One scoping session in New Jersey? You’ve got to be kidding! With only two weeks’ notice, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will be holding the first of four public scoping sessions to gather information about the environmental impact of the PennEast Pipeline. Starting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, January 27 at The College of New Jersey in Ewing, FERC will gather public testimony consider in an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The EIS will be used by FERC to determine whether the PennEast Pipeline is “in the public convenience and necessity.”
Hopewell Township Citizens Against the PennEast Pipeline is gravely concerned and outraged at the short notice given for these meetings, the provision for only ONE New Jersey location, and the lack of precise maps available for the public to review to formulate opinions and collect data. One day after the scoping schedule was announced, on January 14th, PennEast released the first map of an alternate route it is considering. The public does not have adequate time to research the potential environmental impacts of the route and prepare comments.With the scoping period closing February 12, we have just three weeks to share critical environmental data and arguments against the pipeline. We know the PennEast Pipeline is wrong for Hopewell, wrong for Mercer County and wrong for New Jersey and now we have an important opportunity to prove it. FERC should allow the public more time to prepare and to make arrangements to attend these important meetings.
Actions to take now:
- Flood FERC – Call FERC at 202.502.8258 and demand more notice and time to prepare for the scoping sessions and request more sessions in New Jersey, particularly in communities directly impacted by the pipeline in Mercer and Hunterdon counties.
- Contact your Legislators – Urge them to contact FERC for more notice and more New Jersey sessions AND ask that they attend the scoping sessions to oppose the pipeline. (Find your legislator at HTCAPP.org.)
- Fill out a HTCAPP Impacted Homeowner Survey – HTCAPP is using this survey to collect information to opposed PennEast as well as coordinate scoping session testimony. Find the survey at http://htcapp.org/links-survey-links-for-impacted-homeowners-2/. If your property is not directly impacted and you would like to offer testimony, please email us at HopewellAgainstPipeline@gmail.com.
- Attend the Scoping Sessions – We need to show our opposition. The first session is Tuesday, January 27 at 6 p.m. at The College of New Jersey in Ewing, NJ. We strongly encourage landowners and interested groups and individuals to attend the scoping meeting and present comments on the issues they think should be addressed in the EIS. Such issues may include: geology, soils, water resources (including surface water and groundwater), wetlands, vegetation and wildlife (including migratory birds), fisheries and aquatic resources, threatened, endangered and other special-status species, land use, recreation, special interest areas and visual resources, socioeconomics, cultural resources, air quality and noise, public safety and reliability, and cumulative environmental impacts. This is the time to discuss our concerns about our lands with as much specificity as possible.
Visit HTCAPP.org to find out more about the PennEast Pipeline’s proposed routes, how to contact FERC, and the dates and times of all four scoping sessions.
It is vitally important that FERC understand the depth and breadth of environmental impact as it assesses the PennEast Pipeline. Let your voice be heard and tell FERC we won’t stand for environmental destruction in Hopewell, NJ.
Contributor: Patty Cronheim is the Hopewell Township Citizens Against PennEast Pipeline Coordinator and a local Hopewell Township citizen. For more information, please visit www.HTCAPP.com.