ACTION ALERT: COMMENT PERIOD EXTENDED TO MAY 7!

MAKE IT KNOWN LOUD & CLEAR:

  • NJ does not want NESE.
  • NY does not need NESE.
  • NJDEP must follow science and regulations to deny permit applications.

NJDEP extended the comment period for the January 2020 applications by Williams/Transco for the NESE Project to May 7, 2020.

Send Emailed comments, with the Subject Area noting Transco NESE Comments, to:

NESEcomment@dep.nj.gov

Or, if you want to mail a comment, send it to:

Joslin Tamagno 
Division of Land Use Regulation Mail Code 501-02A 
P.O. Box 420 
Trenton, New Jersey 08625 – 0420

Joslin.Tamagno@dep.nj.gov 

Remember …

BACKGROUND

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

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

Program Interest # 0000-01-1001.3         Activity # LUP200001

NJDEP has provided application documents and ways to submit comments on a Portal that can be found at:  https://www.nj.gov/dep/nese

WHY IS THE NESE PROJECT A BAD IDEA?

A Climate Disaster 

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

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

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

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

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

Harm to Marine Life 

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

Ocean Dumping – Contaminating the Atlantic Ocean 

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

A Threat to Public Health and Safety 

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

Increased Air/Noise Pollution 

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

An Unneeded Cash-Grab

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

Comment Topics – Elaborated Points are in the attached PDF documents.

COMMENT 1: Construction of the NESE Project threatens water quality, increased stormwater flooding, and threatened & endangered species.

  • Construction of a stormwater basin at the proposed Compressor Station 206 site does not include complete plans that account for the specific soil type that exists there.
  • Impacts to the habitat for the State threatened barred owl as well as protected vernal pool habitats at the proposed Compressor Station 206 site were not adequately assessed or avoided.
  • Construction Schedule of the Raritan Bay Loop was reduced from 12 months to 7 months.
  • A shortened timeline increases the intensity of work, so the overall impacts will be magnified.  
  • Noise Impacts from Pile Drivings – It is not clear if the construction schedule for these activities has changed with the compressed construction schedule for the Raritan Bay Loop, but their requests for harassment permission have increased.
  • Dredging up toxics has not been avoided by construction of the Raritan Bay Loop, and this will likely cause long-term harm that was not accounted for in the applications.
  • To reach a conclusion that the impacts on water quality would be short-lived, temporary and localized neglects to consider the unusual tidal flows in Raritan Bay, the chain-reactions from destroyed habitat and food sources for marine life, and the contamination of food sources for marine life and people.
  • NESE’s Raritan Bay Loop’s Undisputed, Devastating Impact on Shellfish Beds and Benthic Communities 
  • Williams/Transco has not sufficiently identified permanent, temporary, and secondary/indirect impacts from onland construction, and they have not shown plans to avoid and/or mitigate these impacts.
    • Acid Producing Soils
    • Construction through or near Superfund Sites & other toxic sites

COMMENT 2: Williams/Transco did not demonstrate a “compelling public need” for the NESE Project that meets requirements of NJ’s Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act Rules at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-10.4 or, alternatively, demonstrate an extraordinary hardship from denial of a permit.

The NESE Project does not serve an essential health or safety need of the municipality in which it would be constructed, and its proposed use does not serve existing needs of residents of the State.  

  • Air Quality & Health Impacts
  • Safety Risks – Fires or Explosions

Additionally, the “need” for the NESE Project has been refuted by reports, and the needs of the State that are currently focused on fighting climate change impacts would be harmed by the NESE Project despite claims by Williams/Transco about “benefits” to New Jersey.

COMMENT 3: NESE is not in the Public Interest.

  • Need to preserve natural resources
  • Relative extent of the public and private need for the regulated activity
  • Practicability of using reasonable alternative locations and methods
  • Economic value
  • Ecological value of the freshwater wetlands and probable impact on public health and fish and wildlife.  

COMMENT 4: Contaminants that would be unearthed, suspended and redistributed in the Raritan Bay exceed “acceptable” levels.  Exceedances were found by the NYSDEC for heavy metals (copper & mercury) in New York waters, too.   Thus, construction of the Raritan Bay Loop of the NESE Project would (a) negatively impact surface water quality, and (b) harm threatened and endangered species and their habitat.

Additionally, the shortening of the in-water construction schedule raises serious concerns about impacts from increased vessel traffic and noise as well as adhering to time-of-year restrictions to protect threatened and endangered species if the schedule needs to be altered due to unforeseen circumstances.

Furthermore, the unique tidal flows in the Raritan Bay do not seem to have been given appropriate consideration.

COMMENT 5: Other Concerns about In-Water Construction

  • Time of Year Restrictions
  • Thermal Discharges

COMMENT 6: There is a Questionable “Need” for additional natural gas in National Grid’s NY area.

COMMENT 7: There is no real consideration of climate crisis-mitigating renewable alternatives by the Federal or State agencies.

Additionally, the impact of the NESE Project on climate change effects should be considered in light of the threats facing New Jersey as well as the State’s goals to reduce greenhouse gases.

ACTION ALERT – SEND COMMENTS TO NJDEP BY APRIL 6, 2020 (5PM)

We know that there is no way for Williams/Transco to build NESE’s pipeline and compressor station without threatening our water quality, threatened & endangered species, and wetlands.   We will continue to fight this dangerous and unnecessary project to the end.   

The NESE Project has been stopped twice in New York and three times in New Jersey when prior applications for permits were withdrawn and/or denied.  Now, following the 4th set of applications in January 2020, it’s time for the NJDEP to deny the permit applications with prejudice (a.k.a. “for good”).  YOUR COMMENTS ARE NEEDED!

Many of the concerns of people in NJ & NY have been heard, and they need to be voiced again about the 2020 permit applications.

NJDEP has issued a comment period for the January 2020 applications that ends on April 6, 2020 at 5PM.  

NJDEP has until May 6, 2020 to issue their decisions about the permit applications.

TO DO NOW

1) Submit your comment in opposition to the project today via these easy online links where the letter is already written, and you just need to add your identifying information + any additional comments you’d like.

2) Attached are sample written comments/points that are relevant to the NJDEP’s current review of applications as well as political points (such as climate change impacts).

Recommendations

  1. Write separate comments for each topic or point.
    • Using the attached comment statements, you could do a “word search” for a topic or concern of interest to you.
    • On the next page is a list of the attached comment topics with provided information.
  2. Choose points from what is provided on the attached comment ideas/points & use them to create your own individual comments by copying/pasting what you want to use into a Word document and adding to it.  Save it.  
  3. Include your full name and address at the end of all comment letters.
  4. Send each comment as an attachment (the Word document or that document saved as a PDF) via email to NESEcomment@dep.nj.gov
  5. Send your comments to the following people in NJDEP & the Governor, too, by email.  Emails are listed below so that you can copy & paste them into your email.  You could also copy your local State Senators and Representatives.  
  6. For the Subject of your email, copy & paste this into the space – Transco NESE Comments

You’re sending Comments on NESE – Program Interest # 0000-01-1001.3; Activity #: LUP 200001

Comment Topics – Elaborated Points are in the attached documents.

COMMENT 1: Construction of the NESE Project threatens water quality, increased stormwater flooding, and threatened & endangered species.

  • Construction of a stormwater basin at the proposed Compressor Station 206 site does not include complete plans that account for the specific soil type that exists there.
  • Impacts to the habitat for the State threatened barred owl as well as protected vernal pool habitats at the proposed Compressor Station 206 site were not adequately assessed or avoided.
  • Construction Schedule of the Raritan Bay Loop was reduced from 12 months to 7 months.
  • A shortened timeline increases the intensity of work, so the overall impacts will be magnified.  
  • Noise Impacts from Pile Drivings – It is not clear if the construction schedule for these activities has changed with the compressed construction schedule for the Raritan Bay Loop, but their requests for harassment permission have increased.
  • Dredging up toxics has not been avoided by construction of the Raritan Bay Loop, and this will likely cause long-term harm that was not accounted for in the applications.
  • To reach a conclusion that the impacts on water quality would be short-lived, temporary and localized neglects to consider the unusual tidal flows in Raritan Bay, the chain-reactions from destroyed habitat and food sources for marine life, and the contamination of food sources for marine life and people.
  • NESE’s Raritan Bay Loop’s Undisputed, Devastating Impact on Shellfish Beds and Benthic Communities 
  • Williams/Transco has not sufficiently identified permanent, temporary, and secondary/indirect impacts from onland construction, and they have not shown plans to avoid and/or mitigate these impacts.
    • Acid Producing Soils
    • Construction through or near Superfund Sites & other toxic sites

COMMENT 2: Williams/Transco did not demonstrate a “compelling public need” for the NESE Project that meets requirements of NJ’s Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act Rules at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-10.4 or, alternatively, demonstrate an extraordinary hardship from denial of a permit.

The NESE Project does not serve an essential health or safety need of the municipality in which it would be constructed, and its proposed use does not serve existing needs of residents of the State.  

  • Air Quality & Health Impacts
  • Safety Risks – Fires or Explosions

Additionally, the “need” for the NESE Project has been refuted by reports, and the needs of the State that are currently focused on fighting climate change impacts would be harmed by the NESE Project despite claims by Williams/Transco about “benefits” to New Jersey.

COMMENT 3: NESE is not in the Public Interest.

  • Need to preserve natural resources
  • Relative extent of the public and private need for the regulated activity
  • Practicability of using reasonable alternative locations and methods
  • Economic value
  • Ecological value of the freshwater wetlands and probable impact on public health and fish and wildlife.  

COMMENT 4: Contaminants that would be unearthed, suspended and redistributed in the Raritan Bay exceed “acceptable” levels.  Exceedances were found by the NYSDEC for heavy metals (copper & mercury) in New York waters, too.   Thus, construction of the Raritan Bay Loop of the NESE Project would (a) negatively impact surface water quality, and (b) harm threatened and endangered species and their habitat.

Additionally, the shortening of the in-water construction schedule raises serious concerns about impacts from increased vessel traffic and noise as well as adhering to time-of-year restrictions to protect threatened and endangered species if the schedule needs to be altered due to unforeseen circumstances.

Furthermore, the unique tidal flows in the Raritan Bay do not seem to have been given appropriate consideration.

COMMENT 5: Other Concerns about In-Water Construction

  • Time of Year Restrictions
  • Thermal Discharges

COMMENT 6: There is a Questionable “Need” for additional natural gas in National Grid’s NY area.

COMMENT 7: There is no real consideration of climate crisis-mitigating renewable alternatives by the Federal or State agencies.

Additionally, the impact of the NESE Project on climate change effects should be considered in light of the threats facing New Jersey as well as the State’s goals to reduce greenhouse gases.

Action Alert – Speak Up to Scrap NESE

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

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

FERC

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

Use this new docket number for the following actions:

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

To view the Amendment application, go to:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1OKm3OIW4tNc6VGtVoCHK6qp_MS5ITEmq?usp=sharing

NJDEP

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

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

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

There is hope!

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

What can you do?

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

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

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

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

ACTION ALERT: Submit Comments to NJDEP by August 23!

NJDEP has issued a COMMENT PERIOD for the June 2019 NESE applications that ends on August 23, 2019

Join us in stopping Williams/Transco’s proposed Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) Project’s Compressor Station 206 and pipeline in Old Bridge/Sayreville and under Raritan Bay that threatens our communities, the environment, and efforts to address risks from climate change in NJ and NY.

ACTIONS:

  • Call Governor Murphy between 9 AM and 5PM at 866-586-4069 or 609-292-6000 & leave a message that you expect the NJDEP to protect our health and safety by denying the permit applications for the Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) Project that do not meet standards of NJ regulations.

WHY?  There are many reasons to oppose NESE’s compressor station and pipeline proposed to be built in New Jersey.

  1. Construction would harm the health and environments of humans, marinelife and wildlife.
  2. Operation of the compressor station would threaten our health from toxic air emissions.
  3. Increased velocity of moving gas through pipeline that is 50+ years old risks hastening of corrosion that leads to fires and explosions.
  4. Williams/Transco has a poor safety record.
  5. The NESE Project undercuts goals and efforts of NJ and NY to fight impacts of climate change.

The NESE Project has been stopped twice in New York and twice in New Jersey when 2017 and 2018 applications for permits were withdrawn and/or denied.  Now, following the third applications in June 2019, it’s time for the NJDEP to deny the permit applications with prejudice (a.k.a. “for good”).  

We know that there is no way for Williams/Transco to build NESE’s pipeline and compressor station without threatening our water quality, threatened & endangered species, and wetlands.  We will continue to fight this dangerous and unnecessary project to the end.

YOUR COMMENTS ARE NEEDED NOW!    Many of the concerns of people in NJ & NY have been heard, and they need to be voiced again about the 2019 permit applications – by August 23, 2019.

Now is the time to make it known that you expect the NJDEP to deny the water permit applications that they received on June 12, 2019 for the NESE Project. 

YOUR COMMENTS ARE NEEDED!  Click the button below to submit your comments through the Action Network by the extended deadline of August 23.

SUBMIT COMMENTS

ACTION ALERT: Comment Period Extended to August 23

The fight against Compressor Station 206 and the pipeline in the Raritan Bay is not over! 

Williams/Transco still needs permits from NJDEP and the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) to receive FERC’s permission to begin construction. 

  • The earlier permit applications to NJDEP were withdrawn or rejected – 6/23 & 7/10/17 applications withdrawn on 6/15/18 > new applications submitted 6/20/18 > denied by NJDEP on 6/5/19 > new applications submitted on 6/12/19. 

It has been over 3 years since the opposition to the NESE Project began, and there’s still hope that the NJDEP will do the right thing and reject the third set of applications from Williams/Transco for permits since they fail to meet State requirements for the permits

  • The June 12, 2019 applications to NJDEP still do not meet NJ regulations by showing a “compelling public need” for the NESE Project. 
  • They still include harms from construction of the pipeline to our surface water quality, marine life, and threatened & endangered species and their habitats. 
  • The proposed infiltration basin for the compressor station site still does not meet required regulations. 
  • Operations would guarantee decades of toxic air pollution from the compressor station. 

See attachments: NJDEP’s deficiency letters

Now is the time to make it known that you expect the NJDEP to deny the water permit applications that they received on June 12, 2019 for the NESE Project. 

YOUR COMMENTS ARE NEEDED!  Click the button below to submit your comments through the Action Network by the extended deadline of August 23.

SUBMIT COMMENTS

ACTION ALERT – SEND COMMENTS TO NJDEP BY AUGUST 2, 2019

We know that there is no way for Williams/Transco to build NESE’s pipeline and compressor station without threatening our water quality, threatened & endangered species, and wetlands. We will continue to fight this dangerous and unnecessary project to the end.

The NESE Project has been stopped twice in New York and twice in New Jersey when 2017 and 2018 applications for permits were withdrawn and/or denied. Now, following the third applications in June 2019, it’s time for the NJDEP to deny the permit applications with prejudice (a.k.a. “for good”).

YOUR COMMENTS ARE NEEDED!

Many of the concerns of people in NJ & NY have been heard, and they need to be voiced again about the 2019 permit applications.

NJDEP has issued a comment period for the June 2019 applications that ends on August 2, 2019. We’re asking for an extension but, at this time, we do not know if it will be granted.

Attached are sample written comments/points that are relevant to the NJDEP’s current review of applications as well as political points (such as climate change impacts).

We will be adding additional sample comments to the website as we go, so please check back periodically.

Recommendations:

  1. Write separate comments for each topic or point.
    • Using the attached comment statements, you could do a “word search” for a topic or concern of interest to you.
    • On the next page is a list of the attached comment topics with provided information.
  2. Choose points from what is provided on the attached comment ideas/points & use them to create your own individual comments by copying/pasting what you want to use into a Word document. Save it.
  3. Include your full name and address at the end of all comment letters.
  4. Send each comment as an attachment (the Word document or that document saved as a PDF) via one email to all of the following – the 2 NJDEP people reviewing the permit applications (Project Managers) while copying others in the DEP who are involved as well as the Governor. (Emails are listed below so that you can copy & paste them into your email.) You could also copy your local State Senators and Representatives.

Send Emails = To NESE Project Managers at NJDEP:

Stephen.Olivera@dep.nj.gov
Joslin.Tamagno@dep.nj.gov

cc:

Commissioner@dep.nj.gov
Ruth.Foster@dep.nj.gov
Christopher.Jones@dep.nj.gov
Diane.Dow@dep.nj.gov
Ginger.Kopkash@dep.nj.gov
Constituent.relations@nj.gov

5. For the Subject of your email, copy & paste this into the space –
Comments on NESE – Program Interest # 0000-01-1001.3; Activity #s: LUP 190001 & LUP190002

6. To identify the comment in the document you will attach, write something like the following as your email message:

Dear Mr. Olivera and Ms. Tamagno:

I would like to thank the DEP for its June 5, 2019 denial of Williams/Transco’s prior set of Land Use permit applications. Transco’s new Land Use permit applications – submitted merely one week after the denial – still fail to satisfy the applicable New Jersey statutes and regulations, including New Jersey’s stringent requirements for issuing a Water Quality Certificate under Section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act.

For accountability, public participation, and use of science-based decision-making, the following comments are provided for consideration during the current comment period for the June 2019 applications by Williams/Transco for the following permits for the proposed Northeast Supply Enhancement Project: Freshwater Wetlands Individual Permit with Section 401 Water Quality Certification, Flood Hazard Area Individual Permit and Verification, Waterfront Development Individual Permit with Section 401 Water Quality Certification, and Coastal Zone Management Act Consistency Determination.

However, this 30-day timeframe is inadequate because the application material is only available for review during business hours in paper format, and this precludes true accessibility for those who cannot spend time at the Municipal Center or NJDEP’s office for reasons that include work, family care and/or disability.

Thus, in addition to considering my comments, I am asking for (a) an extension of the comment period for an additional 45 days beyond August 2 for sending you comments as well as (b) posting of the application material in a web-accessible format on the DEP website. This should not be difficult since Williams/Transco provided the DEP with all application material on a DVD in late June/early July.

7. Then, attach your comment as a Word document or PDF.

Comment Topics – Elaborated Points are in the attached dociments.

(1) Construction of the NESE Project threatens water quality, increased stormwater flooding, and threatened & endangered species.

OPEN PDF OF COMMENT 1

A. Construction of a stormwater basin at the proposed Compressor Station 206 site does not include complete plans that account for the specific soil type that exists there.

B. Impacts to the habitat for the State threatened barred owl as well as protected vernal pool habitats at the proposed Compressor Station 206 site were not adequately assessed or avoided.

C. Construction Schedule of the Raritan Bay Loop was reduced from 12 months to 7 months

D. A shortened timeline increases the intensity of work, so the overall impacts will be magnified.

E. Noise Impacts from Pile Drivings – It is not clear if the construction schedule for these activities has changed with the compressed construction schedule for the Raritan Bay Loop, but the requests for harassment have increased.

F. Dredging up toxics has not been avoided by construction of the Raritan Bay Loop, and this will likely cause long-term harm that was not accounted for in the applications.

G. To reach a conclusion that the impacts on water quality would be short-lived, temporary and localized neglects to consider the unusual tidal flows in Raritan Bay, the chain-reactions from destroyed habitat and food sources for marine life, and the contamination of food sources for marine life and people.

H. NESE’s Raritan Bay Loop’s Undisputed, Devastating Impact on Shellfish Beds and Benthic Communities

I. Williams/Transco has not sufficiently identified permanent, temporary, and secondary/indirect impacts from onland construction, and they have not shown plans to avoid and/or mitigate these impacts.

  • Acid Producing Soils
  • Construction through or near Superfund Sites & other toxic sites

(2) Williams/Transco did not demonstrate that there are no practicable alternatives to avoid impacting exceptional resource value wetlands and their transition areas.

OPEN PDF OF COMMENT 2

(3)  Williams/Transco did not demonstrate a “compelling public need” for the NESE Project that meets requirements of NJ’s Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act Rules at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-10.4 or, alternatively, demonstrate an extraordinary hardship from denial of a permit.

OPEN PDF OF COMMENT 3

The NESE Project does not serve an essential health or safety need of the municipality in which it would be constructed, and its proposed use does not serve existing needs of residents of the State.

  • Air Quality & Health Impacts
  • Safety Risks – Fires or Explosions

Additionally, the “need” for the NESE Project has been refuted by reports, and the needs of the State that are currently focused on fighting climate change impacts would be harmed by the NESE Project despite claims by Williams/Transco about “benefits” to New Jersey.

(4)  NESE is not in the Public Interest.

OPEN PDF OF COMMENT 4

  • need to preserve natural resources
  • relative extent of the public and private need for the regulated activity
  • practicability of using reasonable alternative locations and methods
  • economic value
  • ecological value of the freshwater wetlands and probable impact on public health and fish and wildlife.

(5)  Contaminants that would be unearthed, suspended and redistributed in the Raritan Bay exceed “acceptable” levels. Exceedances were found by the NYSDEC for heavy metals (copper & mercury) in New York waters, too. Thus, construction of the Raritan Bay Loop of the NESE Project would (a) negatively impact surface water quality, and (b) harm threatened and endangered species and their habitat. Additionally, the shortening of the in-water construction schedule raises serious concerns about impacts from increased vessel traffic and noise as well as adhering to time-of-year restrictions to protect threatened and endangered species if the schedule needs to be altered due to unforeseen circumstances. Furthermore, the unique tidal flows in the Raritan Bay do not seem to have been given appropriate consideration.

OPEN PDF OF COMMENT 5

(6)  Other Concerns about In-Water Construction

  • Time of Year Restrictions
  • Thermal Discharges

OPEN PDF OF COMMENT 6

(7)  There is a Questionable “Need” for additional natural gas in National Grid’s NY area.

OPEN PDF OF COMMENT 7

(8)  There is no real consideration of climate crisis-mitigating renewable alternatives by the Federal or State agencies. Additionally, the impact of the NESE Project on climate change effects should be considered in light of the threats facing New Jersey as well as the State’s goals to reduce greenhouse gases.

OPEN PDF OF COMMENT 8

(9) Misleading and incomplete information in the Factsheets provided by Williams/Transco

OPEN PDF OF COMMENT 9