Friday, May 27, 2016

NJ enviro groups want feds to cork PennEast pipeline

Garden State environmental organizations argue that PennEast has submitted flawed data about project’s impact on drinking water

The federal government should suspend its review of the PennEast pipeline project because the applicant has failed to supply crucial data governing its environmental impact, opponents urged yesterday.
Tom Johnson reports today in NJ Spotlight:

In a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the New Jersey Conservation Foundation and Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association argued that the applicant also has submitted flawed data related to the project’s potential impact on drinking-water supplies.
The 118-mile long proposed pipeline would run from Luzerne County in Pennsylvania, cross underneath the Delaware River and traverse parts of Hunterdon and Mercer counties. The project has been beset by delays because of widespread opposition from homeowners living by the proposed route, conservationists, and local communities.
Backed by New Jersey’s four gas utilities, the proposal would bring cheap natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formations in Pennsylvania to consumers and businesses here who already have seen steep drops in energy costs from the newly exploited fuel.
The PennEast project is one of more than a dozen new pipelines pending or approved in the state. Most have generated controversy with state lawmakers also getting involved. Yesterday in the state Assembly, legislators approved a resolution (ACR-53) calling on the federal agency to reform its policies in approving interstate natural gas pipelines.
The measure is spurred by concerns that individual projects are reviewed on a case-by-case basis with no consideration given to the cumulative impacts of all the pipelines. One of the chief objections of critics of the PennEast proposal is that the state has more than enough pipeline capacity -- even in the harshest winters when demand is the greatest.

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