Camden Rally Warns of LNG Bomb Trains Threat

Local residents, students want City Council to join opposition to Gibbstown gas terminal

Published Mar 7, 2023


Climate and Energy

Local residents, students want City Council to join opposition to Gibbstown gas terminal

Local residents, students want City Council to join opposition to Gibbstown gas terminal

CAMDEN, NJ – Students and community leaders staged a rally at the City Hall courtyard this afternoon where they warned that a massive gas terminal proposed in South Jersey puts Camden at risk of a train derailment like the one that happened recently in Ohio.

The Gibbstown Liquified Natural Gas Terminal would send “bomb trains” and trucks carrying explosive materials right through the overburdened community of Camden. A derailment of these trains carrying explosive material though Camden would have even more catastrophic effects than the East Palestine disaster. 

Even without a catastrophic derailment, the toxic emissions from additional diesel burning trains and trucks coming through Camden every day would further harm public health in one of the poorest and worst polluted cities in the country.

The proposed export terminal would be part of a massive new fracked gas infrastructure buildout in the region. The project would involve supercooling gas extracted in Pennsylvania into liquefied natural gas (LNG), a highly volatile substance, and shipping it by truck and train nearly 200 miles to Gibbstown for export. While the planned transport routes have not been disclosed to the public, train routes would pass on tracks near densely-populated urban areas in North Philadelphia and Camden

So far, 18 local municipal governments have passed resolutions opposing the project – a remarkable sign of a strong grassroots opposition. 

“As a very involved environmental justice advocate in the region, I am urging the Camden City Council to join in with other Camden County towns in opposing the transport of highly explosive LNG through already environmentally burdened communities like Camden,” said Roy Jones of the National Institute for Healthy Human Spaces. “An explosion from such gas could potentially have a greater impact on citizens here in Camden than what happened in East Palestine.”

“Officially stopping the development of the Gibbstown LNG Export Terminal allows students to focus on their education, rather than fear the terminal’s deadly outcomes,” said Kinjal Mody, a student at Rutgers Camden. “Let us learn and make powerful differences!” 

The Camden community must beware of the lack of action by the elected officials to safeguard residents from a potential environmental catastrophe in our region. Camden City Council, County Commissioners and 5th Legislative leaders must adopt a resolution to prevent Liquified Natural Gas (liquid methane) from being transported via railway or truck routes through the city or county,” said Kevin Barfield, Camden for Clear Air Volunteer and the past president of the Camden County NAACP. “Our elected officials should act now like other surrounding municipalities and sign a resolution to protect Camden and county residents. It’s been over 30 years since the residents have been denied environmental justice, starting with the incinerator, by their own elected officials. The cumulative effects have been ignored even to this day. The fact that Covanta applied for a permit to bring most trucks and waste which is being supported by officials regardless of the environmental impacts. I charged our elected officials to stop this injustice before more lives are lost.“ 

As Rutgers Camden student Anna Collazo said, “Nos vamos a unir contra la injusticia ambiental para las generaciones futuras.” (which translates to, “We’re going to unite against environmental injustice for generations in the future.”)

The action was organized by Camden for Clean Air, South Jersey Progressive Democrats, Food and Water Watch, Rutgers Camden Green Thumbs and the National Institute for Healthy Human Spaces, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Rutgers AAUP-AFT, and EmpowerNJ.

Press Contact: Peter Hart [email protected]