JULY REPORT TO CARBON COUNTY STAKEHOLDERS
By SAVE CARBON COUNTY
PennEast/UGI Pipeline Project- Prepared 7/31/2019
Save Carbon County has been approved for a $1,000 Sierra Club grant to help fund our efforts in fighting the pipeline. Over the four years of our existence, Save Carbon County has been fortunate to have received grants from the Sierra Club and from the Mountain Watershed Association (based in the Pittsburg area). These grants have meant that we have been able to continue our work without expending extraordinary time and effort in fundraising.
A new legal battle over the power of pipeline companies to seize private property before they pay for the property made its way to the Supreme Court last week. Pipeline companies typically use a process called “quick take” to obtain private property for their projects. Under this process, the companies take possession of the private property before a price has been agreed upon and before the land is paid for. As you can imagine, the landowner is put at a severe disadvantage by this process. This is the process being used to obtain land for the PennEast project. The Supreme Court will decide in October if they will hear the case. The Court only takes about 1% of the cases it receives.
A lawsuit taking issue with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval process is making its way through the court system and is now in the D.C. District Court. This case argues that FERC should have considered the downstream environmental impacts of its approval of PennEast; that FERC may not consider all pipelines a “public benefit”; that FERC failed to weigh alternatives prior to issuance of the PennEast certificate; and that FERC should not have conferred the power of Eminent Domain to PennEast until all permits were granted. PennEast still lacks a Clean Water Certificate from New Jersey, permits from the Delaware River Basin Commission, and has not received permits from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency. They have also not received a permit to construct the Kidder Compressor Station. The six petitioners associated with the lawsuit include the State of New Jersey, The Delaware Riverkeeper Network and Homeowners Against Land Takings (HALT). HALT is a homeowner group that works closely with Save Carbon County.
Another month—another pipeline explosion. A regional gas line exploded early Thursday in Kentucky. The pipeline stretches more than 9,000 miles from the Mexican border to New York City and is owned by the Enbridge Co. Everything within 500 yards of the explosion was destroyed including nine homes. One person was killed and five were injured. This same pipeline exploded in January in Ohio. The pipeline is 30 inches in diameter and under pressure. The PennEast pipeline is proposed to be 36 inches in diameter and under 1480 psi of pressure. The blast zone for the PennEast pipeline is 955 yards in all directions.
Save Carbon County is a member of a regional and two-state effort to stop the PennEast/UGI pipeline. Local information can be found on FaceBook at “Stop the Fracking Pipeline.” Regional Information can be found on FaceBook at “Stop PennEast Pipeline