Last chance to stop Appleview development is Wednesday

Dear Editor:
Recently, North Bergen approved a 59-unit residential development called “Appleview.” This development would be built directly on and into the Palisades Cliffs and only feet from a huge, 36-inch diameter high-pressure transmission gas pipeline operated by Transco. This pipeline supplies at least 40 percent of New York City’s natural gas. It runs directly under the Palisades near 71st Street, right next to the Galaxy Towers and the Summit House. It is very close to the Versailles, Parker Imperial, Hudson Ridge, Hudson Pointe, Jacobs Ferry, Bulls Ferry, Roc Harbour and others developments, as well as hundreds of homes and businesses in the area, including Palisades Hospital.
During public hearings before the North Bergen Planning Board, Richard Kuprewicz, a nationally recognized expert on gas pipelines and explosions, testified that there is a very real risk that this pipeline could rupture during construction. He stated that the Palisades site is extremely steep and sensitive and that the digging and loading equipment needed could cause a landslide and rupture the pipeline. He stated that Transco had not even identified the “exact location” of the pipeline!
He stated that if this pipeline blows up, the “emergency response will be ineffective in preventing severe loss of life and massive property damage.” He stated that Appleview’s developers do not have the engineering experience needed to ensure the pipeline’s safety. And Transco, the pipeline’s owner, never appeared before the NBPB to say what engineering and safety practices they would apply to prevent an accident. Nevertheless, the NBPB abdicated its chartered obligation to protect the public’s safety and approved this plan. It has now been sent to the Hudson County Planning Board for final approval.
If you Google (or YouTube) “San Bruno Explosion,” you will understand the unbelievable devastation that happens when a natural gas pipeline blows up.
In September, 2010, a 30-inch diameter gas pipeline (smaller than Transco’s) exploded in San Bruno, California, shooting flames more than 1,000 feet high that engulfed nearby houses. The explosion killed or injured dozens of people, destroyed 35 buildings and damaged hundreds more. Fires burned for hours. It caused a crater 167 feet long, 26 feet wide and 40 feet deep. It basically leveled the city.
One survivor said, “I thought it was the biggest earthquake ever.” San Bruno’s mayor said, “A terrible, terrible tragedy has fallen on our city.”
The final hearing on Appleview will take place before the Hudson County Planning Board at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 567 Pavonia Ave., Jersey City. Every single person who lives or works anywhere near this site must attend this hearing and demand that Appleview be rejected. Our lives and homes are at risk. We must tell the HCPB that the lives of North Bergen, Guttenberg and West New York residents are worth more than another housing development. Appleview would only bring more congestion, traffic and pollution to our area, while further destroying the 200 million-year-old Palisades. And Appleview could kill us.
For more information:

William McClelland

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