April HALT Update

APRIL UPDATE

We hope you are all keeping well. Please find a number of updates and important information below. Please take the time to read and note there are two specific actions we are asking of you at this time. We look forward to seeing you virtually during our April member’s meeting – details to follow.

SCOTUS Update:

1)  Oral arguments to be heard on April 28th at 11am. You can listen live on http://www.cspan.org

2)   All briefings and filings have now concluded.

3)   A decision is expected sometime during June 2021. If you would like to access any of the filings regarding this case, they are available at the following https://www.supremecourt.gov/search.aspx?filename=/docket/docketfiles/html/public/19-1039.html directly on the Supreme Court Website. They are sorted by date.

FERC Update:

1)      On February 18, 2021 FERC issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) regarding the Certification of Interstate Natural Gas Facilities, Docket PL18-1-000.  This is a revival of an NOI from 2018.  At that time, over 3,000 comments were received from stakeholders, but FERC took no action.  Under its new Chairperson, Richard Glick, FERC is expanding its initial inquiry to reflect changes promulgated by executive orders, regulations and statutes, and to build on the existing record. 

2)      There is no need to resubmit comments from the 2018 docket.  New information, suggestions and examples are the goal of this inquiry.

3)      You can find potential comment points and instructions courtesy of NJCF via this link https://www.dropbox.com/s/hub6r9mbq9ceisq/FERC.Comment.Instructions.2021.pdf?dl=0  The deadline for comments on this docket is May 26th, 2021. We are specifically requesting that you file comments on this docket before the deadline.

4)      FERC has launched an Office of Public Participation (OPP). More information on this Office and its launch process can be found here: https://www.ferc.gov/news-events/events/workshop-regarding-creation-office-public-participation-04162021. If you want to comment on this issue – the deadline is Friday, April 23rd. Instructions for filing can be found at the above link. This is a ‘nice to have’ request. The NOI request above is much more important.

5)      FERC reform bills – currently there are a few pending bills in committee stage in both chambers of congress. Rep. Watson Coleman has introduced HR2115 with Rep. Malinowski and others as co-sponsors. Please contact your elected representatives (Senate and House) to encourage them to request the reform bills be taken up at the Committee level to advance.

6)      As a reminder the PennEast Amended Certificate docket was removed from the January agenda and has not been rescheduled. Based upon comments by the commissioners, this may be held until the consolidated case in the 3rd Circuit is resolved. The consolidated case is held in abeyance until the resolution of the SCOTUS case.

Elected Officials Update:

1)  Visits to homeowners.  Rep. Malinowski visited 6 affected properties during the past two weeks. We took this opportunity to discuss a number of topics. An update will be shared during the April Member’s Meeting.

2)  Letter to Biden Administration. Rep. Malinowski is planning to send a letter to the Biden Administration regarding the Solicitor General’s Brief, the treatment of landowners, and the lack of need for this project. Rep. Malinowski will be reaching out to the new EPA administration in Washington to bring them up to date on PennEast and request they focus on the critical environmental and related impacts

3)  CAPs efforts to introduce Township Resolutions. Lambertville CAP committee is introducing a resolution at the next City Council meeting calling upon our elected officials (state and federal) to state their position on the pipeline and reaffirm their opposition. Draft language will be shared to all local CAPs to pursue within other townships and communities.

4)  CAP Webinar.  A Multi-CAP update zoom webinar was held on April 20th with Lambertville as the organizer and host. A recording of the session can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTdsKHR_1lI

PA DEP:  No recent updates.

DRBC Update: Application is under review – no recent updates. Comments are still being accepted via email at penneastapp@drbc.gov. The project page is  https://www.nj.gov/drbc/programs/project/penneast.html

NJ DEP:  No current valid application submitted. No update.

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