Proposed Pipeline Extension Raises Ire, Environmental Concerns

Residents want to know why New Jersey takes the risk but New York gets the gas

Yet another proposed pipeline has some folks in the Garden State in an uproar.

The billion-dollar project proposed by Williams-Transco would carry fracked natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formation in Pennsylvania to New York, entering the Raritan Bay about six miles from Old Bridge.

The project would require a new compressor station in Franklin Township and 35 miles of underground pipeline, most of it trenched deep beneath the Raritan Bay, supplying natural gas via New York to the northeast power grid.

Williams-Transco owns a pumping station in Old Bridge. It’s near a Superfund site that’s contaminated with lead from industrial slag.

The NY/NJ Baykeeper is worried about environmental damage, worried that construction could stir up sediments, and disrupt the ecosystem and commercial fishing out on the bay.

Some New Jerseyans put it another way: They want to know why they get the risk and New York gets the gas.

But Williams-Transco says it already operates 500 miles of pipeline and five compressor stations in New Jersey and that this project would deliver $240 million in economic activity, plus 3,000 jobs, without causing lasting injury.

“New York does receive natural gas from the pipeline system. But you have to understand this is an interstate pipeline system,” said Chris Stockton, a spokesperson for Williams Companies. “The Transco pipeline has been operating safely in the state of New Jersey for decades. It’s something that’s out of sight, out of mind. We are attempting to design this project in a way that is also out of sight, out of mind. People are not going to be interrupted or inconvenienced.”

Read the full story on NJTV News Online, a content partner of NJ Spotlight.