Opposition Continues to LNG Transport thru Philadelphia and on the Delaware River & Bay

by Duane Nichols on January 10, 2021

Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware will be impacted by this project

The fight against the Gibbstown, New Jersey, LNG export terminal

Update from the FracTracker Alliance, January 4, 2021

After the Delaware Riverkeeper Network again appealed the controversial construction of a second dock for liquified natural gas (LNG) export in Gibbstown, New Jersey, its construction was re-approved in a Delaware River Basin Commission meeting on December 9th. The project’s opposers continue to raise concerns over the highly risky transportation of LNG and the impacts from LNG production at the New Fortress Energy processing plant in Wyalusing Township, Bradford County, PA.

The Delaware Riverkeeper Network has compiled data in cooperation with Fractracker Alliance to produce maps indicating two probable highway routes and two probable railway routes. Along each of these routes, a two-mile-wide hazard zone and population information are displayed. View the maps here.

After this disheartening development, Empower NJ led a coalition of 100 groups, including FracTracker and Delaware Riverkeeper Network, to stop the the LNG port construction. In a December 23rd letter to Governor Murphy, the coalition expressed their concern and disappointment at the DRBC’s approval of the LNG terminal. “This is just round one, we will fight and keep on fighting no matter what,” said New Jersey Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel.

Delaware Riverkeeper Network plans to challenge the DRBC’s decision in federal court.


See also: ‘Bomb Trains,’ a New Book on the Deadly, Ongoing Threat of Oil by Rail | DeSmog, Justin Mikulka, July 9, 2019

See also: Forecast for 2020: More Oil Trains, Fires, Spills, and the Rise of LNG by Rail, DeSmog, Justin Mikulka, January 7, 2020

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Justin Mikulka January 10, 2021 at 4:42 pm

Another Bomb Train Accident Highlights Regulatory Failures

From an Article by Justin Mikulka, DeSmog, December 23, 2020

A train carrying over 100 cars of volatile Bakken oil derailed in Washington state, causing the evacuation of the town of Custer. At least two of the train cars ruptured and the oil ignited and burned — reminding us once again why these dangerous trains are known as bomb trains.

Matt Krogh of Stand.earth has been leading efforts to keep these dangerous trains off the tracks for years, so he was well aware of the potential deadly consequences of oil train accidents in populated areas. Krogh could see the smoke from this latest accident from his home in Bellingham, Washington.

“I think we got lucky today,” Krogh told the Associated Press, echoing the words of others after previous close calls with oil trains — several of which were highlighted in the DeSmog piece Luck Rides the Rails.

It’s easy to feel lucky after a near miss with an oil train derailment and fire near a populated area because in 2013 an oil train full of Bakken oil derailed and caused catastrophic fires and explosions in the Canadian town of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, — killing 47 people and destroying much of the downtown area. Downtown Lac-Mégantic has yet to be rebuilt more than seven years later.



Jessica Towhey January 11, 2021 at 11:04 am

Celebs Protest Fed Approval of Liquid Natural Gas Facility Near Philly

From Jessica Towhey, Inside Sources, December 17, 2020

A liquid natural gas facility near Philadelphia got the go-ahead from a federal agency, resulting in a big thumbs-down from some very famous environmental activists.

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) recently approved a construction permit for the Gibbstown Logistics Center in Gloucester County, NJ, which will be capable of handling exports of liquified natural gas. The project from New Fortress Energy involves transporting the gas from the Marcellus Shale across Pennsylvania to the terminal using 100-car trains that activists have called “bomb trains.”

Pennsylvania State Sen. Katie Muth, who represents Philadelphia’s suburbs, likened the trains to “the energy of the Hiroshima bomb” in a tweet opposing the project.

A flurry of statements from environmental groups came out after Wednesday’s ruling, including one from actor Mark Ruffalo who recently starred in a movie about contaminated water in West Virginia calling the commission’s decision “shameful.” Ruffalo and fellow actor and activist Leonardo DiCaprio were among the signatories on a letter to Govs. Phil Murphy (D-NJ), Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), John Carney (D-DE), and Tom Wolf (D-PA) opposing the terminal. The governors serve as ex-officio members of the Commission and appoint alternates to represent them.

The letter argued that the project violates the “strict water quality laws and regulations for toxic” chemicals, and the commission should hold off on voting until President-elect Joe Biden takes offices. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is also represented on the Commission, previously approved the project as has the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Ruffalo issued a statement calling the decision “shameful” and put the governors on notice.

“We will not stand by and let our leaders deceive us in this way,” he said. “We will hold them accountable. And we will replace them.”

The Gibbstown terminal is a $450 million private port that, in addition to exporting LNG, could also handle imported automobiles and be a staging area for proposed wind farms off the New Jersey coast.



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