PennEast/UGI Pipeline Project- Prepared 6/1/2020

The original PennEast pipeline has two important permits that have yet to be granted by the PADEP.  The Chapter 102 Permit concerns erosion and sediment control.  This permit is required for all earth disturbances equal or greater than one acre.  The Chapter 105 Permit concerns water obstruction and stream encroachment.  Opponents of the pipeline are contending that the new Phase I project has changed in length, in purpose, and in route and, therefore, should be considered a new project with opportunity for the public to comment.

The Governor’s Office has released a comprehensive “Methane Reduction Strategy” for Pennsylvania.  The proposed rules are now being considered in a public comment period open until July 27th with virtual public hearings in late June.  Methane has a very potent impact on global warming.  Unburned, leaked methane is 80 times worse than carbon dioxide emissions in terms of climate impact when considered over a twenty-year period.   Pennsylvania is the second largest producer of leaked methane of all fifty states.  Every stage of production of fracked gas including wells, storage facilities, compressor stations, and pipelines emit leaked methane. 

In separate decisions, the New Jersey DEP and the New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation both denied key permits for the proposed “Northeast Supply Enhancement” pipeline which was to be a 23-mile-long gas pipeline to supply gas primarily to New York City.  The permits were denied “with prejudice” which means that the company cannot re-apply.  This pipeline appears to be stopped for good. 

The controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline was discovered to have shifted after it was buried along a West Virginia slope.  The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) verified that the pipe shifted in at least three locations after it was buried in Southeast Virginia.  Inspectors blamed the shift on what’s called a “slip,” or the gradual movement of land on its own in an area clear-cut for the pipeline.  The PennEast pipeline will also be crossing several steep slopes including The Blue Mountain.

Save Carbon County is a member of a regional and two-state effort to stop the PennEast/UGI pipeline.  Local information can be found on FaceBook at “Stop the Fracking Pipeline.” Regional Information can be found on FaceBook at “Stop PennEast Pipeline.”

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