Comments Needed Now!
We have been advised by our friends at NJCF that the Delaware River Basin
Commission (DRBC) has begun to review the PennEast application.
While the formal comment period is not yet open, we are requesting that you submit
written comments to firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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.
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 that the
Commission reviews the same project that is currently before FERC, and fully evaluates
the impacts to the Delaware River Basin.