AUGUST REPORT TO CARBON COUNTY STAKEHOLDERS
By SAVE CARBON COUNTY
PennEast/UGI Pipeline Project- Prepared 8/30/21
PennEast has announced that it will not complete the
acquisition of rights of way “for some time.” Their attorney in PA
has indicated that the company will dismiss all condemnation suits.
The suits will be dismissed in a way that will allow them to be
reopened at a future date. The company continues to express
confidence in the project but stated, “Given the uncertainty on timing
to resolve the remaining legal and regulatory hurdles, PennEast
believes it is not prudent to complete the acquisition of rights of way in
the pending actions in Pennsylvania, as it might not be necessary for
some time.” Reports indicate that there are as many as 70 cases that
will be dismissed.
The pipeline company recently had a big win against the State of New
Jersey at the Supreme Court which essentially permitted them to
condemn 43 parcels controlled or owned by the State of New Jersey,
so this is a surprising move. However, despite the win at the Supreme
Court, PennEast faces many future obstacles. There are pending cases
before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the certificate
issued to the pipeline by the Federal Energy Regulatory Agency (FERC)
and there are significant regulatory hurdles ahead. The pipeline will
need a Clean Water Certification from the State of New Jersey, which
may present problems, as well as a permit from the Delaware River
Basin Commission and a final PA wetlands permit from the Army Corps
of Engineers. Additionally, the company’s proposed phased approach
to the pipeline’s construction has yet to obtain a certificate from FERC.
This approach would have allowed the company to proceed with
construction in PA while awaiting resolution of issues in New Jersey.
PennEast is also facing a loss of confidence by company partners.
Four of the five partners have downgraded their investment in the
project in amounts of roughly $90 million each. In addition to these
many problems, the federal certificate which grants the company the
right to condemn land will expire in January of 2022.
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.”