FEB. REPORT TO CARBON COUNTY STAKEHOLDERS
By SAVE CARBON COUNTY
PennEast/UGI Pipeline Project- Prepared 3/1/2021
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of PennEast v. New Jersey.
This case will answer the question if a private company, such as PennEast, can
use eminent domain against a state. Briefs from PennEast are due today. The
case will be heard in April with a decision expected in June. If PennEast wins,
they will likely resume their original efforts to build a 118-mile pipeline to Trenton.
Landowners would have preferred that the lower court ruling stand.
There is congressional movement to reform FERC (Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission). Since over 99% of pipelines are approved by FERC,
homeowners have long believed that their concerns are not given due
consideration. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine have introduced “The
Pipeline Fairness, Transparency, and Responsible Development Act of 2020.”
And Congressman Jeremy Raskin of Maryland is also working to introduce a
House version of FERC reform legislation. The reforms will address the unfair
treatment of landowners by FERC.
On Thursday Feb. 24th , The DRBC (Delaware River Basin Commission)
voted to adopt a permanent ban on fracking within the watershed. All four
state representatives voted for the ban. At the present, this ban will allow water
withdrawals for fracking and will allow treated fracking wastewater to be returned
to the river. However, the withdrawals and importations of wastewater are also
being reviewed by the Commission. A single fracking well pad can require up to
a million gallons of water for operation, so the withdrawal of water is an important
consideration for the industry.
This ban applies to the entire basin which drains 13,539 sq. miles, about half of
which is in Pennsylvania. The fracking ban would affect the Pocono region and
other northeastern counties that sit entirely or partly over Marcellus Shale
deposits. These counties are Carbon, Monroe, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Pike,
Schuylkill, and Wayne.
This decision does not affect the PennEast pipeline because the pipeline will
draw its gas from counties to our northwest. However, the willingness of the
Commission to take such sweeping action to protect the watershed is
encouraging to environmentalists and PennEast-impacted landowners.
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.”