A bipartisan group of elected officials from 15 municipalities and the Mercer County and Hunterdon County Freeholder boards, have sent a joint letter to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection(NJDEP), saying they oppose the proposed PennEast gas pipeline because of the threats it poses to health, safety, property rights, and natural and historic resources.
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In their letter to NJDEP Commissioner, Robert Martin, the 31 officeholders said: “These impacts are unacceptable, especially given that PennEast has failed to demonstrate legitimate public need for the project.”
They called upon NJDEP to reject PennEast’s recent illegal and incomplete application for a Freshwater Wetlands Permit and Water Quality Certificate. NJDEP deemed PennEast’s application incomplete and said they would reject and close the application in 60 days (on 26 June) if PennEast does not cure the deficiencies, including missing surveys and analyses.
The letter to Martin listed the following additional reasons for opposing the pipeline:
- PennEast would not meet New Jersey’s pipeline safety standards – which are stronger than the federal government’s – placing residents and businesses at risk of a deadly explosion.
- The proposed pipeline would take property from its owners through eminent domain, with no public benefit.
All of the municipalities along the proposed pipeline route, as well as Hunterdon and Mercer Counties, previously passed resolutions in opposition to the project, and the majority of landowners along the 38 mile route in New Jersey are opposed.
The officeholders’ letter expressed appreciation to NJDEP for the department’s 26 April decision that an application PennEast submitted earlier that month was incomplete. NJDEP said it will not consider an application without all of the required surveys, data, and analyses.
“If the NJDEP does not receive all the required information by 26 June, it must reject and administratively close the application,” the electeds’ letter stated.
“We commend NJDEP’s commitment to ensuring that PennEast receives the full and thorough review required under the exacting standards of the Clean Water Act and state regulations,” the officials noted in their submitted letter.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldpipelines.com/project-news/20062017/penneast-pipeline-permit-still-pending/