MORE GOOD NEWS!
October 11, 2019
Yesterday, the NJDEP denied PennEast’s recently submitted application citing the US Court of Appeals decision to vacate the orders of condemnation for forty-nine properties where the state of NJ has property ownership interests.
The letter states that the PennEast application cannot be deemed “administratively complete” because PennEast now lacks the authority to submit the application. It goes on to say, “Given this fundamental deficiency, the NJDEP hereby rejects and administratively closes the Application”. “The application is denied without prejudice and as a result, no application for a Freshwater Wetlands Individual Permit and Water Quality Certificate is currently pending in any form before the NJDEP”. Finally, the letter states, “The Department shall take no further action on this application.”
This decision means that this application cannot be resubmitted without PennEast having legal authority to these 49 properties. This is great news for homeowners and we applaud the NJDEP for its diligent and swift decision.
We are aware that the battle to halt this pipeline will likely continue. PennEast may attempt to overturn the Court’s decision by requesting an “en banc” rehearing with the Third Circuit (which is a request for a full panel rehearing and reconsideration of the decision made by the 3 judge panel). These requests are sometimes granted under special circumstances. In due time, PennEast may also petition the Supreme Court to hear this case. They may try to litigate in state court. PennEast has already contacted FERC in an attempt to enlist the support of FERC with their legal dilemma. Who knows what PennEast will try next?
All that said, impacted homeowners, their neighbors and allies have never been in a stronger position! And, we are not going away. We will keep you apprised of developments.