Environmental Organizations, Activists Return To Manchester, Continues Fight Against SRL Pipeline

By Marisa Murphy
Published: May 03, 2019 – 5:00pm
Updated: May 04, 2019 – 10:43pm

MANCHESTER TWP, NJ – A group of 20 protesters, varying from environmentalist organizations to Chesterfield Township Mayor Rita Romeu, expressed their concerns against the pipeline during a protest Friday morning. NJ Sierra Club director, Jeff Tittel, described the Manchester location as “ground zero” for the pipeline.

“This pipeline is not only unneeded and unnecessary and dangerous, it’s at the wrong place at the wrong time and [in] the wrong area…”

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Tittel also spoke about concerns of the pipeline running past a major health care facility for children in Manchester, putting the facility within the blast radius if the pipeline were to explode unexpectedly. AristaCare At Manchester, which houses the Manchester Pediatric Medical Day Care facility, is within several hundred feet of the pipeline route.

“…We’re sick and tired of elected officials say they care about the Pinelands, they care about doing something about climate change, they want us to get to clean energy. But when it comes to taking a stand [against the pipeline], their silence is deafening.”

Chesterfield Township Mayor Rita Romeu was in attendance at the Manchester protest, stating that, “Chesterfield cares about all of the towns along the route and all of the businesses that are going to be affected by this.”

“…One of my pet peeves has been that it is coming right here, close to the children’s medical center. Nobody seemed to pay attention to this for the last two years,” Romeu expressed her own concern for the facility, while also urging for the support of Burlington County and Ocean County Freeholders, “…We have been to meetings with both of them, we have imposed them to please, especially Burlington County, do not give these building permits. So far, so good, it has not happened yet…”

Senior Organizer of Food and Water Watch, Matt Smith, had a chance to add to Tittel and Romeu’s expressions, “This project… is the worst kind of project… while we’re facing a climate crisis.”

Smith lashes out about Governor Murphy’s lack of support to ceasing these projects, “Our Governor says all of the right things while he’s in front of the news camera, but under his watch, there are currently 13 major fossil fuel expansion projects… moving forward all across New Jersey…

“Governor Murphy has signed Executive Order 28 – he’s joined New Jersey into the US Climate Alliance, saying… that we will transition the state to 100 percent clean energy in New Jersey, yet Governor Murphy is doing nothing to stop the 13 fossil fuel projects that are proposed or moving forward in the state.

“…if these projects are allowed to go forward, at a time where we need to drastically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in New Jersey, these projects would actually increase our greenhouse gas emissions by over 32 percent…”

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