The companies advancing the PennEast pipeline project announced Monday the pipeline project had been canceled.
The statement, published by Reuters and other news outlets, reads: “Although PennEast received a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessitty from FERC to construct the proposed pipeline and obtained some required permits, PennEast has not received certain permits, including a water quality certification and other wetlands permits under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act for the New Jersey portion of the Project; therefore the PennEast partners, following extensive evaluation and discussion, recently determined further development of the Project no longer is supported. Accordingly, PennEast has ceased all further development of the Project.”
PennEast submitted its initial application to the Federal Energy Commission (FERC) in 2014.
The PennEast Pipeline, according to a company website, originated in Dallas, Luzerne County, in northeastern Pennsylvania, and would terminate at Transco’s pipeline interconnection near Pennington, Mercer County, N.J. (approximately one-third of the route is located in New Jersey). A short portion would go through Durham Township in Bucks County.
The plan was progressing through Pennsylvania but met strong opposition at the Delaware River, where the multi-state Delaware River Basin Commission banned fracking in the watershed and New Jersey had consistently opposed the pipeline.
Hunterdon County, N.J. was especially affected by the pipeline. Hunterdon County Board of Commissioners Director Susan J. Soloway sent a statement on Tuesday: “Hunterdon County’s commissioners, our local officials, and our residents whose properties were threatened by eminent domain all welcome PennEast’s decision to halt the project.
“Over 50 Hunterdon County farmland easements, paid for by the taxpayers, were under threat of being taken for the pipeline project, a move the county board has opposed for many years.”
Soloway said, “PennEast made the right decision for Hunterdon County farms and other property owners and to protect preserved farmland.”
“We knew we would get here eventually, it was just a matter of time,” said Maya van Rossum, leader of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network.
“Organizations like the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Berks Gas Truth, Environment NJ, NJ Sierra and Clean Water Action, have been partnering with frontline organizations, community leaders, property owners, and environmental advocates literally since day one.
Van Rossum noted that community groups opposed to the pipeline have been popping up along the over 120-mile-long line. “We have advocated, litigated, conducted critical scientific groundtruthing, and been clear throughout that we would accept nothing short of cancellation,” she said.
Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement:
“Activists are cheering upon the recent news that the sponsors of the PennEast project, a more than $1 billion investment that would have delivered Pennsylvania-produced natural gas into markets in New Jersey, have cancelled the project. Let’s be clear: this is no victory – not for ratepayers, who are now lacking a reliable source of gas and electricity; not for the economy, which is now out several thousand well-paying construction jobs at a time when the economy continues to struggle; and not for the environment, as this obstruction results in the mid-Atlantic being more reliant on imported fuels from foreign nations that do not have our strict environmental standards.”
– U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) today released the following statement after PennEast announced it was halting plans to construct the PennEast pipeline, which was a proposed 116-mile pipeline project from Luzerne County, Pa. to Mercer, County, N.J.
U.S Sen. Pat Toomey commented in an email message, “Instead of moving forward on a sensible, shovel-ready infrastructure project – which would lower energy bills for consumers and manufacturers across eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey – Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration abused their authority to impose interminable delays and impede the construction of the PennEast pipeline. In addition to costing jobs and hiking up energy costs, these misguided actions stifle the development of a critical natural resource that has helped drive U.S. carbon dioxide emissions down to their lowest level in 30 years.”