Tell NJDEP to Reject PennEast Now!
Last week, a federal court ruled that PennEast Pipeline cannot seize NJ state-owned land to build its proposed pipeline including all of the preserved farmsinterspersed throughout their route.
This is a big blow to PennEast!
However, the fight is not yet over. Impacted homeowners, their friends and neighbors are requesting action by petitioning the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP).
This Petition, already signed by over 4,300 New Jerseyans, tells NJDEP to reject PennEast’s pipeline permit outright because it cannot meet New Jersey’s strict environment requirements under the Clean Water Act. (NJDEP has issued a deficiency letter to PennEast stating that their application is “not administratively complete” however, the application can be resubmitted by PennEast.)
You can help by taking one or more of these steps:
- Sign the petition today, if you haven’t.
- Have other members of your household sign the petition.
- Forward this email to your friends, neighbors and others in NJ asking them to sign.
- Copy and paste the following to your Facebook page:
Fact: New Jersey has more than enough pipelines to meet demand for natural gas. Fact: The PennEast pipeline threatens the drinking water of over a million New Jerseyans. Stand up for facts: Urge the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to stop the PennEast pipeline once and for all: https://www.greenactions.org/stop-penneast? sc=halt
SIGN PETITION NOW
PUTTING TOGETHER OUR GAME PLAN
August 29, 2019
We have always said we would reach a crucial juncture when the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection faces the approval of the proposed PennEast Pipeline! Now is the time for us to take the action to halt this unneeded and harmful proposal and bring our communities the victory for which we have all fought so long and hard.
Getting our Act Together
New Jersey Conservation Foundation (NJCF) and HALT will be meeting with federal, state and local community leaders; Citizens Against the Pipeline groups (CAPS); our environmental allies and other friends to coordinate collective actions.
Update on PennEast Application Submission
The next critical step is for NJDEP to formally acknowledge receipt of the PennEast application on their website bulletin, which hasn’t happened yet. The next NJDEP bulletin is scheduled on September 4. We will advise you if the announcement occurs then. Whenever the announcement occurs, it will be the start of a 30 day public comment period. However, several groups are likely to ask for an additional 30 day extension or more.
Homeowner and Citizen Comments to NJDEP
Once the NJDEP formal announcement occurs, homeowners and citizens are encouraged to send multiple letters to NJDEP voicing their concerns and opposition either on-line or in the mail (addresses will be provided). These emails/letters should cover property-specific matters, as well as, general issues of a substantive nature. HALT members will receive a sample list of hard-hitting general talking-points that could be included in your comments.
In order to get property specific information, at present, homeowners can:
Please include in your communications a statement written in your own words, which encourages NJDEP to reject the application outright. Sample statement: “NJDEP has sufficient data on wildlife and water impacts in the record submitted by outside experts showing that the project can’t meet NJ’s strict environmental standards and must be denied.”
Homeowner Activities and Other News
- Send multiple comments to NJDEP (see above).
- Sign the online petition to tell the NJDEP to reject permits for PennEast. Link: https://www.greenactions.org/stop-penneast?sc=halt
- Join your friends and neighbors who have been working as one against the PennEast project at a rally and picnic event on September 15, noon to 3pm at Cavallo Park, Mt. Hope Street, Lambertville. This event, hosted by NJ Sierra Club, is a celebration for the family of PennEast-fighters and a call-to-arms for us to continue our efforts to stop the dangerous and unnecessary pipeline! There will be speakers and we encourage everyone to bring a picnic lunch and join us. RSVP:firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook Event Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/376592206338282/
- Celebrate a U.S District Court decision which found in favor of the State of Maryland over the Columbia Gas Line. This suit is based on the same grounds that NJ argued against PennEast. That is, a private enterprise cannot seize state lands based on the principle of sovereign immunity. This decision sets a strong precedent for other courts to consider, such as the NJ Third Circuit Court. See video with homeowner response: https://www.facebook.com/easternpanhandleprotectors/videos/509198149831796/UzpfSTE1NjgxNjk2ODY6Vks6MjM0MzU2ODk4NTg4NDgxNQ/
STAY TUNED AND KEEP YOUR NEIGHBORS INFORMED
Happy Labor Day Weekend
AUGUST REPORT TO CARBON COUNTY STAKEHOLDERS
By SAVE CARBON COUNTY
PennEast/UGI Pipeline Project- Prepared 9/3/2019
PennEast resubmitted its application for a certification under the Clean Water Act to the New Jersey DEP on August 8th. The Department will review the application for 20 days for “completeness” and then open the application to public comment for 30 days minimum. The public comment period may well be extended as many comments from the public are expected. Once the comment period is completed, the Department may deny the application which would mean that the PennEast pipeline is defeated for all practical purposes. This is the beginning of the final chapter of the PennEast saga.
PennEast has also submitted its application to the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC). This application is expected to be on the docket for the December meeting of the Commission. A denial by DRBC could also spell the end of the project.
In the meantime, Pres. Trump has issued an executive order directing the EPA to rewrite Clean Water Regulations to limit the ability of states and tribes to block pipelines to protect locally significant waters. The rule change is to be finalized by May 2020 but will face court challenges.
On August 21st, a federal court denied Columbia Gas the right to move forward with construction of a gas pipeline through public land in Maryland. The pipeline company had filed suit against the state of Maryland to force access to the Maryland Rail Trail, a state-owned park. The company argued by virtue of the permit granted to it by the FERC that it was empowered to use Eminent Domain to seize right of way from Maryland. This is the same argument PennEast is making in New Jersey. The judge denied Columbia Gas injunctive relief because they found that private industry does not have the right to file an eminent domain case against the state because the state has sovereign immunity. The state of New Jersey is also arguing it is protected from eminent domain proceedings because the state has “sovereign immunity.” The Maryland case is a positive precedent from the point of view of New Jersey
While the PennEast company is officially proclaiming that they will begin construction in 2020, the Quarterly Financial Report from one of the partners does not bear that out. New Jersey Resources which is a 20% partner in the PennEast company, is showing the largest share of construction costs occurring in 2021. Save Carbon County and other concerned citizens’ groups closely monitor quarterly filings for all of the PennEast partners because “money talks, and you know what walks.”
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.”