I am proud to say that I live in Wantage Township these days. Proud because the Wantage Township Mayor and Committee moved quickly to stand for the health and welfare of their citizens, and say no to a large corporation earning profits while our lives were put at risk.
On Feb. 11, Wantage Township Committee signed a resolution opposing the Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) expansion through Northern New Jersey, the first town along the pipeline route to do so. I am also dismayed that many towns along the route of this pipeline have not yet voiced their opposition. This, I do not understand. As of this writing, Wantage, Montague, Hamburg and Ringwood have opposed TGP’s project, while Vernon is considering, but what about West Milford? Why would any town not oppose this?
The TGP expansion will not benefit any town in New Jersey (the gas goes from Pennsylvania to New York) and will only put us all at risk. The project includes two new compressor stations, one that would be 1200 feet from the Monksville/Wanaque reservoir, which provides drinking water for millions of New Jerseyans. Compressor stations pump gas faster with more pressure through pipelines that are 65 years old, past their usable life of 50 years, increasing the risk of leaks and explosions.
Everyone living in a radius of one mile of the compressor station will suffer health risks from blowdowns (including asthma, rashes, nausea, headaches, and dizziness), emotional distress (fear, traumatic stress, and anxiety from possible evacuation, explosion, and regular blowdowns causing bad smells and loud noises), and devaluation of their homes (some in Minisink outright lost their home). The West Milford mayor and council should see this clearly for what it is: they are sacrificing the health and safety of their residents in order to allow a large corporation to earn more profit for their shareholders.
If you live along the pipeline in any of these towns: West Milford, Vernon, Sussex Borough, Mahwah, Ramsey, Upper Saddle River, Montvale, Chestnut Ridge, Park Ridge, River Vale, Old Tappan... or if you get your drinking water from the Passaic Valley Water Commission and live in these towns: Newark, Paterson, Passaic, Clifton, Kearny, Belleville, Elizabeth, Montclair, Glen Ridge, Bloomfield, and Wayne — please contact your town council and ask them to oppose this project. Tell Governor Murphy to stop this. Don’t let these large corporations contaminate our air, our water, and our life. We can win this if we all join together.