Children protest the building of a natural gas compression station next to Trap Quarry in Franklin Township, across the canal from Princeton, Montgomery Township, and Rocky Hill.
Food and Water Watch (FWW), a national non-profit environmental group, invites Montgomery and Princeton area folks to a public meeting on the Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) Compressor Station. Speakers will give updates on the proposed project — which will fuel New York City’s increase demand for natural gas — and will suggest actions to oppose it. The FWW group is gearing up for the NJ Department of Environmental Protection hearing, which is expected to be scheduled later this month.
FWW Public Meeting on Gas Compressor Facility
Thursday, March 7, from 7 pm to 9 pm
South Brunswick Senior Center
540 Ridge Rd, Monmouth Junction
"This is one of our last public meetings on the NESE gas compressor facility proposed for the Montgomery area," says Junior Romero , the Central New Jersey Organizer for Food & Water Watch (FWW), a non-profit organization that works to ensure the food, water, and fish the public consumes is safe, accessible, and sustainable.
"This meeting will help our efforts for the NJDEP state hearing on the proposal later this month. I don't have to tell you why we need to #StopNESE. The 32,000-horsepower facility, and the Raritan Bay fracked gas pipeline that would accompany it, would be hazardous to our air quality and safety, endangers sensitive marine life, and fuels climate change.
"The facility faces approval or denial this year, so every action we can take against it helps our efforts for cleaner air and safe water," Romero says.
Federal regulators have begun the process to approve the NESE compressor station and the Raritan Bay gas pipeline proposal by the end of this year. "But NJ Governor (Phil) Murphy and the Department of Environmental Protection can still stop the dangerous project by rejecting it crucial permits," according to Romero. "Join us for this critical public meeting to help stop the NESE compressor and win a moratorium on all new fossil fuel project."
View video of the proposed Station 206 compressor project
The proposed compressor station would be located behind the Buddhist temple on Route 27 and to the immediate east of the Trap Rock Quarry, a short distance from Rocky Hill, the southern portion of Montgomery Township, and Princeton.
Williams Cos completed the build of a 6.36-mile, 42-inch wide Skillman Loop pipeline in Montgomery Township in 2017. Montgomery Township Administrator Donato Nieman, who attended the May 2 event with former Montgomery Mayor Mark Conforti, said that the township had stated its opposition with a Township Committee resolution declaring Montgomery’s “intervenor” status for the proposal, another resolution specific to the FERC hearing and process ahead, and through written statements prepared by attorneys.
Williams Cos (WMB) is a publicly traded Fortune 500 company based in Tulsa, OK. It operates the Transco pipeline – a 10,000-mile interstate transmission pipeline system that transports much of the natural gas consumed in the northeastern United States. Its core business is natural gas processing and transportation, with additional petroleum and electricity generation assets. The company's common stock is a component of the S&P 500.
Williams' NESE Project reached a major milestone in January when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), concluding that environmental impacts would be reduced to “less than significant levels” with the implementation of mitigation measures proposed by Williams and FERC.
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The NESE project will provide additional gas supply to National Grid – the largest distributor of natural gas in the northeastern United States. National Grid is converting about 8,000 customers per year from heating oil to natural gas in New York City and Long Island. Once complete, the project will serve 1.8 million customers served by National Grid in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and Long Island.
The FWW public meeting is part of the "Tour for a Fossil Fuel Moratorium," a series of six public forums that began February 18 and will run through early April in which experts and community leaders will fight to stop the 12 new fossil fuel projects currently proposed throughout New Jersey. These developments would harm water, air, land, and climate, according to FWW.
After Trump pulled the US out of the historic Paris Climate Agreement, Governor Murphy signed New Jersey onto the US Climate Alliance, a pledge to uphold the goals from Paris to limit global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and no higher than 2 degrees.
"We commend the governor for this and other positive climate actions since taking office, but these climate commitments cannot be reached if his administration continues approving new, long term fossil fuel expansion projects," Romero says. "Simply put, if the governor doesn't take immediate action to fight climate change by stopping new sources of green house gas pollution in NJ, and by implementing a real plan to reduce existing green house gases, then he will be putting thousands of lives and billions of dollars in economic damage at risk."
The public forum calls for a moratorium on fossil fuel projects and for bold policy solutions needed to facilitate a rapid and fair transition to a New Jersey powered by 100 percent clean renewable energy.
The "Tour for a Fossil Fuel Moratorium" is being organized by the recently launched "Empower New Jersey: No Fossil Fuel Projects" campaign.
View a list of the organizations endorsing participating in the FWW campaign and its message to Governor Murphy.
Visit the FWW Facebook page for more information. ■