Saturday, July 18, 2015

NJ property owners slow down PennEast pipeline permits

Fewer than 35 percent of property owners have granted access to their land to the company seeking approval to build a controversial natural-gas pipeline through parts of Hunterdon and Mercer counties, Tom Johnson reports in NJ Spotlight.
That lack of cooperation is spurring the state Department of Environmental Protection to advise the company in charge of the project not to apply for some of the permits it needs until it gets more information on the pipeline’s actual route.
Whether that constitutes a serious roadblock for the $1 billion, 110-mile PennEast pipeline project from Pennsylvania to Hopewell remains to be seen, but it has buoyed the hopes of critics. Thirty-two miles of the pipeline would run through four communities in Hunterdon County, before terminating in Hopewell in Mercer County.
The project is perhaps one of the most contentious of more than a dozen new pipeline projects that have been proposed in New Jersey, most aimed at delivering cheap natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formations in Pennsylvania to consumers and businesses.
Much of the proposed route in New Jersey would traverse land preserved with taxpayer dollars to protect open space and farmland, not to mention cutting though wetlands, parks and crossing waterways.

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