9/30/2014 - PennEast Pipeline & Related Information

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7/17/15

Ecosystem services lost to oil and gas in North America

http://lowerdelawarewildandscenic.org/ecosystem.htm

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6-3-15

West Amwell CAP Updates

Some good news, and how you can help!

We've been busy at West Amwell CAP for the past couple of weeks and have a number of items to share.

As always if you have any questions or comments please email us atwestamwellcap@gmail.com.  

5-18-15


Two Agencies Need to Hear From You Today on the PennEast Pipeline Threat

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is being inundated by post cards urging construction of the PennEast Pipeline – all in response to a slick ad campaign by the companies building the project. They are trying to drown out the voices of the concerned and impacted public. We need your comment to help make sure that the voices of the people are the ones that are heard.

The Delaware River Basin Commission has asked for joint hearings on the PennEast Pipeline along with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Perhaps the DRBC thought they were making life easier for folks by there only being one hearing. But the true outcome is that the public will have less of a chance to be heard. Help us make sure the public has a real opportunity to speak to the DRBC about the impacts the PennEast Pipeline will have on the water resources we all depend upon.

Go to www.delawareriverkeeper.org and look for these two key PennEast pipeline action alerts — both up on the front page under urgent actions.

The pipeline battles happening today are dictating the path of all future pipeline battles and the energy future of our nation. Please, take a moment now to be heard.

4/31/15 - 

PennEast: Stop trying to deceive the press and the public

by michaelspille

This post is the basis for a scoping comment I'll be sending into FERC shortly....

A recent story by the Bucks County Herald highlighted landowner dissatisfaction with you, PennEast LLC, and quoted several landowners in the area who were unhappy with their interactions with the company.  When asked for comment your spokes person, Patricia Kornick, responded that “The vocal voices of the few should not be construed as the overall perception”:

http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/launch.aspx?pbid=8cfa36d5-b00d-43c3-8fac-398cf2b87549&pnum=5

The article is on page 5 entitled “Residents Disappointed in private meetings with PennEast”.

Ms. Kornicks’ comment could not be further from the truth, and there is no doubt at all that she is aware of this.  Ms. Kornick, and by extension you, PennEast, have been engaged in a strategy of deceit with residents for months since this project was announced.  And it’s got to end.

As one of the landowners quoted in the article I take great offense at Ms. Kornicks’s comment, and ask you, PennEast, to issue a retraction for this self-serving and factually incorrect remark, and apologize everyone who is being impacted by this proposal.  Furthermore I ask that the FERC should rebuke PennEast and punish them for such behavior to the fullest extent allowable by their regulatory powers.

Your representatives are working to deceive and mislead the public during a critical regulatory time such as the FERC pre-filing period is not only ethically bankrupt but I suspect also against several federal regulations.

Now if Ms. Kornick genuinely believed that only a “few” people were unhappy with PennEast, and against the pipeline in general, then perhaps that could be forgiven.  But the facts are heavily you.

To date survey permission has been granted by only 30% of the properties affected in NJ.  This number is not mine, it comes directly from your regulatory filings.  And this is despite the full-court press your company has made to get survey permission in any way they can.  Since my land has fallen within the survey corridor I have been asked four times for survey permission, and refused at every one.  Every time I talk to PennEast or the land agents this topic comes up.  And I am lucky to have such a low number.  Many people have rejected far more requests.

And despite all this pressure from you, and despite the incredibly high stakes that are being waged here, 70% of residents are still saying “No” to PennEast.

In America we don’t call 70% a “few”.  We call that a super-majority and it’s almost unheard of.

In addition to this, every town in NJ through which the pipeline is proposed to pass has issued a formal resolution against the pipeline.  Every.  Single.  One.  Not one or two. Not a “few”.  100% of them.  Not only that, towns miles away from the route have also past the same resolutions.  This again is an unprecedented display of municipal solidarity.

I attended the scoping meeting Holland Township back in February.  The room was packed to capacity.  The parking lot filled up, people had to park along the highway and eventually just gave up or were turned away.  Of all the people who came to speak, only two spoke in favor of PennEast.  Two.  All of the other dozens of people who spoke were against the pipeline.  People from all stations and walks of life.  Mayors, local leaders.  Presidents of conservation movements from both the area and nationally.  Farmers.  Lawyers.  Scientists.  Software developers.  Graphic artists.  Retirees.  We all rose up and we all let you, PennEast, know in no uncertain terms that you were not wanted, not needed, and no one believed a word you were saying.

Oh, and the two people I mentioned in favor of PennEast?  One was an energy company executive, the other a member of the pipe fitters union.

All of this was seen first hand by Alisa Harris of your company, and you received the FERC transcripts as well.

And the Holland meeting was the laid back one.  I’ve seen video and heard descriptions of the West Trenton scoping meeting and it was an order of magnitude more hostile to PennEast than the Holland one was!

I see the numbers from my own personal blog about the pipeline, thecostofthepipeline.com.  This is a modest effort on my part with no advertising, no media exposure, not massive campaign behind it.  It’s just me, speaking out in opposition to PennEast, spreading by word of mouth and grass roots.  My modest web site has had thousands upon thousands of visitors since it started only a few months ago.

Not a few.  Thousands.

And I’m small potatoes.  The Concerned Citizens Against the Pipeline have a website page called, appropriately enough, Stop the PennEast Pipeline.  That page has 2,347 “likes”.  Since its inception it has reached 270,000 unique users with its content. In total it has registered a whopping 985,000 Facebook impressions - nearly a million!

And, most impressive, 27,000 unique users have registered as “engaged” with that content - that is people who have actively gone and explored or interacted with the site.

I’ll note that these are all what are known as “organic” numbers.  No money is exchanged with anyone to get all these views and hits.  It’s all individuals interested in knowing more about your pipeline and how to fight it.

On the FERC site there are over 1,300 submissions containing in aggregate over 3,000 comments.  The vast majority of them are obviously from people hostile the pipeline and criticizing the route, the justification, the environmental dangers it poses, the risks to our drinking water, and the contamination of our culture and values in a highly rural set of communities.

These are not a “few” people, Ms. Kornick.  The numbers we’re talking about are tens of thousands of people, and you know it.

Look at this mountain of evidence and tell me how on Earth Ms. Koranick can say “The vocal voices of the few should not be construed as the overall perception”?

In closing I will re-iterate my requests to both PennEast and the FERC.  PennEast, please immediately issue a retraction of Ms. Kornick’s statement and apologize to the thousands of us who are united in opposition to your company.  And continue that trend by telling us the truth from now.  Stop your campaign of deceit against innocent landowners and residents.  Tell the truth and perhaps you will gain some measure of respect and a tiny, incremental piece of trust.

To the FERC I ask you to sanction PennEast to the maximum extent allowable by statute for their pattern of willfully trying to deceive the public and landowners while they are operating within a federal regulatory review process.  I still have some faith in our federal government and i hope to God you will not grant approval to a company who bases their entire strategy on deception and sleight of hand.

WAT Pipeline Committee

 


 

4/30/15 - Residents should be aware what co-location really means in our area. It's not squeezing into the existing JCP&L cuts, It's dramatically widening those cuts both for construction and the permanent right of ways.

http://thecostofthepipeline.com/2015/04/29/why-co-location-isnt-a-panacea/

 


 

The Delaware Riverkeeper Network and Berks Gas Truth are hosting two sessions of a special training focused on landowner issues. The first will be on Monday, April 27th at 6:30 and the second will be on Thursday, April 30th at 7:00.

Anne Marie Garti, a founder of “Stop the Pipeline” and a volunteer lawyer representing “Stop the Pipeline” through the Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic, will lead the training.

We're asking that you register for the training. On the form, you'll be able to select which session you plan to attend. The same material will be covered in both. We'll send call-in information to all who register.

Register here! bit.ly/LandownerTraining

 


 

Please see the attached for West Amwell's comments to FERC on the recent PennEast response to the scoping comments. We were not represented correctly, if at all.

Please note that FERC is still accepting written/electronic comments. Please send your concerns.

We have been advised that the pipeline route may be changing again. The map and information will be sent as soon as we receive it.

Please let us know that you are receiving these updates.

WAT Pipeline Committee

Please see the attached comment from a West Amwell resident which was sent to FERC. This comment gives some excellent data and points of view. We all need to continue to send more letters to FERC, whether extensive and well researched as this one or a simple letter stating you simply do not want the pipeline in our community (for the negative effects on the environment, water, agriculture, etc.)  Please seewww.westamwelltwp.org for suggested talking points. FERC is still accepting comments. The FERC Commissioner has already stated, “We have a situation here”, regarding critics of the pipeline and the amount of comments received against the pipeline. There is unprecedented pressure on FERC to choose the “no build” option for the PennEast pipeline.

We are a stronger force when we stand together. Please keep sending letters to FERC.

Also, please visit the blog by the same resident. It is excellent.

https://thecostofthepipeline.wordpress.com/

PennEast recently sent to FERC their “Response to Scoping Comments.” It basically is boilerplate and does not address any of our special concerns, see attached.  The report ignored many of West Amwell’s comments and the comments of residents along the entire route of the proposed pipeline.  We are preparing a rebuttal to PennEast’s report to send to FERC.  If you sent in a scoping comment and do not see your name listed in all of the appropriate places, please let FERC know about this.

Also two recent articles worth reading:

http://planetprinceton.com/2015/03/16/transco-leidy-southeast-expansion-project-on-hold-until-federal-court-reviews-case/

http://www.mcall.com/news/local/sauconvalley/mc-lower-saucon-0218-20150218-story.html

Thank you.

West Amwell Township Pipeline Committee

FERC Has Announced the Scoping Sessions for the PennEast Pipeline Project

Please Plan to Attend and State Your Concerns about PennEast and tell them about the many ways your community will be impacted.

Environmental, health, safety, economic, aesthetic, property values and quality of life issues are all among the issues that should be discussed and raised.

FERC describes the meetings as follows:

"The purpose of these scoping meetings is to provide the public an opportunity to learn more about the Commission?s environmental review process, and to verbally comment on the Project.  Each scoping meeting will start at 6:00 pm and representatives from PennEast will be present one hour prior to the start of each meeting to answer questions about the Project.

Affected landowners and interested groups and individuals are encouraged to attend the scoping meetings and present comments on the issues they believe should be addressed in the EIS.  A transcript of each meeting will be added to the Commission’s administrative record to ensure that your comments are accurately recorded.”

The meeting schedule is as follows:

  • Jan 27, 6:00 pm: College of New Jersey, 2000 Pennington Road, Ewing, NJ 08628
  • Jan 28, 6:00 pm: Bucks County Community College, 275 Swamp Road, Newtown, PA 18940
  • Feb 10, 6:00 pm: Northampton Community College, 3835 Green Pond Rd, Bethlehem, PA 18020
  • Feb 11, 6:00 pm: Penn’s Peak, 325 Maury Road, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229
  • Feb 12, 6:00 pm: Best Western Hotel & Conference Center, 77 E Market St, Wilkes-Barre, PA

To Learn More About Penneast:http://bit.ly/DRN-StopPennEast or www.stoppenneast.org

To Learn More About the Impacts of Pipelines - Expert reports and videos: http://bit.ly/DRN-PipelineInfo

Want to print the schedule out and share it with a friend?

Go to: http://www.delawareriverkeeper.org/Documents/PennEast%20Scoping%20Schedule.pdf

Dear Residents,

As many of you may already know, PennEast is now proposing an alternate route and has made clear this alternate is now the primary route. West Amwell Township has not advocated nor has agreed to this alternate route. Those of you on the original route should have received a letter explaining the change. Please don’t be misled by this change. Although this is now their primary it does not mean it can’t change again in the future. Unfortunately, FERC has given us very little time to research and address all the potential issues with the alternate route. However, Cathy Urbanski, our Chair of the Pipeline committee and Chair of the West Amwell Township Environmental Commission, has reviewed the proposal and reviewed all the environmental and geological data we have available at the township to submit our concerns.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)

There are actions you can take to help protect our community. Listed below are specifics. Please make every effort to help support your neighbors and community in this fight.

Send FERC the attached letter for a 120 day extension of the scoping period for the PennEast Pipeline Project and additional scoping meetings in NJ:

FERC has announced the scoping meetings for this project. There is one meeting proposed for NJ. We hope with enough requests from residents we can get a 120 day extension and additional meetings for NJ.

Currently: Tuesday January 27th

Location: College of NJ

2000 Pennington Rd.

Ewing, NJ

Keep sending letters to FERC letting them know your opposition to the project.

This pressure we’ve placed on FERC proving them with data on our township and our concerns is helping. Please keep pushing and ask your neighbors to send letters.

The pre-filing docket#PF15-1 must be stated in the subject line of your letter and can be submitted using the following link, https://ferconline.ferc.gov/QuickComment.aspx.

Keep sending letters to our politicians.

They are elected to represent us the voters and help to protect our communities. The political pressures are working. Senator Turner has proposed a resolution to oppose this project and needs our help. Please send letters to Senator Raymond Lesniak and request resolution SR99 be placed on the agenda of the Senate Economic Growth Committee for consideration.

Email: senlesniak@gmail.com

Put a sign on your lawn showing your support for your community

There are signs available at the township building or if you wish send us an email and we will try to drop off at your house. PLEASE ask your neighbors to also put up signs. The more support we show the stronger we are as a community.

Stay informed and ask questions

Our committee has set up a separate email for the residents (westamwellpipelinecommittee@gmail.com) to address your questions regarding the pipeline. Please feel free to contact us with your questions. If you’ve been contacted by PennEast, please let us know and we’ll send you information on your rights as the landowner. Just because they can declare eminent domain does not mean you don’t have rights. You do and we are here to help. 

Sign the petition to stop the pipeline:

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/stop-the-penneast-pipeline?source=s.em.mt&r_by=11307996

This is what pipeline construction looks like:

http://www.wolfenotes.com/2011/08/this-is-what-gas-pipeline-construction-looks-like-part-1-of-2/

Email FERC:

Email FERC – Draft your email message and use the following link to the ecomment feature of the FERC website.  Be sure to include the Pre-filing Docket Number, Docket #PF15-1! 

https://ferconline.ferc.gov/QuickComment.aspx  

Sample Message:

Dear FERC Commissioners:

Subject: Comment on Docket # PF15-1

I urge the FERC Commission to reject the proposal by PennEast to construct a brand new pipeline through environmentally sensitive and publicly preserved portions of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  We do not need this unnecessary infrastructure in our states to carry polluting fracked gas.  This project is not in the public interest as additional gas supplies are not needed in New Jersey and will not even be offered to impacted communities.  This project will result in the destruction of our wetlands, waterways, and forests merely to increase profits for the gas industry.  I urge you to refuse to allow the PennEast project to move forward.

Additional Talking Points:

This Project is NOT in the Public Interest

• The pipeline project will endanger families and the environment to transport fossil fuels and support the fracking industry.  

• The project does not preserve our natural resources; instead it will encourage significant negative impacts to important waterways, critical habitat, farmlands, wetlands and forests.

Production of gas in the Marcellus Shale is predicted to exceed use in the Mid-Atlantic region within two years.  This line is being pushed by the drillers to move their supply, not based on public need.

The Project would have Significant Adverse Impacts on:

• Water Quality and Water Supply: the pipeline crosses through the Delaware River watershed which provide drinking water for millions in New Jersey and Pennsylvania;

• Channel Stability: increased erosion from clearings;

• Threatened and Endangered Species; and

Drainage and Compaction of Soils.

Pipelines Are Under-regulated & Poorly Maintained

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA) only has 135 inspectors to oversee 2.6 million miles of pipeline. PHMSA or its state partners have inspected only one fifth of that pipeline system since 2006. In the past ten years, gas transmission lines average 117 incidents a year, according to PHMSA.  In the past twenty years there have been 41 deaths, 195 injuries, and $1.6 billion in property damage as a result.

PennEast has already announced its intention to increase the size of the pipe to be used in its project from a 30” to a 36” pipe in order to increase the amount of gas (and its profits) that will travel through our communities. In New Jersey, pipeline explosions in Edison and last year in Ewing have led to the loss of life, homes, businesses and peace of mind. In 2011, a UGI Utilities Inc. -operated pipeline in Allentown, PA exploded, killing five local residents and destroying or damaging 47 homes/businesses. Local residents will be put in harm’s way by the mere location of their homes and businesses within the “kill zone” if a pipeline explodes.

The PennEast Pipeline route cuts through preserved farmland impairing the livelihood of local farmers and unjustly benefits private companies by allowing them to skim profits from local farmers who chose to preserve their farms by sacrificing profitable development rights.

The proposed pipeline will uproot trees; contaminate quality topsoil, cut through existing cold springs/water sources and inevitably damage existing successful farms in our region. The route appears to target preserved farmland and will impede farming operations and farmers access to their own land.

The PennEast Pipeline route targets conserved land and seek to trump local and state investments in open space preservation.

Delaware Township, neighboring communities, county and state voters have proactively chosen to vote for and pay for conserved open space for our children’s future. What gives for-profit corporations the right to take our investment away from us to further their profit margins, particularly where there is no public need for the project?

Clean Energy Alternatives

Instead of investing in long term infrastructure for more fossil fuels, we need to be investing in alternatives like solar, wind, demand response and energy efficiency that do not threaten the environment and our public health. Researchers at Stanford have found NJ can run on 100% renewable energy by 2050, creating green jobs while improving our environmental legacy.

PennEast Pre-filing Updated Exhibit - October 16, 2014
http://www.hopewelltwp.org/penn_east/PennEast_Pre-Filing_20141016.pdf

PennEast Accepted for Pre-filing Process - October 17, 2014
http://www.hopewelltwp.org/penn_east/PennEast_Accepted_for_Pre-filing_Process_20141017.pdf