TRENTON, NJ - Following the state Department of Environmental Protection's decision to reject a permit application submitted by PennEast that is necessary for construction to begin, state Sen. Christopher “Kip” Bateman urged homeowners to stand strong in opposition to the pipeline.
“The DEP made the right call. It is astounding that PennEast would even attempt to file an application, when 70 percent of property owners refused to let the company survey their land,” Bateman (R-16) said. “I strongly urge every homeowner to remember that PennEast has no legal right to trespass on your property. Don’t back down now. We could be 30 days away from winning this fight. The DEP’s ruling proves that PennEast can’t build this pipeline unless we let them.”
On Wednesday, the DEP ruled that PennEast’s application for water permits was incomplete because the company could not survey the majority of the route due to landowner opposition in New Jersey.
According to the DEP, the project cannot move forward without site-specific information needed to assess the impact the pipeline will have on wetlands and transition areas along the route; information that the DEP says cannot be retrieved without owner consent or the authority to condemn.
The agency has given PennEast 30 days to provide the necessary information to complete the application.
The proposed pipeline would carry natural gas along a 118-mile route from Pennsylvania to Mercer County, New Jersey. The 36-inch pipe would cut over the Delaware River and through some of the most environmentally sensitive areas in New Jersey.
Ever since the project was announced, Bateman has stood alongside local residents and organizations that remain concerned about the damage it would do to the community.
“The DEP clearly will not tolerate PennEast’s brazen attempts to blow past the basic steps required by law to gain approval. Neither should we.”
Bateman added. “Stopping construction of a pipeline that will cause irreversible damage to the environment and our communities is simple. Tell PennEast to stay off your land.”