On July 7, the Hoboken City Council passed a resolution opposing the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission’s (PVSC) plans for a new fracked gas power plant in Newark and called on Governor Murphy to direct the agency to shift to a renewable energy alternative.
“This is an important effort to get PVSC to alter their priorities and embrace sustainable practices that will both promote environmental justice, locally, and help address the broader goals of working to reverse the impacts of climate change more globally, going forward,” said Hoboken Councilman James Doyle.
The power plant would be built at PVSC’s massive sewage processing facility in the Ironbound section of Newark as part of a resiliency project proposed in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The superstorm caused the sewerage plant to lose power and spill billions of gallons of raw or partially treated sewage into the Passaic River. The project would provide backup power to the treatment plant when the grid is down, but PVSC also plans to run the facility to offset their power needs from the grid at other times.
While local community members and advocates agree about the importance of improving infrastructure resiliency in the face of a worsening climate crisis, they are demanding a clean renewable energy project that will not increase the pollution burden in the Ironbound and the surrounding region, which has historically faced the brunt of New Jersey’s pollution burden and decades of environmental injustice.
“I’m proud that Hoboken is yet again leading the way in fighting for environmental justice and advocating for our environmentally overburdened neighbors in the Ironbound section of Newark,” said Liz Ndoye, of Hoboken MoveOn and a 40-year city resident. “By supporting the resolution asking Passaic Valley Sewerage Authority to use alternative energy for their proposed power plant, the Hoboken Council has given notice that they will not tolerate environmental inequity.”
“If Governor Murphy wants to live up to his clean energy, environmental justice, and climate commitments, then he must direct his own agency to stop all plans for a massive new fracked gas power plant in the Ironbound, and to redesign the project with a clean, renewable energy based source of power,” said Matt Smith, Food & Water Watch NJ State Director. “We commend the Hoboken City Council for being the first municipality to oppose plans for another fossil fuel project in this region. In order to protect our climate and the health of residents across our state, other municipalities must follow Hoboken’s lead and call on Governor Murphy to stop PVSC’s dirty energy proposal.”