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Berkeley Heights Council Hears Details of Crude Oil Pipeline Proposed for Area

Bob Faszczewski

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 • 7:14am

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Details of the proposed Pilgrim Pipeline Holdings pipeline, which would carry crude oil south from the port of Albany, N.Y. to Linden and then transport the refined products from that pipeline north from Linden to Albany, were outlined for the township council on Tuesday by Mayor Joseph Bruno.

Bruno noted that Pilgrim Holdings only has been holding preliminary information sessions on the proposed line. It is not expected to apply for approval to local and state agencies until later this summer or into the fall and the line would not be operational until around 2017.

He added that the pipeline would go through 23 parcels of land in Berkeley Heights, running chiefly along the area where Public Service Electric & Gas Company has been erecting its monopole electrical transmission lines. It also would be routed near an existing natural gas line.

According to materials supplied by Pilgrim, crude oil would come down from Albany to Linden, refined into jet fuel, kerosene and gasoline in Linden, which then would be transported back to Albany in the two-way pipeline. The line would be buried five feet underground.

The Pilgrim materials also said that the pipeline would be more cost effective and environmentally advantageous than barges or trucks, the current method of transporting the crude. The capacity of the line would be 200,000 gallons per day in each direction.

According to the materials, "the thickness of the walls of the pipelines would provide a safety level above that's stipulated by code."

Bruno added that shutoff valves would be built into the pipeline intermittently to deal with any emergencies that may arise.

According to the Pilgrim material, the pipeline is designed to serve an area of the Northeast that consumes more than 2 percent of the world's oil but is underserved by oil pipelines.

In official action at Tuesday's meeting, the mayor presented members of the TREND (Turning Recreational Events into New Directions) Club at Governor Livingston High School with a proclamation recognizing their efforts in promoting drug-and-alcohol-free activities for youth.

Members cited were: Allie Silverman, Lauren and Lindsey Mathis, Megan LaGuardia, Nicole Attanasio, Chris Tribuna, Courtney Osleja, Josh Quinn, Jimmy Longo, Mia Tighe and Ryan Bonk.

The club's advisor, Bob Segear, thanked Police Chief Michael Mathis and members of the Berkeley Heights Municipal Alliance for their help in making the club a success.

In another action, the township council, in a 4-2 vote, passed a resolution requesting that Union County reduce the speed limit on Springfield Avenue between Plainfield and Snyder Avenues from 35 miles per hour to 25 miles per hour.

Councilman Edward Delia, who opposed the request, said reducing the speed limit would be a detriment to the central business district because less people would drive through the downtown and they would take alternate routes to avoid the lower speed limit. He said the traffic light proposed with the new CVS pharmacy on Lone Pine Drive and Springfield Avenue should solve many of the traffic problems in the area.

Delia was joined by council vice president Craig Pastore in opposing the request.

Councilman Robert Woodruff said, however, that, with the impending beautification of the area and re-routing of traffic more pedestrians probably would be drawn to the area and the lower speed limit was necessary.

Councilman Thomas Pirone added that the lower limit would cause drivers to be more cautious and avoid pedestrians who sometimes cross between cars without looking.

Mathis added that, with parking on both sides of the street, the roadway is narrowed in the one-mile stretch and increased foot traffic meant the lower limit would help alleviate safety concerns.

In another action, the council again delayed action on an ordinance that would set college degree educational requirements for incoming township police officers.

Bruno said the measure was pulled from Tuesday's agenda because of a consensus of the governing body.

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