News Briefs and Action Items

No Arsenic

ReThink Energy NJ: New Electronic Letter Service Available

Dear CAP and HALT Friends,

Some of you have already noticed and posted on your social media and websites, but we wanted to make it official and let you know that ReThink Energy NJ now has an ongoing electronic letter service available on its site that contacts DEP’s Bob Martin, and an individuals’ state and federal legislators, in addition to Cheryl LaFleur at FERC.  There is room for a personalized letter as well.   As circumstances invariably alter, we can adapt the message to meet new communications needs quickly.

We’re posting this on Facebook and Twitter as well as in our newsletters.

Feel free to share and use as you wish. (The picture will change occasionally as well of course!)

Take two minutes and tell your elected officials to reject PennEast: http://ow.ly/ICPG30aQgZw

Thanks!

-Patty


 

Very Important Information for Impacted Homeowners: Template for Letter to Send to NJ Department of Environmental Protection

Landowner Letter to NJDEP

Letter states that homeowner will not grant PennEast an easement or any other ownership interest in property and that they have not given their consent to PennEast to engage in activity on their property, and they have no legal authority to do so and homeowner does not consent to their application.

Read, customize, and download letter: Landowner Letter to NJDEP

Also, now available: Download HALT’s Eminent Domain Choice Letter (from HALT’s Board of Trustees) — What to Expect as an Impact Homeowner after FERC Issues Final Environmental Impact Statement

Read, customize, and download: HALT’s Eminent Domain Choice Letter


 

Rethink Energy NJ Radio Promos:


ferc-revised-environmental-reviewCLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR eSUBSCRIPTION SERVICE:
www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp


HEADLINES:
– NJ Division of Rate Counsel:
PennEast pipeline not needed
Canal walkers pledge opposition to gas pipeline


For further details and suggested talking points, visit http://rethinkenergynj.org/take-action/.
Here are the details on the DEP hearings for the GSE and SRL projects.  Please spread the word.  We know the unions will be there in force and need a strong turnout.  These projects are directly connected to PennEast and stopping them would be a blow to PennEast!


CEOs WITHDRAW FROM PENNEAST!
To help people call or write the CEOs of the owner companies, the Rethink Energy NJ website now includes an easy way to call or send a letter to the CEOs.  See www.rethinkenergynj.org and spread the word!

You can also tweet these Companies using:
$PEG
$SEP
$GAS
$NJR
$UGI
$SJI

and of course you can include in your tweets so we and others can follow them:
#pennEast
#FercAbuse
#fracking
#pipeline
#stopPennEast
#EndPennEast
#Poisoningourwater
#PSEG


First Hearing Postponed: 

High turnout forces state to postpone pipeline hearing


Urgent Actions Needed Re: FERC’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the PennEast Pipeline (FERC Docket # CP15-558-000)

*** THE DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL STUDY HAS BEEN RELEASED! ***

Regional Business Owners, Concerned Citizens Unite Against PennEast Pipeline During Critical Comment Period

This is the MOST IMPORTANT PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD!

Download Study

On Friday, July 22 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the proposed PennEast pipeline.

It is critical that you act during the next 48 days!

This DEIS is riddled with data gaps and incomplete information. It should be withdrawn until PennEast has submitted all of the required data.

Between now and September 12, there are a number of actions we must each take to show FERC our profound opposition to this dangerous, unneeded pipeline. We must make our voices heard during this important comment period.

Action #1:

Submit letters to the PennEast Docket (#CP15-558-000) to:

A. demand that FERC withdraw the DEIS;
B. demand that FERC extend the public comment period until a complete DEIS is available for review; and
C. point out specific problems in the DEIS, including assumptions, missing information, and issues that are either ignored or insufficiently addressed.

Comments submitted to FERC during this period become part of the legal record in FERC’s mandatory environmental review. Our goal is to submit as many substantial, fact-based comments as possible. Intervenors’ comments and landowners’ comments carry more weight, and FERC must respond to each relevant comment.

Directions on posting to the Docket and sample letters can be found at:
www.rethinkenergynj.org/StopPennEast

In your comments to FERC, it is important that you raise as many different points as possible. You should include detailed notes, specific data and unique stories about how you, your family, your community, and your property or business would be impacted by PennEast.

If you need help drafting or submitting your letter,

-New Jersey Conservation Foundation,
-the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association,
-Rethink Energy NJ,
-HALT PennEast (Homeowners Against Land Taking),
-the Citizens Against PennEast groups (CAPS),

ALSO SEE: http://dtcap.org/ 

Please check this site frequently for the latest details about how you can stop PennEast.

The PennEast pipeline is not needed, not wanted, and would have unacceptable impacts on our land, water and communities. Thank you for joining with us and the many organizations working together to send a strong message to FERC.

Together, let’s STOP PENNEAST!

You say you already know how to comment to FERC?

Have you been doing this PennEast thing for well-nigh two years now? Can you navigate the FERC site in your sleep (and have nightmares of doing exactly that?). Have you memorized “CP15-558?” Then feel free to dive right in and comment.

You can get the DEIS files at http://pipeinfo.org if you haven’t done so already. It’s 20x faster than FERC and it has yet to go down, ever.

Some tips on commenting:
• Identify yourself and your interest to FERC right at the top. The format I use is:

My name is XXXX, I am a [Intervenor][and Impacted Landowner][Concerned resident] regarding docket CP15-558-000 for the PennEast Pipeline. I live in the town of [Town, State]. I am commenting on the PennEast Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).

In other words – if you an intervenor or impacted landowner, say so. It raises your status up. And also be CRYSTAL CLEAR that you’re commenting on the DEIS.

Here are some samples – but TRY TO WRITE YOUR OWN if you can!

See DEIS Sample Letters

  • Try to keep one major overarching topic per submission.  In the past FERC and PennEast have taken people’s lengthy submissions covering many topics, and ignored half of them.  Don’t let that happen to you!  Pick a topic (safety, water, what have you) and stick to just that topic for your submission.  Then make another one.  And another one.
  • If you get stuck in writing, don’t sweat it.  We all get writers block.  But the good news is that we’re not writing a best selling novel.  We’re writing stuff for bureaucrats to read.  So they won’t mind if you’re not the next Steven King.

One tip if you’re stuck: bullet points.  Just put out bullets of the major points you want to make.  If you can’t get past the bullets, then just submit those.  But you’ll be surprised – many times the act of putting bullets down in writing gets the juices flowing and you’ll find that stress melting away and a natural way forward.

Possible Comment topics

If it helps, here are the major sticking points for us in regards to the DEIS and the PennEast proposal as a whole.  These aren’t definitive by a long shot – these are just the things we see as obvious candidates for comments.

  • The DEIS is incomplete and it is unfair to put it before citizens in such a state
  • The comment period is too short, especially during summer vacation seasons
  • FERC outages exacerbate the short comment period!
  • There is no demonstrated public need for this project.  Numerous studies show this project is being undertaken for the private gain of 6 companies and not for the good of the people of NJ and Eastern PA.
  • The DEIS indicates a 2017-inservice date when PennEast themselves have admitted they cannot be inservice before 2018.
  • 70% of impacted landowners in NJ have refused all attempts at surveying their land.  This implies 70% of the land or more in NJ will have to be seized via eminent domain.  70% eminent domain is an atrocious figure that should be appalling to any agency, and doubly so given the demonstrated lack of public need
  • Direct economic tourism impact on Lambertville/Frenctown/Millford and other towns not being considered adequately
  • Indirect tourism impacts (hikers, bikers, equestrians, etc) also not considered adequately, including major areas such as Appalachian Trail, Baldpate, Lehigh River, Delaware River, etc. not considered adequately
  • Impact on conservation programs (who will preserve land if companies like PennEast can take it?) not addressed by DEIS
  • Traffic considerations during construction (school bus routes, small roads and bridges, few alternative road choices) not addressed properly in DEIS
  • Personal impacts!  Their house, their farm, their business, their families, their lives
  • Impacts to local features near them (Baldpate, Goat Hill, Gravel Hill, Alexuaken Creek Preserve, Copper Creek Preserve, Delaware River, Swan Creek Reservoir, on and on…)
  • Drinking water,  wells, septic.  Drinking water,  wells, septic.  Drinking water,  wells, septic.  Drinking water,  wells, septic.  Drinking water,  wells, septic.   (you get the idea)
  • Concerns about Arsenic and Radon not addressed in DEIS
  • Trenching through people’s driveways, farm access roads not addressed in DEIS
  • Deliberate nearness of proposed route to homes, route no adequately defended in DEIS
  • Deliberately ignoring NJ safety rules in favor of inadequate Federal standards – we get a pipe that has a 50% smaller safety margin then we would otherwise have
  • Major studies controverting PennEast studies are not mentioned in the DEIS (Delaware Riverkeeper Network, NJCF/Stony Brook Millstone WaterShed Association, West Amwell Citizens Against the Pipeline, Skipping Stone, Labyrinth Consulting and others).
  • The Tetra Tech employees researching the DEIS are under qualified and the DEIS is obviously not done competently
  • Cumulative impacts are not properly considered (Southern Reliability Link, Garden State Expansion, BL England conversion, Blue Mountain resort Expansion, Marc II Pipeline, future Spectra plans
  • The “No Action” Alternative is incomplete, has no citations or facts, and does not conform to NEPA.
  • The other Systemic Alternatives are incomplete, have no citations of fact, and do not conform to NEPA
  • No market studies were included in the DEIS, only the existence of shippers (the infamous Concentric “you could have saved $890 million if we had a time machine” report is not mentioned anywhere in the DEIS).

In possible victory for pipeline foes, EPA calls for rethinking of Atlantic Sunrise
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is urging another federal regulator to consider alternatives for a hotly contested natural gas pipeline project in central Pennsylvania, in what seems like a win for pipeline foes but could also prove a hollow victory in the end. More


Pipeline News from around NJ: Feds tell Transco not to proceed on pipeline – for now

By Greg Wright | For NJ.com
on July 06, 2016 at 6:15 PM, updated July 06, 2016 at 6:22 PM

 BORDENTOWN TOWNSHIP — The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has denied a request to begin construction on portions of the Transco Pipeline until builders have the required environmental documentation. More

PennEast pipeline inspires bill to regulate federal agency

By Greg Wright | For NJ.com
on June 29, 2016 at 6:59 PM

Hopewell Township — Dozens gathered atop Baldpate Mountain preserve in Hopewell Township on Wednesday to endorse U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman’s plan to propose a bill in Congress to revamp pipeline approvals.

Watson Coleman said she will introduce the Safe and Accountable Federal Energy Review for Pipelines Act of 2016, or SAFER Pipelines Act.

Dozens of affected residents also attended the announcement at the scenic backdrop of Baldpate, near sites where the proposed PennEast pipeline will carve through their land.

More


TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION: Send a letter to the US Army Corps of Engineers

This is an URGENT Request form the HALT PennEast lead attorney, Steve Richardson of Wiley Rein. The time is short to respond to the two US Army Corps of Engineer (USACE) section 408 permit requests that PennEast has pending.  We are asking that all homeowners impacted or potentially impacted in both PA and NJ and supporters of HALT send a letter to the US Army Corp of Enginners regarding a pending PennEast application in response to the Corps’ request for comments.  The more letters that are sent, the more pressure is placed on the Corps to do the right thing. Impacted Homeowners and Concerned Citizens can download their respective for emailing to USACE from Delaware Township’s DTCAP site.


 



Opponents Ask Feds to Force Penneast to Prove Pipeline is Really Needed

A group opposing the pipeline has filed a complaint with FERC arguing New Jersey doesn’t need the natural gas that PennEast would deliver

A group opposing the PennEast pipeline in New Jersey urged a federal agency to hold a formal hearing into whether there is a need for the project, arguing the applicant has failed to demonstrate the state needs the natural gas. More


PennEast Pipeline In A Tailspin Of Delay And Uncertainty As Opposition By Legislators, Regulators, And The Public Grows

STOCKTON, N.J., June 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — According to ReThink Energy NJ, PennEast’s proposed pipeline project in NJ and PA is considerably delayed in gaining necessary approvals from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and state agencies, affected by the trend of beleaguered gas pipeline projects throughout the U.S., and widespread, growing opposition by legislators, regulatory agencies and the public. More


Letter from PA republican Congressman Fitzpatrick (newly on board) to FERC that was recently sent requesting an evidentiary hearing

Fitzpatrick letter to FERC


PennEast Pipeline opposition hardens as gas firm seeks federal approval

Protesters kayak in opposition of PennEast pipeline at NJ Sierra Club-organized rally

See full news report and video from WFMZ TV 69.


FERC grants rehearing for Transco pipeline project

By Greg Wright | For NJ.com
on June 10, 2016 at 2:15 PM, updated June 11, 2016 at 8:00 AM

BORDENTOWN TOWNSHIP — In a move that’s being called a “first win” by environmentalists, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has granted a rehearing for further consideration of the Transco pipeline project.  More

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