A 100-mile pipeline, known as the “PennEast Pipeline,” will be tunneling through parts of Mercer County as it spans from Pennsylvania to New Jersey. Construction is slated to begin in 2017.
According to publicly available information and press releases from PennEast Pipeline Company, LLC, the specific location is still undetermined but a proposed preliminary route has been identified. For the entire plan, see the map on right. For our interpretation of where it appears that the pipeline will cross into the Mercer County area, see below.
This summer through early fall, PennEast Pipeline Company will be contacting property owners along the proposed route to request permission to survey property owners’ properties to assess the most environmentally appropriate location for the pipeline. Should the pipeline touch a private landowner’s property, PennEast would seek a permanent easement in exchange for financial contribution, or at least make “every reasonable effort” to come to an agreement with the landowner for a voluntary purchase (as opposed to using eminent domain), according to their website FAQ page. Because the project will be done under the umbrella of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”), once approved the company will be able to condemn not only private property for the right-of-way, but also municipal, county and even State owned lands.
The company also says that PennEast will pursue “all other options and routes before contemplating routes that intersect buildings or structures.” As part of the process, PennEast will also hold several public hearings along the proposed route.
MercerMe is following this development closely. As always, we count on our readers to share thoughts, comments and concerns as this unfolds.