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Public is Concerned About Shipping Liquid Gas to Gibbstown



 William E. Cleary Sr. |


GIBBSTOWN, NJ (December 16, 2019))--The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) approved a Special Permit to Energy Transfer Solutions LLC, of Florida to transport  liquefied natural gas (methane, refrigerated liquid) by rail tank car to a facility, yet to be built, in Gibbstown. This material is currently not authorized for transportation by rail tank car although materials with similar properties are authorized for transportation, according to the NJ Sierra Club. 

The PHMSA is a United States Department of Transportation agency created in 2004, responsible for developing and enforcing regulations for the safe, reliable, and environmentally sound operation of the US's 2.6 million mile pipeline transportation.

Screen Shot 2019-12-16 at 14.2.54
Seven train cars derailed when the bridge over the Mantua Creek collapsed. Four tank cars containing vinyl chloride were dumped into the creek. Nearby residents were evacuated and schools were locked down. Nearly 20 people complained of respiratory distress from the vinyl chloride vapor that leaked from the tank cars. (Photo: Rae Lynn Stevenson/South Jersey Times. All rights reserved.)  source National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)


Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club said last week, “This proposal is fracking crazy. PHMSA is going to allow a rail tank car carrying explosive LNG through our communities and neighborhoods. Granting this special permit to New Fortress’s subsidiary will mean 100s of trains will be coming through our communities and neighborhoods carrying explosive LNG. Some of our train tracks go back before WWI and are not designed to handle this dangerous cargo. The dangers of a possible derailment, spill, or explosion would be catastrophic."

CNBNews contacted Tittel on Friday and asked him if the tank cars carrying this material from Wyalusing Twp., PA to Gibbstown, will be coming through Camden City, Gloucester City, Brooklawn, Westville, and Woodbury?  Tittle said, "We don't know yet what route they will be traveling. Wherever the freights lines come from Pennsylvania to Gibbstown there is a good chance that those towns are going to get those trains."

Pressed further Tittel said the trains coming from Pennsylvania to Gibbstown carrying the liquefied natural gas will take the same route that was taken by the train that derailed in Paulsboro in 2012.

On Nov. 30, 2012, a train transporting the chemical vinyl chloride derailed while crossing a bridge that collapsed over Mantua Creek, in Paulsboro, N.J., near Philadelphia. Four rail cars fell into the creek, breaching one tank and releasing approximately 23,000 gallons of vinyl chloride. Local, state, and federal emergency personnel responded to the scene. A voluntary evacuation zone was established for the area, and nearby schools were ordered to immediately take shelter and seal off their buildings. Vinyl chloride, which is used to make plastics, adhesives, and other chemicals, is a toxic gas.

When it was suggested to Tittel that trains are already carrying dangerous chemicals through many of these same towns in South Jersey he said, "Yes, that is true but this chemical, liquefied natural gas is much more dangerous. The gas that will be stored at the facility itself, anyone living within two miles of that complex, will be in the blast zone. Anything within a 1000 yards of a railroad train carrying this gas will be in the blast zone.

"That information is coming from the Department of Energy, Trump administration not environmentalist, " said Tittel.

"There is a difference between a chemical spill, which is bad and an LNG spill as the gas that is released is explosive. There was a small LNG release maybe 50 years ago in Cleveland, Ohio that destroyed 43 blocks," he said. 

Tittel said when the route is known his organization will make an announcement. Likewise he said the public would be notified of any meetings on this topic.

According to Wikipedia, 75 years ago on October 20, 1944, the East Ohio Natural Gas Co. experienced a failure of an LNG tank in Cleveland, OhioUS.[119] 128 people perished in the explosion and fire. The tank did not have a dike retaining wall, and it was made during World War II, when metal rationing was very strict. The steel of the tank was made with an extremely low amount of nickel, which meant the tank was brittle when exposed to the cryogenic nature of LNG. The tank ruptured, spilling LNG into the city sewer system. The LNG vaporized and turned into gas, which exploded and burned.

  • 1979, Oct. 6, Lusby, Maryland, US. A pump seal failed at the Cove Point LNG import facility, releasing natural gas vapors (not LNG), which entered an electrical conduit.[119] A worker switched off a circuit breaker, which ignited the gas vapors. The resulting explosion killed a worker, severely injured another and caused heavy damage to the building. A safety analysis was not required at the time, and none was performed during the planning, design or construction of the facility.[120] National fire codes were changed as a result of the accident.


  • 2004, Jan. 19, SkikdaAlgeria. Explosion at Sonatrach LNG liquefaction facility.[119] 27 killed, 56 injured, three LNG trains destroyed, a marine berth was damaged and 2004 production was down 76 percent for the year. The total loss was US$900 million. A steam boiler that was part of an LNG liquefaction train exploded triggering a massive hydrocarbon gas explosion. The explosion occurred where propane and ethane refrigeration storage was located. The site distribution of the units caused a domino effect of explosions.[121][122] It remains unclear if LNG or LNG vapor, or other hydrocarbon gases forming part of the liquefaction process initiated the explosions. One report, of the US Government Team Site Inspection of the Sonatrach Skikda LNG Plant in Skikda, Algeria, March 12–16, 2004, has cited it was a leak of hydrocarbons from the refrigerant (liquefaction) process system.
  • source Wikipedia


KYW radio is reporting that this proposal is far from a done deal, there are many permits needed before the facility in Gibbstown will become a reality. Listen to the podcast

published | Dec. 16,2019


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