State Agency Also Declines Pipeline Company’s Request for Deadline Extension
FAR HILLS, NJ (June 28, 2017) — “By denying PennEast’s application and extension request, NJDEP held PennEast accountable to the law,” Tom Gilbert, campaign director for ReThink Energy NJ and New Jersey Conservation Foundation, said today.
Gilbert’s statement was in reaction to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (NJDEP) response to PennEast’s attempt to prematurely seek two key permits for its pipeline project.
Today, NJDEP administratively closed the application and rejected PennEast’s request for an extension on its application deadline.
NJDEP asserted that the company did not secure necessary approvals from most landowners, much less submit the necessary survey data or analyses of adverse impacts to environmental resources.
“Holding PennEast to the letter of the law helps protect our water, land, and communities from the dangers of a pipeline whose owners just want to rush this project through,” said Jim Waltman, executive director, Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association. “We appreciate that NJDEP continues to hold PennEast accountable to the requirements of the applicable laws and regulations.”
PennEast was seeking two key approvals from NJDEP: a Freshwater Wetlands Individual Permit and a Water Quality Certificate.
“NJDEP repeatedly warned PennEast not to apply for permits before doing all of its legally-required homework,” Gilbert added. “PennEast would cause irreparable harm to our land and water, and the health and safety of residents. New Jersey doesn’t owe PennEast any special treatment.”
“By declining PennEast’s illegal permit applications, NJDEP took an important step to protect exceptional New Jersey resources from this ill-conceived pipeline. DEP made it clear that FERC’s shoddy environmental review process does not replace NJDEP’s obligation to enforce its own laws,” said Jennifer Danis, senior staff attorney at Eastern Environmental Law Center.
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