Thursday, June 29, 2017

NJDEP tables PennEast natural gas pipeline application

State agency seeks detailed information about stream an wetlands crossings but pipeline company can’t comply

Tom Johnson reports for NJ Spotlight:

The PennEast pipeline project yesterday suffered a setback when the state Department of Environmental Protection stopped reviewing its application, citing the company’s failure to submit information sought by the agency.
In administratively closing the application, the state essentially delayed the project once again, making it more likely the ultimate review of the key water permits the developer needs may come down to a decision for the next administration early next year.
The 120-mile pipeline, beginning in Luzerne County, PA, and ending in Mercer County, is perhaps the most contentious of a more than a dozen natural-gas projects that have come under review by New Jersey authorities.
PennEast has repeatedly stumbled in trying to gain access from homeowners and others to properties along its route. The result is the company is not able to provide to the DEP detailed information about stream and wetlands crossings, which would allow the agency to review applications for a wetlands permit and water-quality certificate.
“Holding PennEast to the letter of the law helps protect our water, land, and communities from the dangers of a pipeline whose owners just want to rush this project through,’’ said Jim Waltman, executive director of the Stony-Brook Millstone Watershed Association.
PennEast downplayed the significance of the DEP action; the agency also turned down a request to extend the review of the two permits.

Read the full story here

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