • Inhalation may cause irritation of nose, dizziness, depression (NOAA)
  • Agency exposure limits
    • CDC Acute Inhalation Risk Level at 5 Parts Per Million (PPM)
    • OSHA: 100ppm averaged over 8 hour work shift
    • NIOSH: 100ppm averaged over 10 hour work shift (NJ Fsheet)

 

RISKS OF CHEMICALS THAT WILL BE EMITTED FROM THE PROPOSED COMPRESSOR STATION 206

 

ACETALDEHYDE

CS206 emission

44 lbs per year

  • Listed as a possible human carcinogen (HSDB)
  • Suspected developmental, immune system, kidney, neuro, respiratory, skin/sense organ toxicant (EDF Goodguide)
  • Acetaldehyde may cause birth defects in humans since it causes them in animals (NJ Fsheet)
  • Exposure can cause toxic pneumonitis (inflammation of the lungs) (HAZMAP)
  • Eye irritant at 50ppm for 15 min.; respiratory tract irritant at 134ppm for 30 min.; nose and throat irritant at 200ppm for 15 min. (HSDB)
  • Breathing vapors will be irritating and may cause nausea, vomiting, headache, and unconsciousness (NOAA)
  • Exposure to high concentrations can cause headache, dizziness, headache, light-headedness, and passing out (NJ Fsheet)
  • Higher exposures may cause a buildup of fluid in the lungs (NJ Fsheet)
  • Repeated exposure may bronchitis to develop with coughing, phlegm, and shortness of breath (NJ Fsheet)
  • Agency exposure limits:
    • CDC Acute Inhalation Risk Level – A harmful contamination of the air can be reached very quickly on evaporation of this substance at 20°C.
    • OSHA: 200ppm over 8 hour work shift
    • NIOSH: limit to lowest feasible concentration (NJ Fsheet)
NAPHTHALENE

CS206 emission

2 lbs per year

  • Listed as a possible carcinogen (HSDB)
  • Suspected cardiovascular/blood, developmental, gastrointestinal/liver, neuro, respiratory, skin/sense organ toxicant (EDF Goodguide)
  • Limited evidence that exposure may damage developing fetus (NJ Fsheet)
  • May damage red blood cells causing anemia (low blood count) (NJ Fsheet)
  • Exposure to large amounts may damage red blood cells or cause hemolytic anemiadestroy (destroys red blood cells resulting in too few red blood cells until body replaces them; symptoms include fatigue, lack of appetite, restlessness, and pale skin) (ASTDR)
  • Exposure may cause methemoglobinemia (blood disorder in which an abnormal amount of methemoglobin [form of hemoglobin–the molecule in red blood cells that distributes oxygen to the body] is produced, preventing oxygen from being effectively released to tissues in the body) (HAZMAP)
  • Naphthalene is an ocular irritant that has caused cataracts in exposed workers (HAZMAP)
  • Acute toxic effects from exposure include abdominal pain, confusion, cough, fatigue, wheezing, weakness, buildup of fluid in the lungs, nausea, and more (HAZMAP)
  • Effects from exposure through inhalation include headache, weakness, nausea, vomiting, sweating, confusion, jaundice, and dark urine (NIOSH)
  • People with blood, kidney, or liver diseases may be at a heightened risk (HSDB)
  • Agency exposure limits:
    • CDC Chronic Inhalation Risk Level at .0007 Parts Per Million (PPM)
    • OSHA: 10ppm averaged over 8 hour work shift
    • NIOSH: 10ppm averaged over 10 hour work shift (NJ Fsheet)

RISKS OF CHEMICALS THAT WILL BE EMITTED FROM THE PROPOSED COMPRESSOR STATION 206

 

TOLUENE

CS206 emission

142 lbs per year

    • Listed as a recognized developmental toxicant (EDF goodguide)
    • Listed as a suspected cardiovascular/blood, gastrointestinal/liver, immune system, kidney, neuro-, reproductive, respiratory, and skin/sense organ toxicant (EDF goodguide)
    • Inhaling high levels of toluene in a short time can make you feel light-headed, dizzy, or sleepy; can also cause unconsciousness, and even death (ASTDR)
    • High levels of toluene may affect your kidneys (ASTDR)
    • Toluene may cause birth defects in humans as it has been shown to cause them in animals (NJ Fsheet)
    • Toluene may damage developing fetus (NJ Fsheet)
    • High exposure can cause symptoms similar to chronic solvent encephalopathy (a syndrome with a variety of central nervous effects) (HAZMAP)
    • Exposure may cause acute toxic effects such as difficulty concentrating, confusion, dizziness, fatigue, irritability, lethargy, impaired speech (HAZMAP)
    • Toluene may affect the nervous system; low-to-moderate levels can cause tiredness, confusion, weakness, drunken-type actions, memory loss, nausea, loss of appetite, and hearing and color vision loss; these symptoms usually disappear when exposure is stopped (ASTDR)
    • Vapors irritate eyes and upper respiratory tract; cause dizziness, headache, anesthesia, respiratory arrest (NOAA)
    • Inhaling can irritate the nose and throat causing coughing and wheezing (NJ Fsheet)
    • People with central nervous system or liver diseases may be especially sensitive (HSDB)
    • Agency exposure limits:
  • CDC Acute Inhalation Risk Level at 4 Parts Per Million (PPM)
    • OSHA: 200ppm averaged over 8 hour work shift
    • NIOSH: 300ppm averaged over 10 shift (NJ Fsheet)
XYLENE

CS206 emission

70 lbs per year

  • Temporary memory loss, confusion, and laboratory evidence of liver injury have been reported in workers overexposed to xylene (HAZMAP)
  • Listed as a suspected cardiovascular, developmental, liver, immune system, kidney, respiratory, skin, reproductive, and immune system  toxin (EDF Goodguide)
  • Listed as a neurotoxin (EDF Goodguide)
  • People who breathe high levels may have dizziness, confusion, and a change in their sense of balance (ASTDR)
  • Exposure to high levels for short periods can also cause irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, and throat; difficulty in breathing; problems with the lungs; delayed reaction time; memory difficulties; stomach discomfort; and possibly changes in the liver and kidneys (ASTDR)
  • Inhalation can irritate the nose and throat causing coughing and wheezing (NJ Fsheet)
  • Exposure can cause headache, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, light-headedness and passing out (NJ Fsheet)
  • Repeated exposure can affect concentration, memory, vision, and muscle coordination (NJ Fsheet)
  • CDC Acute Inhalation Risk Level at 4 Parts Per Million (PPM)

 

12/22/2017 FERC Update – Notes from meeting with Transco, EPA and NJDEP

FERC issued an update regarding meeting with Transco along with Agencies EPA and NJDEP.

Click here to read the 12/22/2017 FERC Meeting note with Transco, EPA & NJDEP

Despite the Transco update, included below the meeting notes, does not address all of the stated FERC requirements, FERC has decided it will move forward with issuing the schedule soon for the DEIS.  FERC decided to decouple the General Conformity requirement from issuance of the DEIS.

What this means is that FERC does not want to bother waiting for details and specifications of the construction emissions in order to provide a more accurate environmental impact statement.  FERC is choosing to wing the DEIS instead of demanding more details from Transco.

Missing data for proposed Compressor 206

  • Emission details missing for meeting General Conformity requirements
  • No emissions data for added compressor at STA200
  • No analysis on CS206 Exhaust volume  & heat output for each 50′ smokestack
  • No evaluation of heat recovery system to reduce heat output
  • No validation of chemical emissions from CS206
  • No Health Impact analysis from chemical emissions
  • No 25 year chemical emission contamination projection and analysis for future reservoir site adjacent to proposed CS206

Included in Transco March 27 Application to FERC are the estimates that the proposed compressor will emit 29,580 lbs of Ammonia,  320 lbs of HCHO3, 44 lbs of Acetaldehyde, 6 lbs of Acrolein, 14 lbs of Benzene,  34 lbs of Ethylbenzene, 32 lbs of Propylene Oxide, 142 lbs of Toluene and 70 lbs of  Xylenes per year continually on a year over year basis.

These toxic chemicals have known impact on environment and human health.  Additionally, these are estimates from Transco with no independent validation from existing Transco Compressor stations that already have MARS 100 compressors such as STA 515, STA517 and STA520 (in PA).

What can you do today?  Send a note to EPA, NJDEP and FERC to let them know it is unacceptable to proceed with an environmental impact statement without the details and analysis to perform an accurate environmental impact statement.  Without this data and analysis, DEIS is not legitimate.  Need more information?  Contact stopftcompressor(at)yahoo(dot)com.

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