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Ridgewood Takes Stand Against Pilgrim Pipeline

Anne Burton Walsh, president of the League of Women Voters of Ridgewood, at Wednesday's council meeting.
Anne Burton Walsh, president of the League of Women Voters of Ridgewood, at Wednesday's council meeting. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. — Ridgewood has joined a growing number of North Jersey towns opposing the Pilgrim Pipeline.

It passed a resolution, 4-0, Wednesday night, with Councilwoman Bernadette Walsh recusing herself.

According to the resolution, the state has the authority to direct Ridgewood to supplement the water supply of towns affected by a pipeline disaster.

Therefore, it reads, Ridgewood’s resources “would be negatively impacted for years to come.”

In this official measure Ridgewood also asks for:

  • A moratorium on any activity concerning the planning and constructing of the pipeline;
  • A review by the state Department of Environmental Protection to assess the environmental consequences of the project;
  • The cooperation of other local towns in adopting a similar ordinance; and
  • Appearances on behalf of opposing towns at proposed pipeline proceedings with the state.

“We are thrilled that the Ridgewood Village Council took on this issue and passed this resolution,” said Anne Burton Walsh, president of the League of Women Voters of Ridgewood.

It wasn’t always so.

Several years ago, the council decided to not even discuss the resolution.

“I was so disheartened,” said Ellie Gruber, past president of the League. “Luckily for us, Anne Powley of the Coalition Against the Pilgrim Pipeline joined the League and re-energized our effort.

“Thanks also go to Anne Walsh who understood the importance of this resolution.”

The League drafted Ridgewood’s resolution.

Working on the words were: Gruber; Powley, a Mahwah resident; Pamela Perron, director of the Water Committee for the League; and Rich Calbi, director of Ridgewood Water.

The proposed Pilgrim Pipeline project calls for two 178-mile pipelines that would carry millions of gallons of volatile crude oil daily from Albany to a refinery in Linden.

They would also carry the refined products back north.

The pipeline route cuts through the New Jersey Highlands, a 900,000-acre region covering parts of seven counties and 88 towns.

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