Monday, February 13, 2017

PennEast Pipeline Receives DEP Water Quality Certification

PennEast Pipeline Company reported Monday it has received notice from the Department of Environmental Protection the Company’s request for Water Quality Certification, as required by section 401 of the Federal Clean Water Act, has been granted, marking receipt of a significant state permit.
The PennEast Pipeline would carry natural gas through Bucks, Carbon, Luzerne and Northampton counties in Pennsylvania into New Jersey.
PennEast received notification on February 10 from the DEP that it certified “the construction, operation and maintenance of the Project will not violate applicable State water quality standards set forth in 25 Pa. Code Chapter 16, 93, and 105...”
The 401 permit approval follows the July finding of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that the PennEast Pipeline can be constructed with minimal impacts on the environment.
The Water Quality Certification comes approximately two months before the anticipated April 7 issuance of FERC’s final Environmental Impact Statement on the PennEast Pipeline Project.
“PennEast Pipeline Company is pleased to have received its 401 Water Quality Certification from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection,” said Pat Kornick, PennEast spokesperson. “Pennsylvania’s Water Quality Certification is a significant step in the regulatory review of the PennEast Pipeline Project, which continues to progress through a comprehensive, multi-agency review process led by FERC.”
Water Quality Certifications are required under the Federal Clean Water Act as a prerequisite to receiving a federal license or permit for activities that involve waterways. The Water Quality Certification acknowledges that PennEast has effective measures in place to minimize impacts on streams and other waterways during the construction, as well as long-term operation, of the PennEast Pipeline.
“This is great news for all those who use natural gas, especially for the region’s energy- intensive chemical industry and the more than 80,000 Pennsylvania and New Jersey residents the industry employs,” said Jeff Logan, president of the Pennsylvania Chemical Industry Council. “Pipelines like PennEast that deliver low-cost natural gas are spurring billions in American chemical industry investment, thereby creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. PA DEP’s recent certification for PennEast is additional proof the PennEast Pipeline can be built safely, and in turn soon spur a chain reaction of economic growth for years to come."
“The Department’s year-long review and conclusion provides additional assurance that PennEast can protect the environment, specifically water resources, while delivering much- needed affordable, abundant and reliable energy that will reduce electric and gas bills across the region for decades,” added Kornick.
In addition to the largest electric grid in the world stating that PennEast can enhance grid reliability, every major business and labor organization from across the region has endorsed the PennEast Pipeline.
Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper released the following statement in response:  “Today Pennsylvania issued 401 Certification for the PennEast pipeline project.
“Once again Gov. Wolf and his DEP have put the cart before the horse and made a mockery of our environmental protection laws and of the state’s obligation to protect our water resources, wetlands, and environments from unnecessary harm.
“The PennEast project isn’t even in final form yet, its Environmental Impact Statement isn’t complete, and DEP hasn’t done the reviews necessary to determine whether this moving target can comply with the state regulations necessary to entitle it to 401 clean water act certification.  And yet, once again, Gov. Wolf and his DEP have prematurely given approval for a project that, when you look at the facts, science, law and devastating impacts should in fact never be built.
“It is a total sell out of the community, an abdication of responsibility and a giveaway of the little bit of power the state has over fracked gas pipeline projects and is clearly being done at the direction of, and under the watchful and approving eye, of Gov. Wolf.
“With this action, Gov. Wolf is once again making his priority the profits and goals of the pipeline companies and the fracked gas industry, not the people he was supposedly elected to serve.”
Williams Partners: Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline To Southeast Gets FERC OK

1 comment :

  1. Is the decision and any conditions published anywhere? Can't find on PA DEP website. As of August 2016 PennEast hadn't undertaken ANY geotechnical studies (had 2 years) to prove they could safely cross the the heavily undermined Susquehanna River—during and after construction. Instead they plan to bury the pipe shallowly exposing it to risky riverbed scour (google Yellowstone or Arkansas Rivers.)

    At the time they'd only published a very speculative reading of the mining history, guessing it was safe to OPEN TRENCH and DAM half the Susquehanna River at Wilkes-Barre in Wyoming Valley despite shafts nearby. And they haven't released any engineering studies since—at least not to a concerned public nor decision making agencies like FERC—so how can PADEP even approve this without the requisite studies? Then there's the issue of mercury and PCBs in river sediments they'll be exhuming. Not atypical—PennEast DEIS was woefully incomplete and misleading.

    Another case of blanket pre-approvals for a project that condemns and commits powerless landowners to a route that could later prove impossible—only after they've lost their trees, had their access severed, and land dug up?


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