PA DEP Close to Issuing Final Permits for PennEast Pipe

Some 77 miles of PennEast Pipeline’s $1 billion, 120-mile primarily 36-inch underground pipeline is slated to run through Pennsylvania. The rest runs through New Jersey. In February of this year the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) published draft versions of Erosion and Sediment Control Permits for the project. Just one teeny tiny problem: The DEP screwed up the application number in their official posting in the PA Bulletin. So the DEP has just republished their intent to issue the permits–very soon–in the latest PA Bulletin.
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PennEast Pipe – A Study in Rationality vs. Irrationality

Last Wednesday MDN told you that PennEast Pipeline, a $1+ billion new greenfield pipeline project from Luzerne County, PA to Mercer County, NJ, was close to resubmitting an application for the project with the New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection (see PennEast Pipe Readies Revised NJ Freshwater Wetlands Permit). The very next day, on Thursday, PennEast filed the reworked application. An article chronicling the new application is instructive in the pipeline debate–pointing out the positions of those in favor and those against.
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PennEast Pipe Readies Revised NJ Freshwater Wetlands Permit

PennEast Pipeline is a $1 billion (or $1.2 billion, depending on the source) new greenfield pipeline project from Luzerne County, PA to Mercer County, NJ. PennEast will flow PA Marcellus gas to markets in NJ. The project has faced numerous lawsuits and regulatory blockades, much of it in NJ. We won’t recount all of the ins and outs. What we will tell you is that PennEast is about to overcome another such government blockade by submitting a new Freshwater Wetlands Permit application to the NJ Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP).
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Updates for PennEast & Adelphia Gateway Pipeline Projects

Two important pipeline projects, PennEast and Adelphia Gateway, are at various stages of approval. PennEast is a $1 billion (or $1.2 billion, depending on the source) new greenfield pipeline project from Luzerne County, PA to Mercer County, NJ. PennEast will flow PA Marcellus gas to markets in NJ. Adelphia Gateway is an old oil pipeline, already in the ground, that runs from Northampton County, PA through Bucks, Montgomery, and Chester counties, terminating in Delaware County at Marcus Hook. Adelphia will flow Marcellus gas to the Philadelphia region. PennEast was announced in 2014, and Adelphia in 2017. Neither has yet begun construction. What’s the status for each project?
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NJ Using Courts, “Historic” Sites to Block PennEast Pipeline

The anti-drilling zealots that populate the levers of power in New Jersey, along with their colluding Big Green compatriots, continue a holy mission to block PennEast Pipeline, a pipeline the majority of which will get built in Pennsylvania. Anti-pipeline nutters are attacking the project on several fronts, including in the courts, and by claiming the pipeline would affect nine “potential” historic sites along its path through NJ. Will federal courts and regulators fall for the ruse?
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3rd Circuit Court Grants NJ Request to Pause PennEast Pipe

Last December a federal judge in New Jersey upheld eminent domain power for PennEast Pipeline for ALL of NJ, where there are 136 holdout landowners who have refused to allow PennEast surveyors on their property (see Federal Court in NJ Grants PennEast Pipeline Eminent Domain). However, PennEast still isn’t totally out of the woods. The State of NJ appealed the decision because some of the land PennEast wants to build across belongs to the state (see NJ’s Dem AG Lectures Fed Judge re PennEast Eminent Domain).
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Williams Announces Transco Competitor to PennEast Pipe in NEPA

Did Williams just float an alternative/competitive pipeline to PennEast? Sure looks that way to us. On Friday Williams announced a binding open season to add 34 miles of looping pipeline next to existing Transco pipeline along with beefing up some of it’s compressor stations, in a bid to increase flows along the Transco from Luzerne County, PA (where PennEast would originate) to Mercer County, NJ (where PennEast would terminate).
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NJ’s Dem AG Lectures Fed Judge re PennEast Eminent Domain

NJ AG Gurbir Grewal

New Jersey’s radical Democrat Attorney General, Gurbir Grewal, is telling (off) a federal judge, telling him he erred in a recent decision that allows PennEast Pipeline to use the power of eminent domain to access 44 so-called “protected” properties owned by the Garden State (see Federal Court in NJ Grants PennEast Pipeline Eminent Domain).
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Federal Court in NJ Grants PennEast Pipeline Eminent Domain

Just last week MDN told you the first domino had fallen, when a federal judge in Pennsylvania granted the PennEast Pipeline project the right to survey and construct pipeline on a property in Carbon County, PA, the last landowner holdout in PA (see First Domino Falls: Judge Grants PennEast Pipe Eminent Domain). And now, not even a week later, the second domino has fallen. A federal judge in New Jersey on Friday upheld eminent domain power for PennEast for ALL of NJ, where there are 136 holdout landowners who have refused to allow PennEast surveyors on their property. PennEast still isn’t totally out of the woods. The project goes to court in D.C. on Dec. 21 to try and turn back a challenge by a radical environmental group that says the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission erred when it approved the project. Still, work will now begin, first to complete the surveys, then construction. The pipeline is on track to be built and running in 2019.
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First Domino Falls: Judge Grants PennEast Pipe Eminent Domain

It certainly seems as if the deck has been stacked against the PennEast Pipeline project, a $1 billion, 120-mile natgas pipeline that will stretch from northeast PA to the Trenton area of New Jersey. As we pointed out in November, DTE Energy’s NEXUS Pipeline, a 255-mile pipeline from Columbia County in Ohio to Southern Michigan, received its Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval around the same time PennEast did, about a year ago. NEXUS is already built and flowing, PennEast hasn’t turned the first shovelful of dirt yet. It’s been a real battle for PennEast (see The War to Build PennEast Pipeline Continues). However, things are finally beginning to look up. Last week a federal judge granted PennEast its first approval in a string of eminent domain cases, giving PennEast the right to enter and survey a property in Carbon County, PA. Mixing our metaphors, last week’s decision is the first domino falling, with the rest sure to follow.
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The War to Build PennEast Pipeline Continues

It’s been almost a year since the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted final approval for the PennEast Pipeline project, a $1 billion, 120-mile natgas pipeline that will stretch from northeast PA to the Trenton area of New Jersey (see FERC Grants Final Approval for PennEast Pipe – Real Battle Begins). DTE Energy’s NEXUS Pipeline, a 255-mile pipeline from Columbia County in Ohio to Southern Michigan, received its FERC approval around the same time. NEXUS is already built and flowing, PennEast hasn’t turned the first shovelful of dirt yet. What’s going on?
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Bumbling DRBC Doesn’t Know Who to Contact at FERC to Block PennEast

Talk about a dysfunctional mess…The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), a governmental organization remote-controlled by Big Green special interests, doesn’t even know how to communicate with another governmental organization–the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Earlier this year, at the prompting of radical groups like THE Delaware Riverkeeper, DRBC sent a request to FERC asking the agency to block any tree felling ahead of a final approval by DRBC for the PennEast Pipeline–even though FERC and NOT the DRBC is the authorizing agency for PennEast. FERC doesn’t have to wait for anybody for any of its decisions. Regardless, FERC does listen, especially to fellow governmental organizations. FERC gets a LOT of mail, email, etc. from complainers like the DRBC, so they have strict protocols in place for how other agencies and parties talk to it. DRBC should have sent their request to FERC Secretary Kimberly Bose (she’s held that position and has been the point person since 2007), but DRBC didn’t follow protocol. Instead, they just fired off their huffy demand to someone else in a different department, so their huffy demand never got considered. Totally blown off. Funny! And now DRBC is scrambling, attempting to cover up the fact they’re so dysfunctional they don’t their know their heads from their…we’ll just leave it at that…
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NJ Rate Counsel Asks Fed Court to Overturn PennEast Pipe Approval

Using taxpayer’s money, the New Jersey Division of Rate Counsel, an “independent” state agency that supposedly represents the interests of consumers of electric, natural gas, water/sewer, telecommunications, cable TV service, and insurance (residential, small business, commercial and industrial customers), has sued the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in federal court asking the court to overturn FERC’s approval of the PennEast Pipeline, a $1 billion, 120-mile natgas pipeline that will stretch from northeast PA to the Trenton, NJ area. Most of PennEast is located in PA, but the pipeline terminates and flows gas into NJ. The Rate Counsel appears to be a rogue agency using taxpayer’s money to try and defeat a project that will benefit those very taxpayers. NJ residents pay some of the highest taxes in the country. Now we know why…
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FERC Rejects PennEast Pipe Rehearing Request – Antis Sue

Elvis – song & dance

Last Friday the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) denied a rehearing request by radical enviro groups with respect to the PennEast Pipeline project. That is, FERC said “we’re sticking with our original decision to approve the project.” In January, FERC voted 4-1 to approve the $1 billion, 120-mile natgas pipeline that will stretch from northeast PA to the Trenton area of New Jersey (see FERC Grants Final Approval for PennEast Pipe – Real Battle Begins). FERC Commissioner Richard “Dick” Glick voted against the project claiming it will lead to more man-made global warming. But the other Dem FERC Commissioner, Cheyl LaFleur, voted to approve it–at least in January. In Friday’s “order on rehearing” LaFleur flipped and said she’s had second thoughts about the project. She voted “in part” to rehear the original decision. Glick voted to rehear. Bottom line: both LaFleur and Glick want to kill the PennEast project. That’s the upshot of Friday’s FERC communication. Unfortunately FERC Commissioner Rob Powelson has abandoned us and we will now face a 2-2 deadlock on key decisions like this one for the foreseeable future–because Senate Democrats will block a vote on a new, third, Republican member of the Commission until after the November election. Thanks Rob. The radical anti groups that filed the rehearing request–THE Delaware Riverkeeper (aka Maya van Rossum) and the NJ Sierra Club (aka Jeff Tittel)–immediately filed lawsuits with the Washington, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The antis could only take their case to court once FERC had denied a rehearing request. That’s the song and dance routine we must go through on the way to fighting to build every square inch of any new pipeline project in the northeast. Pipeline company files application, FERC approves, radical groups request a rehearing, rehearing denied, lawsuit filed. That’s the formula that plays out over and over again. Below is a copy of FERC’s approval along with details about antis filing their lawsuits…
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Riverkeeper Too Late to Challenge Penn East Pipe Water Certificate

In Feb. 2017, THE Delaware Riverkeeper filed a lawsuit challenging water permits issued by PA for the PennEast Pipeline (see PennEast Pipeline Gets 401 Water Quality Certificate from PA DEP). Riverkeeper filed their challenge late, arguing it was confused over where to file the challenge–in federal or state court. Commonwealth Court told Riverkeeper nice try, but no cigar. Last Wednesday Commonwealth Court told Riverkeeper, “you’re too late.” The court said Riverkeeper’s “confusion” over where they should file is not justification for filing WAY past the deadline to challenge the permit. We doubt Riverkeeper even thought this particular lawsuit (one of dozens they’ve launched against PennEast) would bear fruit. This is just one more instance of Riverkeeper’s “throw it against the wall and see what sticks” legal strategy. This particular handful fell to the ground…
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