PennEast Pipeline Project
PennEast Pipeline Co. Proposes 114-mile Large Scale Natural Gas Transmission Line Through the Delaware River Basin.
PennEast has been improperly accessing properties for purpose of surveys. See their letter and our response.
The PennEast Pipeline project is being proposed by AGL Resources, NJR Pipeline which is a subsidiary of New Jersey Resources, South Jersey Industries, UGI PennEast which is a subsidiary of UGI Energy Services, PSEG Power, Spectra Energy Partners.
The project, as proposed, will cut through Luzerne County, PA, Carbon County, PA, Northampton County, PA, Bucks County, PA, and Hunterdon County, NJ Proposed The company has created a searchable map if you want a more detailed look at the proposed route: PROPOSED ROUTE
Learn About Pipelines:
Information about pipelines, including research, reports and video interviews with experts, can be found at: www.stopthepipelines.org
Learn about all the natural resources and preserved lands PennEast will cut on its way from start to finish. Fact sheet here.
Delaware Riverkeeper Network comments, copies of township resolutions, and additional information regarding PennEast can be found below.
The PennEast Pipeline Co. L.L.C. announced its new pipeline project on August 12, 2014 called the PennEast Pipeline. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted approval for the project (a Certificate of Public Convenience & Necessity) on February 20, 2018. PennEast quickly began demanding that property owners who had not yet signed access agreements with the company either do so or receive a lower payment for the property rights the company would ultimately be taking. Actions for eminent domain have been filed by PennEast against well over 100 properties. (NJ eminent domain actions are listed here; PA eminent domain actions are listed here)
To date regarding reviews and approvals:
- On April 26, 2017 the New Jersey issued a determination that the PennEast application materials submitted to the state were significantly deficient and incomplete. On June 28, 2017, NJDEP determined the PennEast Pipeline Company’s application for state approval of its project to be “administratively closed” due to the company’s failure to remedy significant identified deficiencies and its failure to provide full information in a timely fashion for Clean Water Act decisionmaking.
- The DRBC has not issued a docket, necessary for the project to move forward, nor has it scheduled hearings on a docket proposal. The Delaware Riverkeeper Network has issued a petition regarding DRBC jurisdiction over the project and its roll in preventing tree felling or clearing prior to approval which can be read here.
- The Army Corps of Engineers has yet to issue permits for the project.
- Pennsylvania has issued Clean Water Act 401 Certification for the project, a decision the Delaware Riverkeeper Network is challenging in court. But has not issued the underlying permits.The Army Corps has not fully signed off on the project with permits. You can read more from that legal challenge here.
The PennEast Pipeline is designed to be a large scale 36 inch transmission pipeline that will stretch 108 miles from a gathering system in Luzerne County and terminate at Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co.'s Trenton-Woodbury Lateral in Mercer County, N.J. The proposed project is planned to transport roughly 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. The project will also require the siting and construction of multiple high-powered compressor stations scattered along the line.
The PennEast Pipeline Project will cut its right-of-way for over 114 miles approximately 87% of which will be within the boundaries of the Delaware River watershed. Among the waterways to be crossed are the Delaware, Lehigh and Susquehanna Rivers. Among the federally listed species already identified that could be impacted by the project are the Bog Turtle, the Indiana Bat, the Dwarf Wedge Mussel and the Northern Long-eared Bat which has been proposed-for-listing. Also targeted are forests as well as public and private lands, much of that land being sensitive green fields that have not previously been disturbed.
The pipeline will affect approximately 1,094 tracts of land and approximately 861 landowners. Eleven municipalities have already passed resolutions opposing the pipeline including: Hopewell Twp, Delaware Twp, Holland Twp, West Amwell Twp, Lambertville, Alexandria, Milford, Princeton, Clinton Twp, Kingwood Twp, NJ and Moore Twp, PA.
The size and scope of the construction activity for the PennEast line and stream crossings associated with this project will have a deleterious effect on the water resources of the Delaware River Basin. Large scale transmission lines such as the PennEast line also result in significant forest fragmentation, invite and propagate the spread of invasive species, and degrade the diversity and dispersion of native flora and fauna. Furthermore, pipeline projects also degrade the functions and values of the wetlands that they plow through, as the construction and operation of the pipeline permanently converts forested wetlands to uplands or emergent wetlands.
There are also significant concerns related to the cumulative impacts of the continuous water crossings and wetlands disturbance that pipeline construction activity has on the health and vitality of the Delaware River Basin. This is particularly a concern with the PennEast line, as many of these same subwatersheds were recently impacted by construction activity on Transco’s parallel line. Also, in addition to the Transco’s previous and proposed pipeline projects, there are several other pipeline projects that have been concentrated in the same sub watersheds as the PennEast line, such as: Texas Eastern’s TEAM 2014 Project and Columbia’s East Side Expansion Project.
The PennEast Pipeline will further facilitate the development of new gas drilling wells, access roads, gathering lines, compressor stations, and other supporting infrastructure, which will further degrade our environment. The PennEast line will need to receive a number of important federal and state permits and authorizations for it to proceed. This includes authorizations from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Docket CP15-558), the Army Corps of Engineers (Section 404 permit), the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (Section 401 Clean Water Certifications).
In September, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network submitted a formal petition to the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) requesting the agency take jurisdiction over the proposed PennEast pipeline project; DRN also crafted an action alert calling for letters from the public which has resulted in the submission of well over 500 citizen letters. Initially DRBC resisted jurisdiction, but follow-up letters from the Delaware Riverkeeper Network along with a deliberate press strategy and growing public pressure finally convinced the agency otherwise. The DRBC has made the decision to exercise jurisdiction over the project. DRBC has the authority to stop PennEast if it so chooses. Click here for more info.
In April of 2016, responding to an effort led by the Delaware Riverkeeper Network that was supported by over 6,000 individuals, DRBC announced its intent to hold independent hearings.
March 2, 2016 the Delaware Riverkeeper Network filed a Constitutional Challenge to the FERC process as it applies ot the PennEast project. While the court determined that DRN has met the bar for purposes of standing (an important precedent), the case was ultimately dismissed. DRN is appealing. You can learn more about the case here.
DRN is committed to restoring natural balance in the Delaware River and watershed where it has been lost and ensuring preservation where it still exists. As such, we are actively engaged at the local, state, and federal government levels to ensure that full weight of legal environmental protection laws are brought to bear on all pipeline projects under consideration, including the PennEast Pipeline.