FEB. REPORT TO CARBON COUNTY STAKEHOLDERS
By SAVE CARBON COUNTY
PennEast/UGI Pipeline Project- Prepared 2/24/2020
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). The Adelphia pipeline will carry the gas to Marcus Hook and then through interconnections to the coast. Coincidentally, the Adelphia project is owned by New Jersey Resources, a PennEast partner.
Clearly, this is an attempt to work around the fact that the courts have put a hold on the original PennEast plan by ruling that PennEast cannot use eminent domain to obtain easements through 42 New Jersey owned or controlled parcels. PennEast has filed today to try to get the Supreme Court to hear the case and reverse the decision of the appellate court. They have also obtained an extension from FERC for the original project to Jan. 2023.
Why didn’t they just begin work on the PA side of the original project? Why go through the exercise of applying for a new docket number? In my opinion, there are three reasons: (1) the New Jersey part of this project will be stalled for years so it does them no good to build to the NJ border and wait there to proceed to Trenton (2) This new project can begin generating revenue soon and that’s important to the PennEast partners who have been showing expenditures but no revenues on their quarterly statements for years.
(3) This new Phase 1 project can stand alone. It will make money even if the New Jersey side of the original project is never completed.
The original PennEast pipeline has withdrawn its application from the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) saying that the new pipeline needs no DRBC approvals because it will require no water withdrawals. However, the pipeline will clear cut and damage sensitive Delaware River watershed areas and the DRBC can insist that the new Phase 1 does require a DRBC permit because it will impact the watershed.
The deadline for signing up as an intervenor for the new Phase 1 pipeline is March 4th.
All local governments and individuals who want to be heard in any hearing or make a comment on the official record should sign up before that date. Signing up preserves your rights. Easy sign-up instructions are attached to this email.
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.”