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Gibbstown/Wyalusing LNG by Rail Permit Renewal DENIED


A Special Permit for the transport of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in rail cars has been denied by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) for a proposed project that would export LNG. Environmental and community organizations have fought since 2019 for an end to the authorization for the transportation of the LNG by rail to the proposed Gibbstown LNG Export Terminal on the Delaware River in Gloucester County NJ. A Special Permit (Special Permit DOT-SP 20534), was issued in December 2019 to Energy Transport Solutions (ETS) for transport of LNG by rail car from a proposed LNG processing plant in Wyalusing PA to Gibbstown NJ for export overseas.

The Gibbstown/Wyalusing LNG Project has been delayed, LNG has not been produced and the ETS transport permit was never used. The Special Permit expired November 30, 2021. ETS, a subsidiary of New Fortress Energy, applied for a renewal at that time. PHMSA issued their decision denying the Special Permit renewal request on April 24 in the Federal Register. The brief entry states “SPECIAL PERMITS DATA—DENIED— Permit # 20534–R; Energy Transport Solutions LLC; To renew authorization for the transportation in commerce of methane, refrigerated liquid in DOT specification 113C120W tank cars.

"The denial of this special permit renewal should be a loud and clear message about the importance of safeguarding all communities from the transport of LNG by rail, many of which along the route to the proposed Gibbstown Export Terminal in NJ are vulnerable, underserved communities. Let the East Palestine derailment disaster be a lesson for the DOT, DOE, and federal agencies moving forward when decision-making. These rail tanks were also bound to South Jersey along the same route and through the same communities with one community (Paulsboro) that has already suffered from a derailment and release of vinyl chloride. We cannot afford to allow LNG which is more explosive and flammable than vinyl chloride to travel on rail, allow communities to become sacrificial zones, or allow LNG’s entire highly potent methane emitting life cycle to pollute our air now and our future, during fracking, leaks, flares, vents and transport, and during its end use. NJ just adopted the first and only environmental justice law in the nation last week. We must protect all communities and advance rapidly to clean energy to reduce GHGs before the window closes to avoid the catastrophic tipping points and effects of the climate crisis, and meet our climate goals with climate solutions," said Danielle Plá, Chair, South Jersey Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation