The Passaic County Commissioners started the past week pressured with making an important decision about whether to support the Tennessee Pipeline’s East 300 Upgrade Project controversial gas pipeline project proposed to go through the Township of West Milford.
Tennessee Gas needs permits from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to move the project forward.
Earlier in the month the commissioners had a resolution on a meeting agenda calling for action to oppose the pipeline company’s application for the project.
They decided not to act on it until they had time to gather additional information and have more discussion. They met again this week.
The company wants to put an electric driven compressor turbine in the Hewitt section of the township. Tennessee also wants to upgrade two existing gas-fired compressor stations – one in Wantage in Sussex County and the other in Pennsylvania.
The proposed document pointed to a recent intergovernmental panel report on Climate Change that highlights the need for immediate actions to sharply reduce fossil fuel use, concluding that global net human caused emissions of greenhouse gasses need to fall by 45 percent rom 2010 levels by 2030 to avoid catastrophic climate change.
Executive Order 100
As originally written, the dormant resolution said the board supported New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s Executive Order 100 which committed the state to achieve 80 percent of the greenhouse gasses reductions by 2050 and 100 percent clear energy by 2050.
It noted the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company application for the East 300 Upgrade Project, including the expansion of the existing compressor station in Sussex County and construction of a new compressor station in West Milford will cause irreparable harm to the environment and public safety by permitting transportation of fracked gas through New Jersey and promotes continued use of fossil fuels.
It states that because material being transported is highly flammable and dangerous, a leak or explosion could threaten the communities and destroy habitat while adding to pollution.
Allen Fore, vice president of public affairs for the pipeline parent company Kinder Martin, said when they consider expansion of their system, they look to see how they can do so with the least possible impacts.
West Milford point of view
West Milford officials considered passing a resolution opposing the project earlier this year but later rejected the document. West Milford Councilmen Kevin Goodsir and David Marsden attended the commissioner meeting in Paterson.
Goodsir explained to the county representatives that he and his council colleagues are looking for the best possible benefit from the pipeline company including $200,000 in cash.
He also said West Milford officials are aware they have no power to stop the project.
- Ann Genader