Rivervale South to Market (Hudson, Bergen County and the NJ Meadowlands)

(FERC Docket Number CP17-490)

The Williams website describes the project as:

“Williams is pursuing an expansion of its Transco inter­state natural gas pipeline to provide additional service to natural gas consumers in the Northeast — including New Jersey and New York City — in time for the 2019/2020 winter heating season. The company has executed an agreement with Direct Energy Business Marketing and UGI Energy Services for firm transportation service un­der the Rivervale South to Market project.”

The Rivervale South to Market project has been de­signed to provide up to 190,000 dekatherms per day (190 MMcfd) of gas transportation service from the existing Williams Transco pipeline interconnection with the Tennessee Gas Pipeline in River Vale (Bergen County), N.J. to Transco’s Central Manhattan Meter Sta­tion in Hudson County, N.J. and the Station 210 pool­ing point in Mercer County, N.J. 50,000 dt/day of firm transportation service will be provided from the River­vale Interconnect to Transco’s Central Manhattan Meter Station in Hudson County, New Jersey and 140,000 dt/ day of firm transportation service will be provided from the Rivervale Interconnect to the Station 210 pooling point in Mercer County, New Jersey.

Williams’ objective is to have the project completed in time for the 2019/2020 winter heating season. It is also expected that the proposed (and unnecessary) Meadowlands power plant would connect to the River­vale South Pipeline but the Meadowlands power plant will require about 110M cf/d and the volume of gas be­ing sent to Transco’s Central Manhattan Meter Station in Hudson County is only 50M cf/d.

Transco cited in its FERC application the general in­crease in gas consumption as proof of market need, but failed to cite any specific needs in New Jersey.

This pipeline project in the Meadowlands, proposed by Oklahoma-based Williams, would uprate 10.35 miles of pipeline through Bergen County to allow about 10 per­cent more gas to be pumped to northeastern customers for heat and electricity generation. (Uprating is a process that is used to increase the allowable operating pressure in a pipeline). The work would include the placement of a new 42-inch pipeline parallel to two existing pipes that already run along Metro Road in Carlstadt.

The executive director of the Hackensack Riverkeeper said the Williams project is being built too close to protected wetlands - marshes which have, after years of rehabilita­tion and cleanup, begun to make a comeback following decades of industrial pollution and commercial environ­mental abuse. The wetlands are now cleaner, and starting to once more attract a greater number of wildlife species back to the area. Construction of this project is expected to take its toll. The trench will be 40 feet wide because of all the wet soil that could cave in which will place signifi­cant stress on the local ecological environment.

Based on the assumptions described in Appendix I of our report, it is estimated that total annual GHG emissions from the Rivervale South to Market pipeline would be as shown below.

  • Emissions from the combustion of the gas the pipe­line would carry = 3.73 MMt (million metric tons) CO2
  • Total emissions from methane leaked across the gas supply chain (extraction to consumption) (Pennsyl­vania and New Jersey) = 2.69 MMt CO2e
  • Emissions from methane leaked during transportation and consumption in New Jersey = 0.46 MMt CO2e
  • Total emissions from pipeline in New Jersey = 4.18 MMt CO2e