You Asked, Penneast Answered, Route Changes, Hopewell Township Demands More

At the Hopewell Township Penneast pipeline meeting on September 23, Hopewell Township and area residents posed some pretty tough questions to Penneast, the company created to plan and construct the 108+ mile long gas pipeline spanning from Pennsylvania to Mercer County, New Jersey.

Hopewell Township has received answers (listed as “Part 1” of the answers on the Township website) to questions presented to Penneast at the meeting by residents and elected officials. The 38 questions are broken into four sections: 1) engineering/construction; 2) environmental; 3) business development; and 4) safety. *UPDATED 11/8/14: Part 2 answers have been issued.

They are what you expect. Has this answered your questions or are you left wanting more?

At last night’s Hopewell Township Committee meeting, the Committee passed a resolution requesting the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) conduct a formal scoping meeting in lieu of an open house format.

Steve Goodell, Township attorney, explained that Penneast is in the prefiling stage which means that the pipeline company has only filed an informal application but that a formal application will soon be filed. Upon pre-filing, FERC starts to examine the proposed project and 1) Penneast hosts open houses to invite members of the public in which FERC attends OR 2) FERC holds scoping meetings. Goodall further explained that the scoping meetings are a more formal process in which FERC is fully engaged and requires formal environmental impact statements. The Township hopes that urging FERC to do the formal scoping meeting will result in more stringent inspection of the environmental impact for the project.

The Committee also discussed the complete lack of of co-location, which is the placement of utilities within the same easement location, thus co-locating utilities and minimizing the number of utility easements in a particular area. Township Administrator and Engineer Paul Pogorzelski said, regarding Penneast, “They have not indicated a willingness to discuss with us regarding routing.” Committee person John Hart, offered work with Pogorzelski to draft proposed alternative routes.

Goodall explained that this lack of co-location is one of the reasons the Township has provided for requesting the formal scoping meeting.

And lastly, Penneast has again changed the proposed route. HERE is a link to the updated map.

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  1. Wow, I can’t see that the changed route offers any improvement; It feels like this is a not so thinly veiled threat—-If you don’t want the pipeline running through preserved lands, we’ll show you; we’ll just put it right through the front entrance to Rosedale Park!

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