PennEast Scoping Hearing Tonight- Tell FERC No Pipeline

PennEast Scoping Hearing Tonight- Tell FERC No Pipeline
Date : Thu, 26 Feb 2015 15:49:59 -0500

For Immediate Release

February 26, 2015

Contact Jeff Tittel 609-558-9100

PennEast Scoping Hearing Tonight- Tell FERC No Pipeline

Tonight is the last Scoping Meeting on the PennEast Pipeline. The PennEast Pipeline is 110 mile pipeline that will bring natural gas from the Marcellus Region of Pennsylvania through Hunterdon and Mercer Counties in New Jersey. The pipeline will be cutting through communities, preserved open space, and farmland. These public Scoping Meetings allow residents and others to voice their concerns about the environmental impacts of this pipeline.

Below is The New Jersey Sierra Club's Director Jeff Tittel statement for tonight's hearing:

"For more than 50 years, state local and even the federal government have put in place; laws, policies and programs to protect the Delaware Valley. This pipeline turns all of that on its head. State laws include the Highlands Act, State Planning Act, Wetlands Act, and millions of dollars for open space. FERC has not looked at the impacts under federal laws like Delaware Basin Commission Compact, the Delaware River Wild and Scenic National Park Service designation, Clean Air Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Endangered Species Act, Historic Preservation Laws, and a dozen other laws. This pipeline violates all of those policies and all the safeguards put in place to protect this valley."

"We believe that this pipeline violates the Clean Water Act and cannot meet the criteria for 404 permits. Also this pipeline cannot meet the requirement for a 401 water quality permit. The reason is because of the amount of high quality streams, wetlands, and rivers it is crossing through. Many of these streams carry anti-degradation criteria. The route will cut areas with steep slopes having a bigger impact on streams because of siltation and runoff. The new pipeline route will be crossing where the streams are wider than they were before, having a greater impact on streams and flood plains. Many of these streams are C1, meaning it will be impacting some of the highest water quality waterways in the state. Therefore the permit should not be granted."

"There are significant air quality impacts that have not been addressed regarding the pipeline and pumping stations. We do not believe the pipeline would meet the criteria for air quality permits. More than half of the pipeline route is going through public open space. This is land paid for by the tax payers and held in the public trust. This pipeline is going through historic areas and past historic sites. There are areas where General Washington and his army camped and marched including a road that is still intact from the colonial time right outside Lambertville. This pipeline deliberately targets waterways, environmentally sensitive areas and parks. The permit should be rejected."

"This pipeline is unneeded and unnecessary. There are other pipelines that are permitted or being built along the same route, like Transco, Columbia and TGP. The pipeline will not save consumers money or create jobs, instead it will create negative economic impacts. The pipeline cuts through scenic areas and farmlands impacting tourism and the arts. The tourism industry in the Delaware Valley is worth billions of dollars, impacting communities like Lambertville and Frenchtown. The pipeline runs through preserved farmland impacting soil and crops hurting farms financially. The agriculture and fishing industry will be impacted, both are worth hundreds of millions of dollars. For 98 jobs we will ruin the Delaware Valley and all people love about it."

"We are having this hearing tonight to get on the record for why PennEast pipeline should never be approved. If this was a proposed roadway it could never pass an environmental review, but yet FERC is moving forward with this destructive pipeline. The people are here to tell you why this pipeline should never be built. It is supposed to be a hearing, but FERC are you listening?"

"The PennEast pipeline will have devastating environmental impacts, cutting a scar through environmentally sensitive land and open spaces. This pipeline will promote fracking, add to air pollution, and safety concerns to the surrounding communities. In spite of what PennEast says the new pipeline route is worse environmentally because it will be cutting through areas that are more environmentally sensitive including more open space, historic sites, and parkland. All together this pipeline will be cutting through 39 parks, 88 waterways, 44 wetlands, and 33 farms and other open space areas. Also Tetra Tech who is supposed to be independent, is putting together the scoping comments. They are part of the Marcellus Shale Coalition. The Marcellus Shale Coalition supports this project. Also UGI, one of the partners in this project is a member of the Coalition as well. How can the public get a fair hearing when the house is against us and the deck is stacked?"

"This is a threat to the Delaware Valley, our communities, and our homes. This is about the environment and safety. The only option is no build option. This is a scoping meeting with the scope of this project being a disaster in the making. This project should be denied," said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.

Toni Granato
Administrative Assistant
New Jersey Sierra Club
office:(609) 656-7612