Jersey City FD Union Head Says First Responders Would Be Overwhelmed by Failure of Spectra Natural Gas PipelineAug 10th, 2011 | By admin | Category: Lead Articles, NYC Natural Gas Infrastructure
Citing budget guts that have forced a drawdown in personnel, the head of Jersey City’s firefighters union said recently that first responders would be overwhelmed and unable to handle a disaster in the event of a failure of the proposed Spectra natural gas pipeline there.
“Due to the economic recession and budget cuts we are understaffed,” Peter Nowak, the president of the International Association of Firefighters Local 1064, the Jersey City Firefighters Association, said in an Aug. 3 letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. “In this writer’s professional experience of 20 years, our department would not be able to handle any disaster of that magnitude. Let it be stated as first responders, we would be overwhelmed if a failure was to occur.”
Nowak made his remarks in support of a his request to the agency to deny permission to build the natural gas pipeline, which would run through New Jersey and beneath the Hudson River to Manhattan, bringing natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formation into New York City.
In his letter, Nowak also cited security concerns about the natural gas pipeline’s proposed location.
“Jersey City is home to NY/NJ PATH stations, the Holland Tunnel and the New Jersey Turnpike. A terrorist attack on this pipeline could cripple the major transportation arteries for the northeastern part of the United States. We know far too well what the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 did the transportation arteries in and around New York City,” Nowak wrote.
Nowak also noted that a disaster at the proposed Spectra natural gas pipeline would have “staggering” ramifications for a major population center such as Jersey City and cited other, recent natural gas pipeline explosions that have occurred recently in the United States.”