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Federal regulators schedule hearings on PennEast pipeline

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has scheduled five public hearings on the PennEast Pipeline as it prepares to draft a statement on the potential environmental impacts of the project.

The hearings are part of what FERC calls the “scoping process” and will give members of the public a forum to tell regulators what should be evaluated as part of the environmental impact statement.

Each “scoping meeting” will begin at 6 p.m. Here’s the schedule:

  • January 27The College of New Jersey   2000 Pennington Rd.  Ewing, NJ 08628
  • January 28Bucks County Community College   275 Swamp Rd. Newtown, PA 18940
  • February 10Northampton Community College   3835 Green Pond Rd. Bethlehem, PA 18020
  • February 11Penn’s Peak   325 Maury Rd. Jim Thorpe, PA 18229
  • February 12Best Western Hotel & Conference Center   77 E Market St. Wilks-Barre, PA 18701

PennEast representatives will be available for one hour before the start of each meeting. For more information, click here to read FERC’s notice. 

The PennEast project involves constructing 108 miles of 36-inch diameter pipeline to transport about 1 billion cubic feet a day of Marcellus Shale natural gas. The line would start in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania and end in Mercer County, New Jersey. Along the way, the pipeline will supply local distribution companies that deliver gas to homes and businesses in southeast Pennsylvania and South Jersey. It will also supply some power plants that have switched from coal to gas.

The project has met with resistance from landowners who are concerned about what the pipeline could mean for their property values and about the potential environmental impacts. The current route would cross under the Susquehanna and Delaware Rivers and cut through preserved farmland and open space. Officials with several towns in both states have passed resolutions formally opposing the project.

PennEast spokeswoman Patricia Kornick said the company is working on an alternate route that would “maximize” co-location with existing utility lines based on feedback from landowners and local officials.

PennEast is participating in what is known as the FERC “pre-filing process,” which allows the company to get early input from regulators and the public on its proposed route.

PennEast expects to make a formal application to FERC by July.

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