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Mahwah Planning Board: Pipeline Is Contrary To Master Plan

More than 100 Mahwah residents turned out for Monday night's Planning Board meeting.
More than 100 Mahwah residents turned out for Monday night's Planning Board meeting. Photo Credit: Contributed

MAHWAH, N.J. — The Mahwah Planning Board adopted a resolution Monday night to alert the township council that the development of a privately-owned crude-oil pipeline is contrary to the Master Plan.

More than 100 residents attended the standing-room only meeting to express disdain toward the Pilgrim Pipeline's proposed path, which would move through the Highlands Preservation Area — close to drinking water sources — in Mahwah.

Up to 16.8 million gallons of refined fuel — i.e. gasoline and heating oil — would travel back to New York through the underground path, said.

"I have said for a long time that at sometime in our future water would become more valuable than crude oil," Mayor Bill Laforet said. "In Mahwah that just happened last night."

One of the major concerns stems around timing, Planning Board Member Jonathan Marcus said.

"If Pilgrim gets its permit applications into the state before Mahwah passes any ordinance, we could legally lose the ability to enforce them," he said.

Marcus brought the issue to township council in June but they "dragged their feet," he said. Council needs to decide if it will act on the recommendation.

"If so, it then must draft an ordinance and put it through the legally required adoption process which could take it into next year," Marcus said.

"Pilgrim has made indications that they could file in New Jersey before year end," he said. "We will continue to press the Council to do what was asked of them over the summer.

"Their feet dragging may already have damaged our chances."

The company hopes to build 79 percent of its pipeline along the New York State Thruway’s right-of-way and have it veer west into Orange and Rockland counties, reported.

The pipeline would move southeast and enter Mahwah more than a mile west of Route 287, said.

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