September HALT Update – September 7th, 2020

FERC UPDATE

The FERC comment period is now closed. Our collective grassroots effort resulted in more than 500 comments being submitted! Thank you!

DRBC REMINDER AND INFORMATION

The next business meeting of the DRBC is on September 10th at 10:30am. All public comment speaking slots are now filled. You can still listen to the meeting as follows:

Instructions to Participate on September 10:

Also, you can register to be an interested party with DRBC regarding the PennEast application by providing your name, address and email information to penneastapp@drbc.gov or sending your contact information by mail to DRBC, Attn.: Project Review Section, P.O. Box 7360, 25 Cosey Road, West Trenton, NJ 08628. When registered, you will receive direct notice of information related to DRBC’s review, including the Notice of Application Received (NAR) and Public Hearing Notice, when issued. A formal public comment period, including details concerning the commission’s public hearings and methods for submitting written comments, will be announced upon publication of the draft docket.

SUBMIT COMMENTS

While the formal comment period is not yet open, we are requesting that you submit written comments to penneastapp@drbc.gov urging them to reject PennEast’s application. There is no deadline at present. The DRBC invites comments on matters not yet scheduled on their docket so let’s keep up the momentum and provide them!

WHAT TO SAY : Below are samples of comments made at the last DRBC meeting. Feel free to copy all or parts of and use as your own. You can incorporate the comments into one email but the more comments you send the better! Also, additional topics to comment on can be found on Mike Spille’s website: https://www.pipeinfo.org/drbc

Comment 1

PennEast has repeatedly disregarded the Commission’s authority. First, PennEast withdrew their previous application and asserted that the Commission did not have jurisdiction over Phase I of the new project they’ve submitted to FERC. When the Commission appropriately corrected PennEast on this, PennEast said they would “voluntarily” submit an application if the Commission agreed to review it on their arbitrary and overly aggressive timeline.

PennEast has blatantly attempted to skirt the Commission’s review by arguing that their project doesn’t constitute a project, and by playing a shell game in an effort to make it appear that they don’t meet the commission’s thresholds. To the Commission’s credit you have firmly and appropriately rejected these hollow claims.

I urge you to reject PennEast’s application without prejudice.

Comment 2

Whatever project PennEast asks FERC to certificate must also be reviewed by the Commission.  PennEast has asked FERC to certificate building the entire pipeline in two phases. Yet, PennEast has only submitted an application to the commission for Phase I. They can’t have it both ways and submit different versions of the project to multiple agencies as it suits their needs.

The Commission must demand that PennEast submit an application for the entire route so that the full impacts of the project to the DRBC can be evaluated.

By submitting a Phase I only, PennEast is attempting to segment the Commissions Review and artificially minimize the impact of the project to the Basin’s water resources.

For Example, in their application to the Commission, PennEast States that Phase I will impact 17.3 acres of wetland within 30’ of the maintained row, pointing out that this falls below one of the Commission’s thresholds of 25 acres of wetlands impacted. However, if PennEast were to submit both Phases, the project would clearly exceed this threshold, as Phase II would impact an additional 19 acres of wetland in New Jersey.

Considering one half at a time of a two-phase project would conceal the true and cumulative impact of a project that will have significant and unacceptable impacts to the water resources that you are charged with protecting.

Although Phase I would still fall under the commission’s’ review, I urge you to require that PennEast submit all necessary information for Phase II of the project so the Commission reviews the same project that is currently before FERC, and fully evaluates the impacts to the Delaware River Basin.

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO TO HELP STOP THE PIPELINE!

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