Homeowners Against Land Taking-PennEast (HALT) represents over two hundred impacted landowners in towns along PennEast’s proposed pipeline route. HALT intervened in this proceeding on February 3, 2016.
HALT PennEast has been very busy during the DEIS comment period. Everything from objecting to the format of the DEIS public hearings, pointing out the extreme deficiencies in the wetland impacts, violations of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPO), violations of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), lack of proper analysis of potential property damages, and even a comment that PennEast testified in NJ court that they do not need any survey information before they receive a certificate, a clear violation of NEPA.
Many thanks goes to HALT’s lead attorney, Steve Richardson of Wiley Rein for providing such excellent legal representation and documentation so we are well position if there is need to go to DC district court to plead our case as HALT PennEast.
HALT PennEast played a significant role in working with other organizations and local township officials to fully document and build the legal record with comments pointing the violations and deficiencies in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement.
Some very powerful comments demanding more information and stating the DEIS is lacking too much data to be supported came from the EPA, NJDEP, and USFWG. The NJ Rate Council, the advocate for ratepayers throughout New Jersey, issued a scathing comment questioning the purpose and need for this pipeline, backing up HALT’s position that FERC has failed to analyze the need for this project and alternatives. NJCF, SBMWS, The Sierra club, The Delaware River Keeper Network, and many other organizations all submitted professional comments documenting how flawed and incomplete the DEIS is.
HALT members where extremely active in the DEIS process and posted hundreds of significant comments, all voicing disapproval of the DEIS due to the tremendous amount of missing information.
Each of HALT’s and its members’ comments reach the same conclusion: the DEIS is deficient and must be withdrawn. HALT asks that FERC closely consider the information submitted in HALT’s comments and withdraw and revise the DEIS accordingly. Failure to do so violates the National Environmental Policy Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, the Natural Gas Act, and the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
HALT has filed comments regarding:
- The illegality of FERC’s proposed use of a flawed “conditional approval” to prematurely authorize the condemnation of private property, before FERC has met its obligations under the U.S. Constitution and the Natural Gas Act (Filed September 12, 2016, Accession No. Pending).
- The flaws in the DEIS’s analysis of historic and cultural resources and FERC’s failure to comply with the National Historic Preservation Act. (Accession No. 20160912-5624).
- The DEIS’s failure to include site-specific analysis, analyze the environmental impacts of its action, or propose meaningful mitigation measures. (Accession No. 20160912-5628).
- The errors in the DEIS’s analysis of the no-action alternative and other alternatives. (Accession No. 20160912-5619).
- The DEIS’s inaccurate analysis of the risk of arsenic and boron contamination to water sources. (Accession No. 20160912-5618).
- The flaws in PennEast’s notices to landowners and FERC’s public comment procedures. (Accession No. 20160912-5623).
- The shortcomings in FERC’s hearing process and length of the comment period. (Accession No. 20160810-5093).
- Support for the New Jersey Conservation Foundation and Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association’s comments on missing data in the DEIS. (Accession No. 20160810-5095).
Support for the New Jersey Conservation Foundation’s request for an evidentiary hearing on the question of market need. (Accession No. 20160810-5096).
HALT PennEast Summary of DEIS Comments:
(click on each title to download file/letter)
- HALT PennEast Summary of DEIS Comments
- Support of NJCF & SBMSWS Comment identifying violations to the National Environmental Policy Act
- Request for an evidentiary Hearing
- Wetland impacts and permitting not correctly described in the DEIS
- DEIS does not accurately assess the risk of arsenic contamination
- DEIS alternative analysis is deficient and violates NEPA
- Failure to Afford Adequate Public Participation or Democratic Process (too little information presented in the DEIS)
- HALT PennEast request withdraw of the DEIS due to flaws in the DEIS analysis of Cultural and Historic resources
- PennEast testified in NJ court that it is under no obligation to gather site specific information or survey data before FERC makes its Certificate decision – Violations of NEPA
- HALT’s members are concerned that the proposed pipeline will result in as much as $1 billion or more in harm to private property
- Comment regarding FERC selected hearing process
- Letter to the USACE – Please deny the section 408 PennEast applications
- Request for disclosure of the April 20, 2016 Conference call with FERC, Tetra Tech and PennEast
- Motion to Intervene