Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company (”TGP”) filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in June 2020 to:
- Build a new 19,000 hp methane gas compressor station (“CS 327”) along its pipeline in West Milford at 960 Burnt Meadow Road.
- Build a new 20,000 hp compressor that will more than triple the size of their existing polluting compressor station in Wantage (“CS 325”) at 164 Libertyville Road.
Compressor stations are industrial sites that pressurize natural gas to transport it through pipelines, and release gas when there is too much pressure. (this release of gas is called a blowdown).
- These projects will greatly increase the amount and pressure of methane gas transported through the pipeline from Pennsylvania through New Jersey to Westchester County.
- None of this gas will benefit New Jersey energy customers, but they face the increased risk of leaks and catastrophic explosions from this 65-year-old pipeline, much of which is beyond its useful life and runs near homes, businesses, and critical infrastructure in northern New Jersey communities.
- Methane gas pipelines and compressor stations are notorious for leaks and operators regularly “blowdown” the gas in a compressor station, releasing harmful air pollutants including methane, nitrogen oxide (NOx), fine particulate matter, carbon monoxide, benzene and formaldehyde, mercury, and benzene in the air around the compressor station.
- These chemicals can contribute to severe health problems, such as chronic bronchitis, asthma, emphysema, as well as headaches, nausea, nosebleeds, and rashes. Benzene is associated with childhood leukemia.
- The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration reports show that 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 actions.
- Tennessee Gas Pipeline's poor environmental track record includes the” 300-line project” which seriously damaged Lake Lookover in Hewitt, NJ and Bearfort Waters in West Milford including the siltation and destruction of waterways through mudslides, increased flooding and impacts to drinking water wells.
- Compressor stations can generate noise as loud as jet engines especially during blowdowns.
- The proposed West Milford site is in the middle of the Highlands Preservation Area and is near streams that flow into Monksville and Wanaque Reservoirs, threatening the water supply for 3 million New Jersey residents. Compressor stations can lead to groundwater pollution from chromium, benzene and hydrocarbons and other pollutants.
- The expansion of the Wantage compressor station will result in increased emissions and air pollution in the area.
- Just across the NY border from Wantage, the Minisink Compressor Station which came online in 2013 has caused severe health impacts to residents including headaches, nosebleeds, rashes and gastrointestinal, and neurological symptoms.
- Compressor stations have negatively affected real estate values of homes in the surrounding area.
See a presentation describing efforts to oppose the project here.