Property Owners Protest Penn East Pipeline at Delaware RiverKeeper Meeting

by: Joseph Grather
11 Apr 2017

Legions of property owners turned out in opposition to the proposed Penn East Natural Gas pipeline at the at the quarterly meeting of Delaware River Basin Commission. Reported here.

The general comments were consist with those of Doug O’Malleym director of Environment New Jersey:

“PennEast is trying to peddle a pipeline to the residents of the Delaware River Valley. The public has rejected this pipeline, but DRBC needs to see through the misinformation that PennEast is peddling to the Commission, and reject this docket. DRBC should be able to provide an independent review of the impact of the pipeline on the Delaware River watershed, but that’s impossible when PennEast is intentionally misleading decision-makers. DRBC needs to hold the PennEast pipeline to account to the damage it would inflict upon the Delaware River watershed.”

Meanwhile, Penn East is publishing flyers to all affected property owners suggesting that FERC approval is imminent. Penn East March 2017 Update

Penn East’s flyer also includes a veiled threat to property owners that have refused to capitulate to Penn East’s proposed gas transmission public right-of-way crossing their private property.  “If FERC issues a certificate for the Project, then landowners who have avoided speaking with Penn East will be subject to third-party determinations of their lands value, which we believe will be significantly less than the current offer from Penn East.”  Acting in good faith?

Heavy handed tactics from a quasi-public body.  Government should be held to a higher standard, and if the Legislature grants such private entities the right to act like government and allows them to wield the sword of eminent domain, the property owners should be equally protected afforded by law to shield themselves from a private companies heavy-handed tactics.

Even if FERC issues a certificate, the project may then face problems with State officials.  A NJ Spotlight article published Friday details some of the additional hurdles facing Penn East.  “The DEP has made it crystal clear not to file an application until they submit all the data.’’

We’ll keep you posted.