For Immediate Release
IUOE LOCAL 825 BACKS CLEAN ENERGY PIPELINE CONSTRUCTION, URGES FEDERAL, STATE & LOCAL OFFICIALS TO APPROVE
SPRINGFIELD, NJ, Feb. 14, 2011 – Construction on a pipeline that would bring clean energy and more than 5,200 jobs to New Jersey should be allowed to begin, according to Local 825 of the International Union of Operating Engineers.
Representing more than 6,500 heavy equipment operators in New Jersey and parts of New York, Local 825 is urging federal, state and local officials to approve the project without costly delay.
“New Jersey needs an expanded source of clean, reliable energy to fuel our economy and add jobs,” said Local 825 Business Manager Greg Lalevee. “This project will eliminate bottlenecks in the existing pipeline grid and allow natural gas to flow where it’s needed most, while creating more than 5,000 jobs.”
The New Jersey/New York project is proposed by Spectra Energy (NYSE SE) of Houston, Tx, which has filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to expand its existing pipeline system to transport new, critically needed natural gas supplies to high-demand areas of northern New Jersey and New York City.
The pipeline expansion would eliminate existing bottlenecks in the region’s interstate transmission pipeline grid. The project would include approximately 15.5 miles of new pipeline, which would run through parts of Bayonne, Jersey City and offshore Hoboken, as well as parts of Staten Island and Manhattan. It would replace approximately five miles of pipeline in Linden and Staten Island and would modify existing facilities in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.
Since April 2010, Spectra Energy representatives have participated in FERC’s pre-filing process to hear concerns and to better understand local issues. In response, they have adjusted their plans to further minimize effects to local communities.
“We applaud Spectra’s responsiveness to public concerns,” said Lalevee. “The current FERC application exceeds its original plans for security, pipe thickness and routing.” The current proposed route does not cross any residential properties and a significant portion uses existing rights of way.
“The pipeline system functions as a transportation network similar to the interstate highway system or the airline routes. When one examines the safety statistics of each, the pipeline network is by far the safest,” Lalevee said.
In addition to the thousands of jobs during initial construction phases, many direct and indirect jobs are expected to remain in and around the local host communities after construction is complete.
“We encourage our members and the public to voice their support with their elected officials,” Lalevee said. “We ask them to examine the facts and benefits this project will provide to the local economy.”
For more facts about the proposed project, Lalevee recommended that interested persons should visit the website: www.yesgaspipeline.org.
Local 825 is headquartered in Springfield, N.J., and represents members throughout the state and in five counties of lower New York: Rockland, Orange, Ulster, Sullivan and Delaware. Its operating engineers run heavy-equipment – such as bulldozers, surface graders, backhoes, loaders and cranes – to execute large construction tasks and earthworks operations.
Business Manager, Local 825