Our Land. Our Neighbors. Our Community


The PennEast pipeline is an unnecessary infrastructure project that will only benefit the companies who own it, and whose costs will be borne by residents in the area. In response to the PennEast threat, we formed HALT PennEast. We are average citizens who have joined forces to stop this pipeline.


 

NEWS


Positive News – September 23rd, 2020

POSITIVE NEWS

A dose of positive news today regarding easements for the now failed Constitution pipeline courtesy of our attorney, Anne Marie Garti.

“On September 17, the judge in the condemnation cases for the now dead Constitution Pipeline issued a decision and order dissolving BOTH orders he issued in 2015: Partial Summary Judgment (granting Constitution the right to take land for the Constitution Pipeline) and the Preliminary Injunction (granting immediate access to that land). He further ordered Constitution to record the decision and order in the Office of the County Clerk. That means the title to the properties will now be free of the pipeline easement.

Even though I only submitted briefs making these arguments on behalf of my clients, he applied his decision to all of the remaining condemnation cases.

However, this decision does not apply to the landowners who accepted money from Constitution for the easement. They made a binding agreement that travels with their deed to subsequent owners. Constitution can sell the easements without informing those landowners.

This outcome proves that the perseverance of landowners can pay off at the end of a successful fight against pipelines – but only if compensation has not been paid.”

If you have received compensation from PennEast, you should consult with your own attorneys as your terms may be unique to you alone.

September HALT Update – September 7th, 2020

FERC Deadline Reminder – August 29th, 2020

August HALT Update – August 12th, 2020

Supreme Court Update, NJCF Statement, and Tolling Orders Update— July 1st, 2020

Request for Homeowners to Submit a Comment to FERC–May 5th, 2020

APRIL 2020 NEWSLETTER– April 26th, 2020

HALT’s February 26, 2020 Meeting Summary–March 4th, 2020

An Important Time To Have Our Voices Heard: Move To Intervene By March 4, 2020–February 16th 2020

PennEast Update — January 11th 2020

PennEast Seeks Supreme Court Review–November 19th 2019

Where Things Stand At This Time–November 4th & 5th 2019

NJDEP Denied PennEast’s Submitted Application–Oct 11th 2019

Tell NJDEP to Reject PennEast Now!–September 18th 2019

Putting Together Our Game Plan — August 29th 2019

PennEast Application Resubmitted to NJDEP — August 12th 2019

Meeting Highlights — June 19th 2019

Governor Murphy & NJDEP Deny Permits To Build Contested Pipeline — June 8th 2019

More Uncertainty for PennEast and FERC — March 20th 2019

HALT Says FERC Lacks Jurisdiction to Amend PennEast’s Application; Pipeline Cannot Be Built Without an Act of Congress — March 18th 2019

Please Intervene By March 8, 2019 — February 24th, 2019

Homeowners Claim PennEast Official has Major Conflict of Interest — February 21st 2019

HALT Letter to Attorney General & Hunterdon Freeholders Support — February 2019

Homeowner Update From Judge — January 17th 2019

PennEast Discussions With Lawyers — January 16th 2019

Court Order Entered — January 11th 2019

Surveying — January 5th 2019

Keeping directly impacted homeowners informed — February 7th 2018

FERC May Have Rubber Stamped PennEast’s Application – But The Real Fight Has Just Begun! — January 19th 2018

Confirmed the nominations of FERC Commissioners McIntyre and Glick — November 3rd 2018

HALT & Homeowner’s Legal Actions — 2017

FERC Nominees Are Confirmed — August 3rd 2017

NJDEP Denies PennEast’s Request for a Permit Application Extension! — 2017

Monthly Report To Stakeholders


“Fourth Annual Pipeline Blowout” in Carbon County, PA.  This annual event is sponsored by HALT’s sister organization, Save Carbon County.

NEW! August 2020 Report To Stakeholders

August 2020 Report to Stakeholders

Excerpt:On Sept. 2nd the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) concluded the
opportunity to comment on the Environmental Assessment for the new Phase 1 (PA
only) pipeline project.

July 2020 Report To Stakeholders

Excerpt: “PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro has issued a Grand Jury Report that concludes that
Pennsylvania regulatory agencies have failed to protect the public from the negative
impacts of fracking for gas.”

June 2020 Report To Stakeholders

Excerpt: The Supreme Court has finally taken action on the PennEast appeal of the State of New Jersey case. The Court has asked the Solicitor General to submit a brief.

May 2020 Report To Stakeholders

Excerpt: “The original PennEast pipeline has two important permits that have yet to be granted by the PADEP. The Chapter 102 Permit concerns erosion and sediment control.”

April 2020 Report To Stakeholders

Excerpt: “As reported earlier, on January 30th PennEast filed an application for a new Pennsylvania-only pipeline which they call “Phase I.”

March 2020 Report To Stakeholders

Excerpt: “All local Carbon County governments along the pipeline route and the County government have signed on as intervenors except Kidder Township.”

Febuary 2020 Report To Stakeholders

Excerpt: PennEast has created a new project that they are calling Phase 1.  FERC has accepted the application and granted a new docket number (CP20-47).  This is a project to build 68 miles of the original route through PA.  This is a PA-only pipeline that follows the originally proposed route but ends in Bethlehem Twp. where it will connect to the Adelphia Gateway Project which is another pipeline project with a separate docket number (CP18-46).”

January 2020 Report To Stakeholders

Excerpt:As noted in last month’s report, PennEast Pipeline has asked FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) for an extension of two more years in which to get the project operational.  FERC has not yet scheduled a hearing on the extension request.

December 2019 Report To Stakeholders

Excerpt:Today, the PennEast Pipeline asked FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) for an “extension of time.” […] If they manage to complete the pipeline by 2022, it will be five years behind schedule.

October 2019 Report To Stakeholders

Excerpt: Yesterday, the Keystone pipeline leaked an estimated 383,000 gallons (9,120 barrels) of oil into wetlands in North Dakota. The leak is already the eighth-largest pipeline oil spill of the last decade.”

Sept 2019 Report To Stakeholders

Excerpt: “On September 10th, a three-judge panel of the 3rd District Appeals Court, overturned an earlier ruling and upheld the State of New Jersey’s appeal.

August 2019 Report To Stakeholders

Excerpt: PennEast resubmitted its application for a certification under the Clean Water Act to the New Jersey DEP on August 8th.

July 2019 Report To Stakeholders

Excerpt: Save Carbon County has been approved for a $1,000 Sierra Club grant to help fund our efforts in fighting the pipeline.

June 2019 Report To Stakeholders

Excerpt: “When we started our efforts to defeat PennEast, we hoped that delays in the project would provide time for the market for gas to plunge.”

April 2019 Report To Stakeholders

Excerpt: “As noted in the March report, PennEast filed for approval of a route change on 2/19/19 and asked for FERC approval of that route change by 7/1/19.”

Mar 2019 Report To Stakeholders

Excerpt: PennEast filed for important approvals with both the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (PADEP) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) this month.

Feb 2019 Report To Stakeholders

Excerpt: “According to a reports filed with the PA Dept. of State, pipeline companies have spent more than $37.7 million on lobbying our representatives in Harrisburg.”

January 2019 Report To Stakeholders

Excerpt: “On Dec. 14th, landowners in NJ received a final judgement in their Eminent Domain hearing.”

Pipeline Impacts in the Delaware River Basin


“We hope that everyone will share these findings with the public, with your members, and with decision-makers evaluating natural gas pipelines and infrastructure in the Delaware River Basin and beyond.  They tell an important story regarding the significant environmental and social costs of these projects, and the horror stories from construction of Mariner East 2 show how real the risks are, and how damaging these projects can be to our water resources, and impacted landowners and communities!”

Tom Gilbert–Campaign Director for Energy, Climate and Natural Resources, New Jersery Conservation Foundation

‘Another Fracking Pipeline’; Film


The PennEast Pipeline, a proposed 120-mile long natural gas pipeline, is scheduled to start in Pennsylvania and end near Trenton, New Jersey. This documentary examines the reasons behind the vehement opposition to the pipeline. This documentary was directed by a highschool senior known as ‘yaz and a camera’ on Youtube. Published May 28 2019.

‘The Climate Change Apocalypse;’ Alix Bacon


This painting is a response to the threat of the proposed PennEast pipeline. It is a threat to our community, our environment, our agricultural and cultural resources as well as global climate.  I call it “The Climate Change Apocalypse.”  It depicts how the places we call home, such as the Rosemont Valley, our global home, including Manhattan, and the glaciers and seas will be impacted by climate change if we cannot stop the use of fossil fuels and the proliferative infrastructure it brings.


Our community is fighting to defend our “peaceable kingdom.”  This is why we are working together to stop PennEast and climate change before it is too late.

Alix Bacon.

Opposition To The PennEast Gas Pipeline Is Not Going Away; NJSpotlight


Michael Heffler | April 3, 2019 | Op-Ed

Originally published in NJSpotlight

Opponents of controversial project say their resistance is rooted in a commitment to protecting communities, properties and property rights

Michael Heffler
Michael Heffler

When PennEast filed its application to build a 120-mile-long pipeline through Pennsylvania and New Jersey, every New Jersey township it touches passed a resolution in opposition. 

Fifteen hundred people moved to intervene — a record-breaking number. Most of them are regular citizens: homeowners, farmers, single moms, retired couples, and small-business owners. Even though the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has conditionally approved the project, and even though land is being taken through eminent domain, they are not giving up.

Why all the fuss?

Here is a glimpse of why so many are so committed to stopping this pipeline:

1. The gas is not needed

A paramount question is whether this pipeline is even needed. Despite PennEast’s misleading claims, industry experts report that there is no public need for it. On the coldest winter days in 2018, there were 1.7 billion cubic feet of excess gas flowing out of New Jersey. With such an oversupply of gas, households will not save money by paying for a new billion-dollar pipeline. 

2. It’s a money grab for PennEast’s owners

This is not a money-saver for consumers, but a cash cow for the pipeline owners, such as New Jersey Resources and South Jersey Industries. FERC guarantees them a whopping 14 percent return on investment. And it is the regular people who would be paying them — year after year. That’s why the New Jersey Rate Counsel, the state’s consumer watchdog agency, says this project is tantamount to offering a windfall of money to private enterprises while the consumers unfairly foot the bill. 

3. Myth of new job opportunities

Building another pipeline disrupts Gov. Phil Murphy’s commitment to clean energy and the economic growth it brings. Nationally, jobs in clean energy are exceeding coal and gas by a five to one ratio. If PennEast is built, there would be months of temporary employment for mostly out-of-state construction workers, but virtually no permanent jobs in New Jersey, according to a study performed by experts at the Goodman Group. 

4. Damage to environmentally sensitive, culturally rich region

In densely populated New Jersey, the two counties affected — Hunterdon and Mercer — are rural havens. The pipeline would affect many farms, conserved land, fruit orchards, and forests. Historic districts, endangered species, and some of the cleanest streams in the state are threatened by the construction and operation of this pipeline. In addition, the seizure of over 4,300 acres of preserved open space will undermine the integrity of the State Land Preservation Program. That’s why the state of New Jersey is suing.

5. Taking property for a project that may never be built

The U.S. Constitution’s Fifth Amendment says private property should only be taken for a public need. PennEast is a project where the public doesn’t benefit nor has the project even been approved to be built. FERC has conditionally approved it, but many other agencies have not. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the Delaware River Basin Commission, and other federal agencies have the power to deny required permits. Once FERC grants a certificate to a project, courts typically grant the right of eminent domain. However, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal is appealing the seizure of state lands and is joined by homeowners, the New Jersey Rate Counsel and conservation groups in challenging FERC’s flawed certificate for PennEast.

6. Gas is not a clean fuel and pipelines are not safe

Over the past seven years, the nation’s natural-gas transportation network leaked 17.55 billion cubic feet of mostly methane gas. The Union of Concerned Scientists says that methane is 86 times stronger than CO2 at trapping heat. The PennEast pipeline also endangers our water by crossing 38 C-1 streams, hundreds of acres of wetlands and the Delaware River. Geologists say this region has bedrock which will likely release arsenic into our ground water and drinking water. According to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, over 11,500 clear-cut U.S. pipeline-related incidents occurred since 2000. 

Polished rhetoric and PR materials from the project developers and its advocates won’t sway informed consumers. People will continue to passionately oppose a project that is unneeded, unwanted, and harmful to their communities, homes and planet.

Signed by The Trustees of Homeowners Against Land Taking (HALT-PennEast), a volunteer organization of several thousand impacted homeowners and their fellow citizens, committed to protecting their communities, properties and property rights.

Michael Heffler lives in Lambertville. He is an author engaged in community service.