Home > Uncategorized > Residents Blast Christie DEP For Issuing Final Permits To Pipeline Compressor Station

Residents Blast Christie DEP For Issuing Final Permits To Pipeline Compressor Station

Residents Feel Betrayed By Christie DEP

A DEP Green Light – FERC and Pinelands Commission Rubber Stamps Expected Soon

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On Friday (3/24/17) a diverse group of over 50 residents of Bordentown, Chesterfield, North Hanover and surrounding towns protested the Christie DEP issuance of the “dewatering permit” to the Transco compressor station in Chesterfield on Rt. 528. Read David Levinsky’s story in the Burlington County Times:

[Clarification: FERC issued a Notice to Proceed at the compressor station site last Friday. The Pinelands Commission has yet to rubber stamp the related SRL pipeline.]

Residents felt betrayed by DEP – they expected DEP to protect them. Several residents accused DEP of protecting corporations and gas companies, not communities and the environment. “DEP Didn’t Do Their Job – Shame, Shame, Shame!”

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The devil is always in the details, so reading the fine print of the DEP “dewatering permit” is quite revealing. And damning.

Public comments opposing the proposed permit claimed that the application was riddled with very basic technical errors, including failure to even identify the number of wells nearby that could be negatively impacted by the dewatering and failure to characterize basic groundwater and surface water conditions.

Reading the fine print reveals that DEP admitted that they were right.

DEP included a permit condition that basically acknowledges that public concerns about the potential impacts of the 70 million gallon dewatering operation could harm their drinking water and agricultural wells:

Screen Shot 2017-03-21 at 4.03.39 PMPutting the cart before the horse and trying to cover their asses for a deficient permit application, DEP recently quietly required the installation of two groundwater monitoring wells. DEP did this AFTER the permit application was submitted and severely criticized by the public at public hearings and in written comments:

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Like the sign said: Shame, Shame, Shame on DEP!

End Note: DEP is not the only group that deserves criticism.

The Friday protest was sponsored by the local group People Over Pipelines and the purpose was to protest DEP’s issuance of the “dewatering” permit. Accordingly, the focus was on water and criticism of the DEP.

But, following a consistent pattern of undermining local efforts, the corporate and foundation funded group Rethink Energy NJ – a group whose primary objectives lie elsewhere in opposing the PennEast pipeline and whose singular focus has been at the federal level on FERC and who has praised the Christie DEP – attended and came prepared with signs obviously intended to change the focus and divert criticism of DEP.

Take a look – and tell me what an air plume over the nearby elementary school (they seem to have ignored the nearby church daycare center) has to do with a DEP dewatering permit and ask your self why that issue was not raised during the air permit process at DEP (a permit and engineering based review that does not even allow consideration of such plume dispersion and human exposure considerations!!!!!!!)

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The reality is actually worse than a mere attempt to divert the focus from the Dewatering permit and avoid criticism of DEP –

Rethink Energy NJ has other interests – at other ┬ácompressor station sites in NJ – that are focused on the air plume issues – and they used the People Over Pipeline protest to push that agenda. Shameful.

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