The gas pipeline
As many residents are now aware, Spectra Energy is currently proposing the creation of a steel gas pipeline that will run from Staten Island to Bayonne through Greenville, sections of Bergen-Lafayette, and Downtown – some of the most densely populated areas of Jersey City -- to end at 14th Street and the Hudson River.
The potential hazard of this pipeline to our citizens is unacceptable. Clearly, this proposal illustrates that both Spectra and ConEdison view Jersey City and her residents as a quick conduit to making life easier in Manhattan.
First and foremost among my concerns is the lack of forethought and planning on Spectra’s part for the safety of our residents and our Homeland Security-designated infrastructure. The 800 million cubic feet per day of natural gas this pipeline will convey to the city of New York is nothing compared to the devastation we would see here in Jersey City should that pipeline rupture or be the target of a terrorist attack. The massive human toll alone from a pipeline this size is simply too horrible to contemplate.
What makes a terrorist attack likely is that the pipeline route runs in close proximity to a number of entities classified as Tier 1 and Tier 2 Critical Infrastructure by the Department of Homeland Security. These include not only the New Jersey Turnpike Extension, but the PATH Transit System, the Holland Tunnel, and the Hudson Bergen Light Rail. The disruption to our many global financial institutions located along the waterfront could cause a ripple effect worldwide, further weakening an already fragile economic recovery.
And as if to add insult to injury, the fact that the Tropicana Plant, which houses an Anhydrous Ammonia containment vessel, is located on the proposed pipeline route shows on every level how Spectra has failed to take into account the safety and vital well being of Jersey City residents and property owners.
In addition, much of the proposed Spectra pipeline route runs alongside numerous, antiquated utilities that could be severely damaged by heavy construction of this sort, affecting for years to come our residents’ quality of life. Building this pipeline will not only limit future economic expansion and development; it will have a profound and lasting impact on the values of properties adjacent to the proposed route.
Even the accidental failure of a high pressure gas pipeline of this size would be nothing less than catastrophic. All of the existing water, gas, electric and telecommunication services could be disrupted. The New Jersey Turnpike, PATH trains, and the entrance to the Holland Tunnel would be rendered out of commission, hampering emergency response.
It is for these reasons I’ve voiced my opposition to our five federal representatives and have urged them to put the safety and welfare of Jersey City residents, businesses, and infrastructure above the construction of a pipeline that would benefit only Spectra, ConEdison and Manhattan.