[Philadelphia, PA] -- Today, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) gave final approval to a new liquified natural gas (LNG) export terminal in Gibbstown, New Jersey, with a 4-0 vote. Despite widespread opposition in the region and across Pennsylvania, governors from DE, NJ, PA, and a representative of the U.S. government, Army Corp. of Engineers Lt. Colonel Park, all voted in favor, with the U.S. motioning to adopt the approving resolution and Pennsylvania seconding the motion to bring it to a vote. NY abstained from the vote, citing concerns about water contamination, safety, and the looming climate crisis.
This plant was approved despite nearly 100,000 area residents petitioning against the facility, dozens of elected officials calling for its rejection, and 10+ municipal resolutions opposing the project. They all expressed concern about:
The release of toxic and carcinogenic chemicals including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) during deep water construction, polluting the main source of drinking water for 15 million people
The transportation of highly volatile LNG in thousands of trucks and hundreds of untested rail cars every day through dense communities, many of which are communities of color
Further entrenching our regional economy in fossil fuel infrastructure as the global climate crisis looms and is already impacting frontline communities in the region
PennEnvironment’s Deputy Director, Ashleigh Deemer offered the following statement in response:
“We’re incredibly disappointed in this vote to approve a dangerous fracked gas export terminal on the Delaware River, and we are especially disappointed in PA’s DRBC commissioner, Gov. Tom Wolf, for putting the safety, drinking water, and livelihoods of millions of Pennsylvanians behind the interests of a fossil fuel company.
“This facility will pose serious risks to the safety of millions of people every single day. Between the facility’s location directly across the river from Chester PA, and the rail and truck lines that would be carrying dangerous and highly explosive LNG through North and SW Philly, this approval puts some of our most vulnerable communities in danger. The decision today promotes further fossil fuel extraction at a time when we need to be shifting to a clean energy economy to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. This project presents an unacceptable risk and it offers no benefit to the people of PA -- only the potential for contaminated water, poorer air quality, and catastrophic disaster."
PennEnvironment is a statewide, environmental advocacy organization with 140,000 supporters advocating for clean air, clean water and open spaces. For more information, visit www.PennEnvironment.org