Opinion: Stop the Williams pipeline and the dumping of toxic waste

Raritan Bay Williams Transco pipeline

MARISA GUERRERO / NRDC – It is no secret that the Williams Pipeline – a proposed 26-inch diameter pipeline that would transport fracked natural gas between Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York – is a controversial project. The pipeline has received strong community opposition because it would pollute our waters and perpetuate our country’s dependence on dirty fossil fuels that threaten our communities, our climate, and our efforts to move toward a clean-energy future. And it has already been rebuked by both New York and New Jersey, whose governors have denied Williams key water quality permits, citing the pipeline’s dangerous impacts on the states’ waterways and ecosystems (though that hasn’t stopped Williams from re-applying for those same permits).

Now, Williams is seeking to dump material dredged during construction of the pipeline in the New York Bight portion of the Atlantic Ocean, located off the New Jersey coastline and south of New York’s Staten Island, Coney Island, and the Rockaways. Research compiled by Williams itself finds that this material contains mercury, lead, arsenic, and PCBs—New York and New Jersey found it to be so toxic, in fact, that they haven’t allowed it to be dredged up in the first place (let alone deposited elsewhere). NRDC has already submitted comments opposing Williams’ request for ocean dumping …

Marisa Guerrero is a program assistant with the New York Regional and Environmental Justice, Healthy People & Thriving Communities Program, at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

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