Press Releases

DEP Rejects PennEast Pipeline Application as Deficient

2a3d1358115d6327ff43_Sierra.jpg
2a3d1358115d6327ff43_Sierra.jpg

The DEP has rejected PennEast Pipeline’s application for water permits. This is a major setback because they have told PennEast that they do not have enough information for them to evaluate land use permits and their application is deficient. PennEast has applied for their 401 Water Certificate and other water and wetlands permits. Since 65 percent of the route has yet to be surveyed, the DEP said they do not have enough information for any of these approvals. This letter is important because DEP permits are required for PennEast to build this damaging pipeline so will prevent them from moving forward.

“The DEP rejection letter to PennEast Pipeline for water permits is not only big news, it is a major setback. This rejection could delay approval to the next Governor, who can help kill this project. Not only has DEP rejected PennEast’s application because it is deficient, but given all the missing information, it could take it up to a year for them to file again. By applying for these permits without adequate or accurate information, it was just a con game by PennEast and all hurts their application with the DRBC,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “PennEast wanted to rush through the process, but DEP is stopping them in their tracks. This shows that PennEast is doing is trying to bluff and buster to push this project through and DEP rejected that. DEP’s deficiency letter shows that FERC should have never released the final EIS in the first place. This because of all of missing information, lies and misinformation. How can FERC’s EIS be considered final with all of PennEast missing information? Not only has DEP come out against them because of lack of information, but also the Army Corps. This shows the whole EIS process is a sham.”

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. The DEP requires ample surveys of the private land the company plans to utilize. However, without this information NJDEP would not allow the project to go forward. The Department also listed the various other commissions that PennEast must comply with for approvals and exceptions.

Sign Up for E-News

“DEP told them there was not enough information and 65 percent of the route has yet to be surveyed. This shows what we are doing is working because by not allowing PennEast on your property and blocking them from surveying, now PennEast doesn’t have enough information to move forward,” said Jeff Tittel. “In order to get a DEP wetlands permit, PennEast needs an exact map of the wetlands, a shape of the wetlands, how much will be impacted, which is the same for the wetlands buffers. They need an accurate map of the stream and their buffers for the Water Quality Certificate. They also need an accurate map of stream corridors and buffers for Flood Hazard permits. More importantly they need access the water quality for all of these impacts. They do not have accurate surveys for the 8 major streams and 40 tributaries. They do not even know what threatened and endangered species are on the property.”

PennEast has not yet been able to prove they can get necessary permits for construction and operation that they are applying for. The pipeline would damage important waterways, including the Delaware River. We believe that 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 pipeline would threaten the entire Valley including 91 acres of wetlands and over 44 miles of forest; over 1,600 acres total.

“By applying for these permits without the required information, it is part of PennEast’s arrogance because they never even walked the pipeline route, had access to get the required information, or did the proper surveys. This means they do not have permission to fill in these streams or put in the pipe,” said Jeff Tittel. “The DEP letter is another in a long list of governmental agencies that have issues with this pipeline. The Army Corps, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, DRBC all said PennEast doesn’t have enough surveys and is missing critical information. The Ratepayer Advocate even said PennEast is an unnecessary cost to ratepayers. Given all the critical streams and water supply resources PennEast is crossing, DEP should not be able to grant them a 401 Water Quality Certificate, which was how the Constitution pipeline was stopped in New York. Without getting the 401 water quality certificate, FERC cannot move forward with this pipeline either.”

The PennEast Pipeline violates the Clean Water Act and cannot meet the criteria for 404 permits either.  The DRBC controls the region within the river basin and manages water quality, withdrawals, droughts, floods, conservation and permitting for the river and its tributaries. The surface water withdrawal and discharge permit that PennEast has applied for to the DRBC would allow them to conduct hydrostatic testing and horizontal directional drilling, which is a method of boring to install underground pipe beneath bodies of water, roads or other environmentally sensitive areas. The DRBC should deny PennEast a docket because their EIS is so incomplete. 

“It is important DEP has rejected PennEast’s application because without DEP this pipeline cannot be built no matter what FERC does. FERC or DEP still have not even looked at PennEast’s greenhouse gas emissions, which would be 49 million metric tons per year. Again this is another setback along with agencies like Army Corps, DRBC, the Ratepayer Advocate, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife having problems with their application. What doesn’t PennEast get about getting the FERC out of our Valley? We’d like to see PennEast spin their way out of this one,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “Together we can get this pipeline rejected and tell PennEast to get the FERC out of here. That is why we must continue to deny them survey access and keep them the FERC off our land.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Franklin Township

Franklin Township: Tips for a Stress-Free Tax Season

February 22, 2018

Earlier is better when it comes to working on your taxes but many people find preparing their tax return to be stressful and frustrating. Fortunately, it doesn't have to be. Here are six tips for a stress-free tax season.

Don't Procrastinate. Resist the temptation to put off your taxes until the very last minute. Your haste to meet the filing deadline may cause you to overlook ...

Following Florida Massacre, EB Schools Add Armed Officers to Security

February 17, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - At a meeting Thursday night, the East Brunswick board of Education unanimously approved a resolution to engage the East Brunswick Police department to place armed police officers at each school building in the district throughout the entire school day.  

In a report released by superintendent Victor Valeski yesterday, township officials asserted that the move ...

Bernards Police Locate Body of Township Teen in Wooded Area

BERNARDS TWP., NJ -  Bernards Township Police announced late Thursday afternoon that the body of a 19-year-old township resident, Lydia Comtois, had been located in a wooded area of Liberty Corner following a search by personnel and volunteers from numerous public safety organizations. 

A preliminary investigation indicated the young woman's death was not deemed to ...

Filthy, dangerous conditions, theft and assault alleged at recently-opened Newark shelter

Newark, NJ—Antoinette Jackson, Sonya Webb and Andrea Eaddy sit in a McDonald’s on a cold winter morning, not far from the homeless shelter they currently call home.

During the day, they count on places like McDonald's to stay warm. They must leave the shelter at 7 a.m. and can only return after 4 p.m., even when temperatures drop below freezing.

When the ...

Following Florida Massacre, EB Schools Add Armed Officers to Security

February 17, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - At a meeting Thursday night, the East Brunswick board of Education unanimously approved a resolution to engage the East Brunswick Police department to place armed police officers at each school building in the district throughout the entire school day.  

In a report released by superintendent Victor Valeski yesterday, township officials asserted that the move ...

Bernards Police Locate Body of Township Teen in Wooded Area

BERNARDS TWP., NJ -  Bernards Township Police announced late Thursday afternoon that the body of a 19-year-old township resident, Lydia Comtois, had been located in a wooded area of Liberty Corner following a search by personnel and volunteers from numerous public safety organizations. 

A preliminary investigation indicated the young woman's death was not deemed to ...

Filthy, dangerous conditions, theft and assault alleged at recently-opened Newark shelter

Newark, NJ—Antoinette Jackson, Sonya Webb and Andrea Eaddy sit in a McDonald’s on a cold winter morning, not far from the homeless shelter they currently call home.

During the day, they count on places like McDonald's to stay warm. They must leave the shelter at 7 a.m. and can only return after 4 p.m., even when temperatures drop below freezing.

When the ...

Somerville Merchants Endorse Plan to Reduce Parking Lot Fees

February 21, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – The Borough’s controversial parking fees are set to undergo another revision, with hourly parking reduced from 75 to 50 cents in municipal lots 1,2,4 and 6, according to a merchant-driven plan endorsed by Mayor Ellen Brain.

The $1 hourly rate for parking on Main Street will remain the same, according to the mayor.

The hours of enforcement will also be changed to ...

Whole Foods in Bridgewater to Officially Open Doors March 21

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Whole Foods Market Bridgewater, the first Somerset County location for the retailer, will officially open its doors on Chimney Rock Road March 21.

According to a release from the company, the 49,000-square-foot store will open at 9 a.m., and there will be prize giveaways, special sales and product demonstrations and samples.

"We can't wait to serve Bridgewater and ...

Somerville Grieves Over Death of Jerome Gonzalez, a Modern-Day Renaissance Man

 

SOMERVILLE, NJ - Jerome Luiz Gonzalez, a devoted father, artist, author and the heart and soul of the burgeoning downtown arts community, died early Saturday morning, Feb. 17 pursuing another one of his passions, competing in an endurance race in North Carolina.

A 1992 graduate of Somerville High School and a resident of Bridgewater, he was 44.

The obituary provided by Cusick ...

Somerville Merchants Endorse Plan to Reduce Parking Lot Fees

February 21, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – The Borough’s controversial parking fees are set to undergo another revision, with hourly parking reduced from 75 to 50 cents in municipal lots 1,2,4 and 6, according to a merchant-driven plan endorsed by Mayor Ellen Brain.

The $1 hourly rate for parking on Main Street will remain the same, according to the mayor.

The hours of enforcement will also be changed to ...

Whole Foods in Bridgewater to Officially Open Doors March 21

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Whole Foods Market Bridgewater, the first Somerset County location for the retailer, will officially open its doors on Chimney Rock Road March 21.

According to a release from the company, the 49,000-square-foot store will open at 9 a.m., and there will be prize giveaways, special sales and product demonstrations and samples.

"We can't wait to serve Bridgewater and ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

AtlantiCast Medical Minute: Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center

On this episode of the AtlantiCast Medical Minute, we’ll take you inside the Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center, with the center’s director, Jason Lowenstein, MD.

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M7euCp86-c

AtlantiCast Episode 011

Breaking Atlantic Health System news on this week’s AtlantiCast! Plus, find out why Morristown Medical Center is one of the best hospitals in the nation when it comes to recovering from joint surgery, see the newest center for fighting brain cancer and an Atlantic Health System red-carpet premiere!