WFMZ-TV Article: NJ Homeowners Group Warns of Deal With PennEast Pipeline

Posted February 8, 2016

By: Bo Koltnow, Reporter

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STOCKTON, N.J. — Signing your land away. A New Jersey homeowners groups says that’s future if you sign on the dotted line with the PennEast Pipeline.

For Joe and TC Buchanan, their 30 acre Stockton, New Jersey property is paradise without a price.

“They could offer 3, 4 million and we wouldn’t take it,” Joe said.

The proposed 110 mile, natural gas PennEast Pipeline is set to run right through their yard.

“They will have all the rights to it,” TC told us.

If they sign this right of way agreement in exchange for a one time fee.

“They can sell the right of way without your agreement. And sell it to a completely different company,” Mike Spille said.

Spille is part of HALT, a grassroots group now suing PennEast. He’s been advising homeowners contacted by the company.

“The letters say nothing about lawyers. If you like this agreement sign here, here and here.” He said.

“We want landowners to feel comfortable we want to work with them.” said PennEast spokesperson Patricia Kornick.

PennEast says it will work with each landowner to come to the best resolution.

“If feasible will accommodate as best we can landowners specific request.” Kornick added.

If you don’t try to negotiate, or get a lawyer, this is some of what you could be in for.

The agreement states PennEast would have unlimited access to survey your land, sell your easement, and for perpetuity have carte blanch to the right of way, which Spille says can be nearly 200 feet wide and within 19 feet of some houses.

“I think PennEast is very predatory here going after who they perceive as the weakest landowners to try and get a hold.” He said.

However Spille says 70% of landowners have blocked PennEast from surveying their land, including the Buchanans.

“No amount of money can pay the price of your life’s dream. It’s peaceful. It’s beautiful, the air is clean.” The Buchanans said.

This article originally ran on WFMZ-TV, 69 News on February 5, 2016.

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