STOCKTON, N.J., Nov. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- ReThink Energy NJ, a campaign dedicated to reducing fossil fuel use and bringing clean, renewable energy to New Jersey, today pointed to mounting problems for several gas pipeline proposals in southern New Jersey. More than 1,100 opposition letters alone were submitted by the public to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) in the final six days of the final comment period for the proposed Garden State Expansion (GSE) compressor station and Southern Reliability Link (SRL) pipeline project.
Tom Gilbert, campaign director for ReThink Energy NJ and New Jersey Conservation Foundation, believes the large number of public comments received by the NJDEP reflects widespread opposition to new pipeline projects. "The more people hear about these proposed pipelines and how they threaten our environment and communities, the stronger their concerns are," Gilbert said. "Many realize that only private interests would profit from these projects, and that the pipelines are not needed and are not in the public interest." The NJDEP requested public comments as it considers a Freshwater Wetlands Permit application from the Williams Companies for its Transco GSE project. The public expressed grave concerns about impacts on waterways, air quality and the safety of nearby communities, and demanded the NJDEP deny the application. Many asked that the GSE and SRL projects be evaluated as a single project for their necessity and environmental impacts, rather than separately, because each depends completely on the other. "The NJDEP has significant authority over these types of projects that threaten our protected waterways, and it is obligated to uphold the laws and regulations that protect them," Gilbert continued. "GSE and SRL are not in compliance with these laws; NJDEP should reject them, plain and simple."