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West Milford Council looks to add an addendum to the Tennessee Gas Pipeline agreement

West Milford. The addendum to the existing agreement seeks to address replacement of equipment and the notice for planned and unplanned ‘blowdowns.’

| 06 Oct 2021 | 08:45

    The Township of West Milford Council had a resolution authorizing an addendum to its existing agreement with Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company LLC on its agenda for considered action when they met earlier this week.

    After pointing out that the township acknowledges that Congress, through the Natural Gas Act, has regulated the siting construction and operation of natural gas facilities and state and local regulations pertaining to these same issues are preempted, the resolution addressed the proposed addendum.

    The document said the township wishes to further memorialize its intention to work with Tennessee throughout the course of the project by entering into an addendum to the existing agreement to address replacement of equipment and the notice for planned and unplanned “blowdowns.”

    If the resolution was adopted the mayor would be authorized to execute the addendum, and take all actions as necessary thereafter to effectuate its terms. It would go into effect immediately.

    Things will eventually wear down

    Christine Roy, New Jersey Council for the Tennessee Gas Pipeline, was at the Aug. 11 council meeting to answer questions the council might have. During the discussion Councilwoman Ada Erik noted that things will eventually wear out and need to be replaced and she questioned how that will be handled.

    Mayor Michele Dale indicated that the original agreement resolution could be amended to state that the replacement of equipment that has “timed out” would not be a tax burden expected to fall on West Milford taxpayers.

    Erik said the training for emergency squads made up of volunteers needed to be continuous.

    Roy indicated that as stated in the contract there would be annual hands-on training, and whatever the requirement was it would be addressed.

    Councilman David Marsden expressed concerns regarding the age and condition of the pipes and the possibility of the ultrasound not finding a defective weld.

    Roy indicated that TGP was going to be held to the higher safety standard and there could be follow up about that subject.

    Blowouts, planned and unplanned

    Mayor Dale wants to be informed about planned blowouts and unplanned blowouts when they occur. She said she was expecting transparency with TGP, and that if residents stayed in their homes or chose to leave when a blowout was scheduled it is important that they have transparency about what is happening.

    A number of residents expressed their concerns at that meeting. The addendum that was up for action this week has been on file in the township clerk’s office and is available to the public to read.