MAHWAH, N.J. — Mahwah will introduce an ordinance that prohibits unregulated pipelines in any zoning district in the town at Thursday night's town council meeting
If passed, Mahwah will join a coalition of New York and New Jersey municipalities that are taking action to block the construction of a new pipeline by Pilgrim Oil Group.
The two, proposed 178-mile pipelines would transfer crude oil and refined petroleum products between Albany, New York and Linden, New Jersey (SEE: Mahwah Planning Board: Pipeline Is Contrary To Master Plan ).
The pipeline would go through Mahwah and several other municipalities in Bergen and Passaic counties, including Oakland, Wanaque, Pompton Lakes, Riverdale and Pequannok.
Officials from Ramapo College in Mahwah also drafted a resolution to block the construction of the pipeline.
Mahwah Mayor Bill Laforet is concerned about the environmental impact of such a pipeline.
"The Pilgrim Pipeline goes right through our aquifer," Laforet told Daily Voice. "Preserving our water is more valuable than crude oil. I think I speak on behalf of all the people that this would be a terrible disaster."
The draft ordinance is also concerned with the fact that the pipeline would be a private utility and not subject to strict regulatory practices by the Board of Public Utilities.
On Wednesday, officials from Mahwah and 15 other New Jersey municipalities met in Florham Park to discuss strategies for blocking the construction of the pipeline, NorthJersey.com reports .
Jonathan Marcus, who serves as the vice president on the Mahwah Environmental Commission, says passing the ordinance gives the town a fighting chance to stop the pipeline from being built.
"If we don’t pass an ordinance, we are going to have no ability to say no. At least with an ordinance you can say no and go to court," Marcus said.
He also noted the importance of forming a coalition and attacking this problem as a collective.
"If all of us are approaching it this way the court will be forced to look at it as a whole."
Daily Voice has reached out to Pilgrim Oil Group and will update this article when the group responds.
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