Mark Ruffalo, Environmental & Health Professionals Organizations Applaud the Governors of New York, New Jersey & Delaware for Halting Construction of Dangerous Fracked Gas Export Terminal in the Delaware River & Taking Time for Further Review
September 10, 2020 -- At today’s meeting of the Delaware River Basin Commission, representatives for the Governors of New York, New Jersey and Delaware voted to halt construction and to undertake further review of a dangerous fracked gas export terminal in Gibbstown, N.J. The facility proposed project, by New Fortress Energy, would be near the base of the Delaware River. The states will review all of the testimony that was submitted in a recent administrative proceeding contesting the original approval for the project in 2019.
Many public health organizations, medical experts, and over 130 environmental organizations have been raising concerns that the project is dangerous to public health and safety as well as the water quality of the river. Pennsylvania abstained from the vote and the federal government’s representative on the Army Corps of Engineers voted against delay.
Citizens have voiced opposition and submitted over 50,000 public comments this week. Prominent actor and advocate Mark Ruffalo, who lives nearby the river and is on the board of both Catskill Mountainkeeper and Americans Against Fracking, has been outspoken and created a petition and video about the dangers of the project.
“Taking the time that is needed to review the potential public safety and environmental risks that this dangerous fracked gas project poses is an important step forward. It has given the 15 million people who rely on safe drinking water from the Delaware River Basin a much needed sigh of relief,” said actor and advocate Mark Ruffalo. “It comes as no surprise that the Trump Administration’s representative on the Army Corps of Engineers voted against halting the project and reviewing the science and public safety risks, but thankfully the governors of NY, NJ, and DE did. Ireland has stopped the import terminal that the gas was slated for and there is no need for this project other than to line the pockets of fracking industry CEOs.”
This project has been backed by Trump, who signed an Executive Order to fast-track Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to be transported by rail, would be the first of its kind in the United States to transport liquefied fracked gas far distances (over 200 miles) in hundreds of trucks and trains per day from northeast Pennsylvania to the proposed export site in southern New Jersey. The liquefied gas is inextinguishable if it catches fire in an accident and 22 tank rail cars would have the force of the Hiroshima bomb. Yesterday, the import terminal for the gas in Ireland was denied, so currently the company, New Fortress Energy, does not have an import terminal to ship the fracked gas to.
“We look forward to a robust review process that also considers the public health and safety of people living in the Delaware River basin. As health professionals and medical experts have warned in our recent letter to the Delaware River Basin Commission, liquefied fracked gas is extremely dangerous and just one accident could be catastrophic,” said Dr. Kathy Nolan co-founder of Concerned Health Professionals of New York, steering committee member of Physicians for Social Responsibility - NY and Catskill Mountainkeeper's Senior Research Director.
“More than 50,000 people have signed petitions to halt the facility. The DRBC now has an opportunity to read the reports, consider the data and reject this dangerous facility. Governors Cuomo, Murphy, Wolf and Carney must put people in their states before corporate giveaways and stop this dangerous project,” said Julia Walsh from Frack Action.