‘It’s imperative that the West Milford Council pass the resolution objecting to this terrible project as soon as possible’

| 11 Mar 2021 | 09:50

    West Milford officials would do well to cast a jaundiced eye at the claim of Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) that it will pay $500,000 in property taxes with their new fracked gas compressor proposed for Burnt Meadow Road.

    Just 26 miles away in Wantage, TGP is paying ... wait for it ... just $23,528 annually for its large compressor station there.

    Public records show the following:

    The current assessment of TGP’s land in Wantage is $247,100.

    The current assessment of the land TGP would buy for the West Milford compressor station is $470,000.

    The current assessment of the improvements in Wantage is $603,200.

    If one adds the assessed value West Milford property TGP wants to acquire ($470,000) to the value of the Wantage improvement ($603,200) the total is $1,073,200.

    Applying West Milford’s tax rate of $3.745 to $1,073,200 yields a tax payable of $40,191.

    This amount is a far cry from the $500,000 TGP is claiming and only $20,936 above what the current owner of the Burnt Meadow property is paying now. It begs a closer look from West Milford officials.

    Important points to note:

    The assessed value of the West Milford land is not likely to change without a change of use (for example, to high-density housing).

    The value of the properties in the proximity of any West Milford compressor station may very well decline, resulting in lower taxes from these properties.

    None of this fracked gas will be used by anyone in New Jersey.

    As we know from Wantage, once TGP has a compression station in place, they can expand it, compounding its ill effects. Wantage has already passed a resolution opposing the project.

    A fracked gas compressor station in West Milford is simply not worth the increase in air pollution, noxious smells, noise and the potential release of toxic chemicals into the soil and thus into our water.

    From 2006 to 2017, TGP had 111 significant incidents with their pipelines, resulting in $89,815,380 in property damage and 19 federal enforcement actions.

    Just 10 years ago TGP seriously damaged Lake Lookover in Hewitt and Bearfort lWaters in West Milford, including the siltation and destruction of waterways through mudslides, increased flooding and impacts to residents’ drinking water wells.

    It’s imperative that the West Milford Council pass the resolution objecting to this terrible project as soon as possible.


    Renee Bettini Allessio

    Sustainable West Milford Board Member