Environmentalists worry about gas pipes crossing New Jersey

Environmental groups say the expansion of natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania will have a negative impact on New Jersey.

Environmentalists have been voicing concerns that contaminants from the drilling process knowing as fracking might endanger water supplies. Now they’re worried about the impact of proposed new pipelines that would carry natural gas from Pennsylvania through New Jersey to other states.

“Right off the bat, it’s going to cause huge destruction to the environment,” said Matt Elliott, the clean energy advocate for Environment New Jersey.

“So we’re going to see pipelines literally ripping through some of the most pristine areas of New Jersey. Then, with the pipeline, there’s always the risk that there’s some kind of risk or some kind of explosion,” he said. “That risk will never go away as long as the pipeline is there.”

New Jersey Sierra Club director Jeff Tittel echoed those concerns.

The most likely routes cut “through our reservoirs and trout streams and out state and national parks, and then they cut through some of the most highly densely populated areas anywhere in the country in Jersey City,” Tittel said. “The concern is the environmental damage from putting it through the open spaces and the reservoirs and the damage that potentially happens if there’s an accident.”

Environmental groups are urging New Jersey to promote development of alternative energy sources such as wind and solar instead of relying on more natural gas.

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