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Controversial Pilgrim Pipeline Dealt A Major Blow

December 1, 2014

For Immediate Release:  December 1, 2014

Contact:  Jeff Tittel, Director, NJ Sierra Club, 609-558-9100

PSE&G Denies Pilgrim Pipeline Access to Rights-of-Way

Pilgrim Pipeline was denied access to PSE&G right of way by the PSE&G Corporate Lands Division and now senior leadership has upheld that decision. Pilgrim had asked the public utility for use of their easements to install two brand new oil pipelines across Northern New Jersey. Pilgrim Pipeline LLC is a private utility that wants to ship crude oil and refined petroleum products. They are not designated as a public utility and do not have eminent domain rights.

This announcement by PSEG is a major blow to the project, as the current mapping shows extensive use of existing PSEG rights-of-way.

“This is a major setback to Pilgrim Pipeline. Without using the PSE&G right-of-way they are going to have a difficult time getting through New Jersey with this destructive pipeline. We want to thank PSE&G for doing what is right. This pipeline would not only jeopardize our water and opens pace sand could lead to spills and we thank PSE&G for doing what is right here and standing up for rate payers and the environment,” said Jeff Tittel, Director, NJ Sierra Club.

Pilgrim Pipeline LLC is proposing to construct two new pipelines to connect Albany, New York, with Port Reading and Linden, New Jersey. The pipeline would cut through both communities that are overburdened by pollution already and environmentally sensitive areas critical for drinking water supply.

The infrastructure would transport Bakken shale oil, produced by fracking in North Dakota, and refined petroleum products. The Bakken oil is highly explosive and pipeline transportation would threaten local communities with the risk of spills and accidents. The source of the oil and its consequences for our climate, along with the environmental impacts of the project’s construction and operation, will have long-term, negative effects on both states.

The Pilgrim Pipeline would cut through important water supply watershed and near water supply aquifers. The pipeline would run through the Ramapo River Watershed in New York and New Jersey. This system serves Mahwah, Ramsey, Oakland, Franklin Lakes, Allendale, Pompton Lakes, Wayne and 8 more towns in New York as well as a backup to the Wanaque and Oradell Reservoirs during times of drought.

The pipeline would pass through or near the Chatham aquifer, tributaries to the Hudson River, and the Catskill and Delaware aqueducts which provide drinking water to New York City.

Local municipalities along the route have been actively opposing the project. Eight municipalities and Passaic County have passed resolutions against the pipeline. This decision by PSE&G is adding to the momentum of stopping this dangerous pipeline. Not even API supports this project.

“Concerned citizens, municipal officials, county freeholders, and state legislators, up and down the route are coming out and opposing this project because of the unacceptable risks it presents to our environment, drinking water, and public health. We thank PSE&G for standing with the local communities and helping to keep this ill-conceived project out of our state,” said Kate Millsaps, conservation program coordinator, NJ Sierra Club.

We partner with PSE&G on a number of issues energy efficiency to renewables. Although we have disagreed with them on some issues they are doing the right thing here. Towns opposed these expanded ROWs in the past and PSE&G is showing they can be a good neighbor now by
keeping these dangerous pipeline projects out of their easement.

“PSEG is looking for their consumers and rate payers. The public pays for these rights of way and they shouldn’t be letting these speculative and dangerous ventures use them. They should only be used by public utilities. Will they threaten PSEG with eminent domain like they have
done with landowners?” asked Jeff Tittel.

The public can learn more about the project at 4 upcoming education forums hosted by the Sierra Club and other organizations in the Coalition Against the Pilgrim Pipeline:

– Watchung: December 2nd at 7:30 pm
Watchung Borough Hall, 15 Mountain Boulevard, Watchung, 07069, 2nd Floor

– Roselle: December 4th at 7pm
Heard A.M.E. Church
310 E 8th Ave, Roselle, NJ 07203

– Landowner Rights Workshop with Pipeline Safety Coalition’s Executive Director Lynda Farrell
Monday, December 8, 2014 at 6:30 PM
Library of the Chathams
214 Main St, Chatham, NJ 07928

– Roseland: Thursday December 11th at 7 pm
Essex County Environmental Center
621 Eagle Rock Avenue (Roseland, NJ 07068)

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