Posted on March 21, 2017
By Nick Muscavage, myCentralJersey.com
Phillips 66 has submitted an application to the Army Corps of Engineers for a dredging project in the Arthur Kill near its Bayway facility in Linden.
The New Jersey Sierra Club said that the 10-year dredging project is to increase Bakken oil barge traffic.
Nancy Sadlon, manager of public affairs at Phillips 66, confirmed that the permit has been submitted but said that it’s just for “routine dredging to maintain historical depths of our pier.”
The New Jersey Sierra Club said in a news release that it is opposed to the proposal “because it will cause significant harm to the ecosystem, while threatening public safety throughout the region and interfering with people’s access to the waterfront.”
Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, called on the Army Corps of Engineers to reject the permit application.
“This proposal will dredge the Arthur Kill stirring up toxic chemicals, which will threaten fisheries, communities, and the environment,” he said.
He feared that the dredging would lead to oil barges in the Arthur Kill and Hudson River.
“We are even more concerned that this plan will ultimately increase Bakken crude oil barges along the Arthur Kill and Hudson River, which would be a disaster waiting to happen,” he said. “All of these efforts are being done so more crude oil can be sent down to the Bayway facility for refining at the expense of our environment. That will mean more air pollution, climate change impacts, and a greater risk of a spill or explosion into our communities.”
He also said that there is a proposal for a barge yard across from the Palisades Interstate Park, and also noted that the proposed Pilgrim Pipeline would start near Linden and Sewaren and carry crude oil up to Albany, New York.
“Not only is this proposal a huge threat to communities, but will interfere with the viewshed of visitors at the park,” he said. “After years being spent revitalizing the river, areas should remain places for the people of New Jersey to recreate, learn and enjoy the outdoors. We need to protect this area so that people throughout the region do not have to worry about increased vessel traffic, spoiled viewsheds, and possible oil spills.”