Talking Points for Making a Public Comment on the Title V Air Permit for the Wantage Compressor Expansion:
Air pollution & health risks:
On New Year's day an accident at the Wantage Compressor caused gas from the compressor to vent directly into the air for over an hour. Multiple 911 calls were made, and Residents living on Mountain View Drive reported noise as loud as a jet engine and suffered headaches and nausea from the noxious fumes. The toxic plume could be smelt for at least 20 miles reaching middle town NY.
Compressors have been known to release so much harmful air pollution that they can cause coughing, nosebleeds, dizziness, rashes, and nausea, and long-term exposure can cause asthma, neurological conditions, and more. Benzene, a compound found in natural gas, is associated with childhood leukemia. This project is not safe for our community. There are documented cases across the country of residents becoming sick when compressor stations move into their neighborhoods.
Blowdown events are a necessary part of the compressor station, releasing toxic chemicals into the air which cause an awful nauseating smell and noise as loud as jet engines, and they can last as long as hours, and even days. Residents living near compressor stations have said there are frequent loud noises during blowdowns; some had to evacuate their homes during blowdowns.
Piping higher volumes of fracked (methane) gas will increase fracking, end-use fossil fuel combustion, blowdowns and gas leaks. All of this will worsen the climate crisis. Methane gas is 86 times worse for climate change over its 20-year cycle, which is precisely the window when we must cut our emissions in order to avoid the most drastic effects of climate change.
Governor Murphy has made strong commitments to reduce emissions. At the same time as we work to lower emissions across all sectors, we cannot allow polluters to worsen emission levels in NJ.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) which issued the federal level approval for this project has not done a throughout analysis of this project's impacts on the climate and even included a statement in their final Environmental Impact Statement which named that they cannot determine the climate impacts of this project.
Pumping higher volumes of gas at a greater pressure through a pipeline system, parts of which are now 65 years old, would increase the risks of leaks and even explosions along the pipeline route through densely populated residential areas and under the Monksville Reservoir. The useful lifespan of steel pipelines is 50 years.
TGP company is proposing to have this facility monitored remotely from Texas, with only one worker on-site during daytime hours. Local first responders are not trained to deal with these sorts of disasters which could easily turn into a massive forest fire in these heavily wooded regions. In the event of a catastrophic leak, fire, or explosion, TGP has no plan to respond.
TGP's Track Record:
In the last decade, Tennessee Gas Pipeline caused substantial damage to Passaic County when constructing the 300-line project. There was significant damage to Lake Lookover and Bearfort Waters in West Milford which included siltation and destruction of waterways through mudslides which increased flooding and impacted drinking water wells. To make matters worse, TGP was required to replant trees that were clearcut, and only 200 out of 2,500 were planted according to the DEP. And of those were not of proper height and thickness, and not a single tree was planted of the 1,440 required on Hamburg Mountain, Vernon. With this track record, we cannot trust that TGP will not severely damage our communities and that they will repair the damage if they do.
According to Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration failure reports, from 2006 to 2017 Tennessee Gas Pipeline had 111 significant incidents with their pipelines, resulting in $89,815,380 in property damage and 19 federal enforcement action. With this track record, we can’t trust TGP to safely build and operate an even bigger compressor station in our community.
The project is not needed:
None of this gas is for Northern New Jersey. Its target is for home and business use in NY. New York State and New York residents want to cut back on fossil fuel dependency.
NY's Climate Leadership and Communities Protection Act makes bold commitments to transition NY off of fossil fuels. If this project is approved, the NJ DEP will be risking NJ residents' health & safety and our climate and environment for a project that is unneeded and is likely to become a stranded asset.
There's widespread opposition to this project: