The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued a “Certificate of Necessity and Convenience for the PennEast Pipeline,” to PennEast Pipeline, the proposed 110-mile pipeline that will bring natural gas from the Marcellus Region of Pennsylvania through Hunterdon and Mercer Counties in New Jersey, cutting through communities, preserved open space, and farmland. A “Certificate of Necessity and Convenience” is a regulatory compliance certification needed by private companies aiming to provide public services, and it must be obtained before constructing the pipeline. (For the full document, see this link)
According to the New Jersey Sierra Club, PennEast is still missing many important permits they need to build the project. “FERC is acting shamefully because once again, they’ve taken the side of a gas company over the public or the environment. It’s outrageous that they snuck this out late at night without even having a public hearing. This application is not only flawed, but full of false and missing information, making their approval even more shameful’,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.
Besides missing state and federal permits, the Sierra Club, in a statement to the press, maintains that PennEast still does not have approval from the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), an application process that could take up to a year. Specially, PennEast’s application states that they plan to discharge or withdrawal over 45 million gallons of water, and that part of the pipeline would pass through “special protection waters” of the Delaware River. The DRBC has agreed to hold multiple hearings on the application, none of which have been scheduled yet.
“We’ll be challenging FERC’s approval of the pipeline even though PennEast does not have an application in front of the NJDEP and it could take them over a year to apply. Their previous application was rejected for being deficient… They also do not have approval from the DRBC.
For MercerMe coverage of PennEast, click this link.
“The reason PennEast has been held up is because of the great job local citizen and activists have been doing. Over 65 percent of the route has yet to be surveyed due to resistance from landowners,” he continued.
“The fight starts again and we will redouble our efforts to stop this pipeline and use every tool we can. We will work with the new Governor Murphy, who has opposed this pipeline, and the new DEP who wants to actually protect the environment. The PennEast Pipeline would threaten the entire Valley including 91 acres of wetlands and over 44 miles of forest; over 1,600 acres’ total,” said Tittel. “We will stand together to tell PennEast to stay the FERC out of our valley!”