OAKLAND, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A battle is brewing in New Jersey as plans to build an oil pipeline right through the suburbs moves forward.
As CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, opposition is picking up steam as residents learn more about the proposed 178-mile oil pipeline.
Many fear it will cut through densely populated areas of Bergen County, jeopardizing their health, safety and environment.
“Carrying what has been described as one of the most explosive sources of fuel in the world, this is putting drinking water supplies and densely populated areas at risk,” said Kate Millsaps, with the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club.
“If we don’t have clean water, and we jeopardize our water in any way, we would be slowly poisoning ourselves,” said Kenilon resident Camille Gaines.
The new pipeline would transport oil and refined petroleum products from Albany, N.Y. to Linden, N.J.
The company, Pilgrim Pipeline, said it is still determining the exact route. But many believe it will run along Interstates 87 in New York and 287 in New Jersey, near the Ramapo River, and through several communities — dangerously close to their homes, Carrasco reported.
“We know that this is not a maybe, when would this pipeline break. It’s a, ‘When would an incident with this pipeline occur,'” Millsaps said.
A representative for Pilgrim Pipeline said the oil pipeline would actually be “a safer, more environmentally friendly and efficient means to transport these products than the region’s current dependence on river barges.”
Few do believe the pipeline could work, Carrasco reported.
“Why not transport the materials in a more efficient and safer way?” said Oakland resident Dietrich Kamm.
The project is still in the very early stages, but residents are already calling on governors Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie to oppose the pipeline.
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