News of the development of a South Jersey LNG Export Terminal has been circulating on media platforms.
The project will transport liquid methane (LNG) over a 200-mile truck and train route from Wyalusing, Pennsylvania, about an hour’s drive northwest of Scranton, to a port on the Delaware River in Gibbstown, New Jersey, where it will be loaded onto ships.
According to RUC Green Thumbs, a Rutgers-Camden organization dedicated to spreading awareness about environmental issues, they have been advocating against this new development for the risks that it poses for Camden residents and the environment. They have started a petition with over 240 student signatures. Here is the link to the petition if you are interested in putting a stop to this development: https://rutgers.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_54EzpSLPprKYQ06.
This plan to develop this terminal was proposed by New Fortress Energy, and it will go through parts of South Jersey and East Pennsylvania. The issues of transporting LNG via train or truck could pose a threat to residents in low income and minority areas and even in our own backyard, as well as several childcare centers and schools like Rutgers University-Camden. LNG is a hazardous and explosive chemical and transporting this in highly populated areas will be disastrous.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on this development back in May of 2022. Statistics done by Delaware Riverkeeper Network estimates over 1.9 million people could be at risk. If the development continues, air-pollution levels will worsen in the South Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania area. Traffic-induced pollution is linked to various health concerns like heart attacks and hypertension, and pregnant women are at extreme risk as this could cause preterm birth, low birth weight, and stillbirths.
LNG is extremely unstable and a train derailment that happened in East Palestine, Ohio is evident of this danger awaiting the South Jersey area. These trains were transporting vinyl chloride, another highly explosive chemical. The accident damaged the environment and polluted the air and water supply for residents. This derailment shows the risks of transporting lethal explosive chemicals.
Including the dangers of transporting LNG, climate change also needs to be considered. “The Building of new gas infrastructure propels the economy further away from clean energy and tethers us to the dirty, fossilized energy of the past,” said Elizabeth Cerceo and Tracy Carluccio, for The Inquirer.
Over 90 organizations have signed a letter asking Governor Phil Murphy to reject permits for the Gibbstown terminal. As a community, we must raise awareness of this important issue that will closely affect citizens. Another petition with more than 5,000 signatures is out by the STOP LNG BY RAIL PERMITS on Action Network.
Please reach out to RUC Green Thumbs on Instagram @ruc_greenthumbs for more updates and future events.
Photography by Sahar Coston-Hardy for NRDC