CHESTER, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — A community of residents and activists has a simple message for lawmakers and other stakeholders with an interest in building a liquified natural gas port on Delaware County land and waterways: No.
At a hearing Tuesday morning at Widener University, a united front of protesters spoke out against what they called the intentional pollution of their neighborhoods.
The Philadelphia LNG Task Force was formed to identify economic opportunities and obstacles involved in setting up a major liquified natural gas export terminal in the Philadelphia region.
“Our job is really to evaluate the economic impact, security needs, the economic viability of any potential project that could take place in this region,” said Pa. Rep. Martina White, chair of the task force.
“We’ve heard from a diverse group of stakeholders on this issue. Some are not in favor. Then there are some who are in favor.”
The task force is currently looking at the city of Chester as a location for that export hub, and members have been surveying the area.
Maya Vanrossum with the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, and dozens of residents who protested with her on Tuesday, want the task force to know they are not happy about that prospect.
“We are here today as a community to say to our Pennsylvania government officials we will stand for no LNG export facilities anywhere in any community within the Delaware river watershed,” Vanrossum said.
Zulune Mayfield with Chester Residents Concerned for Quality Living says they are not properly represented by the task force, nor have they been able to adequately share their concerns about pollution and safety.
“They are going to write a report, and what we’re saying is that it’s a scam report — because you have not sought out enough information to have a well rounded report,” Mayfield said.
“If there ever was a community, healthwise, that don’t need another environmental assault from a polluting company, this is it.”
Mayfield and Vanrossum say they do not want LNG moving anywhere on the Delaware River because of potential harm to the environment, damage to public health and threats to safety.
The task force will release a report on their findings and recommendations for the General Assembly by the end of the year.