Concerns about the proposed compressor station in West Milford

| 10 Feb 2021 | 07:45

    How I love my cozy cabin on the edge of Hewitt State Forest.

    How I delight in the daily visits of wild turkeys and a piliated woodpecker.

    COVID’s necessity to isolate has helped me count my blessings.

    And with gratitude comes my responsibility to be a better steward of the earth ... especially West Milford.

    For this reason I attended the Zoom meeting on Thursday, Feb. 4. The subject was the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Compressor Expansion Town Hall.

    Educational presentations against proposed compressor stations were knowledgeably and passionately stated by Matt Smith, director of the project for Food and Water Watch and Water Action, N.J. Sierra Club president, Jeff Tittel, and Renee Allesio, Sustainable West Milford board member and member of Empower New Jersey. Also presenting were two residents from Roseland N.J., and Minisink, N.Y., who were adversely affected by compressors in their towns.

    The proposed compressor in West Milford is on Burnt Meadow Road, very near two reservoirs, a very precarious site indeed.

    A resolution against the proposed compressor station was presented to the West Milford Town Council on Wednesday, Feb. 3, by Sustainable West Milford members. The following is a summary of their research:

    The 60+ year old pipeline from Pennsylvania to New York is dangerously outdated.

    The gas it carries will not be used in West Milford but will supply Westchester County, N.Y.

    Between 2006 and 2017 Tennessee Gas Pipeline had 111 incidents resulting in $89 million property damage.

    TGP has already damaged Lake Lookover in Hewitt and Bearfort waters in West Milford by clear cutting, resulting in erosion and siltation.

    The compressor is proposed in the Highlands Preservation Area near C1 sensitive streams that flow into the Monksville and Wanaque Reservoirs. A disaster could put 3 million residents in danger.

    Scheduled blowdowns to release pressure in the pipeline are said to be as loud as a jet plane.

    Health issues result because of released particulates in the air, methane and other by-products.

    Real estate values have decreased in other communities that have compressor stations.

    West Milford’s volunteer emergency responders are not sufficiently equipped to tackle an emergency explosion.

    At a time when our nation is back in the fight to rescue the planet from fires, floods, famines, rising sea levels, human dislocation, it behooves me to pay attention.

    As grassroots organizations are committing themselves to zeroing greenhouse emissions by mid-century, it is also a reminder of the power of free market forces and the private investments needed to build clean vehicles and clean energy sources like wind and solar.

    For more information please contact and watch the recording at

    Norma Stehle