PennEast Discussions With Lawyers — January 16th 2019

Discussions between homeowners’ lawyers and PennEast are progressing. Here are a few points (please note these are not yet finalized):

  • Homeowners on the proposed PennEast should discuss with their lawyers how to make sure that PennEast contractors are holding homeowners harmless for injury to workers.

PennEast agreed to make some changes based upon homeowner lawyers’ objection, including (1) PennEast cannot change the size of pipe, (2) PennEast can only ship natural gas, (3) any above ground facilities are limited to what FERC approved, and (4) tree removal can happen within the ROW – if the pipeline gets built.

However, there are still significant open challenges:

  • The language describing permanent easement of ingress and egress is much too ambiguous and broad, despite what PennEast alleges in their letter. PennEast states: “PennEast will enter and exit the properties where the easements meet the edge of the property”.  In other words, PennEast has the right to enter and exit the easements, but not to traverse other areas of the properties without owner consent. However, the language they want does not limit the use in the way PennEast alleges.
  • Homeowner lawyers requested seven-days’ notice to homeowners, but PennEast is only willing to give 48 hours’ notice.

Hopefully, the Judge will have a call to discuss the open issues and the homeowner lawyers will keep pushing on their clients’ behalf.

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