NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A gas pipeline owned by PSE&G ruptured today under the Raritan River, causing two geysers of natural gas to erupt near the Northeast Corridor rail bridge.
The ruptured line has sent strong odors of natural gas wafting through the area, with complaints of the smell coming from as far away as Highland Park High School.
The New Brunswick Fire Department and PSE&G are currently working on the broken line. Parts of Johnson Drive are closed so crews could access the leak site.
Trains do not seem to have been delayed by the breakage. Train 3841, running southbound from Secaucus and scheduled to depart there at 12:16 PM, was delayed 25 minutes; however, NJ Transit has officially blamed "a mechanical problem".
A gas line was seen leaking natural gas near the site of today's rupture on November 16, 2013. Muckgers reported on that line failure, saying a kayaker talked about it to the New Brunswick Fire Department, which relayed the information to PSE&G.
PSE&G spokeswoman Kristine Lloyd said at the time, via email, that the leak was not dangerous to either the environment or the public, and she also said that the breakage was being investigated, with plans to repair this rupture in the works.
NJ Department of Environmental Protection spokesperson Lawrence Hajna, had declined to get involved unless water or air quality were affected
Both affected municipalities had been silent, with New Brunswick Mayor Jim Cahill's office referring information requests to PSE&G and Highland Park not responding to phone calls.
Activists say this is yet another reason for New Jersey to avoid building more gas pipelines.
City-based activist Jim Walsh, the NJ Director of Food & Water Watch, told New Brunswick Today, "With increased reliance on natural gas and other fossil fuels, our communities will be subject to ever more leaks, spills and potentially catastrophic explosions and fires."
"This incident serves as a stark reminder that we need to turn away from hazardous fossil fuels and toward a clean, safe, renewable energy future."