Homeowners Challenging FERC’s Approval of PennEast Pipeline

Stockton, NJ (December 27, 2018) ­– Homeowners Against Land Taking (HALT-PennEast), whose members include hundreds of directly impacted homeowners and thousands of their  neighbors, filed its brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit last Friday, challenging the validity of FERC’s certificate of public convenience and necessity. HALT argues that FERC violated the Natural Gas Act and the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by failing to wait for decisions by other agencies that have the authority to block the construction of the project.

“FERC granted PennEast the right to take people’s land by ignoring the limitations that Congress and the Constitution have placed on its powers,” said Anne Marie Garti, the attorney representing HALT. “The Natural Gas Act says that eminent domain is for the construction of pipelines, but the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has not yet decided whether this pipeline will get built. HALT is asking the D.C. Circuit to issue an order that says FERC violated the law by failing to wait for NJDEP’s decision.”

According to Vincent DiBianca, a directly impacted homeowner, HALT trustee, and the owner of a small farm and business on the pipeline’s proposed route in Hunterdon County, NJ, “Although some feel dominated by the influence of FERC and PennEast, our homeowner group along with our friends and neighbors are standing together for what we believe in. We see it as a victory of right over might.”

Adds Rosalind Westlake, HALT trustee and resident of Delaware Township, NJ, “Throughout this entire process, FERC has failed to acknowledge any of the facts and data provided by the public.  It has adopted wholesale the unsupported statements of PennEast and rubber-stamped the approval of PennEast’s application in direct contravention of our due process property rights granted by the US Constitution. We are eager to present our case to the US Court of Appeals.”

There are five other Petitioners challenging FERC’s decision. HALT joined the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Hopewell Township, and the New Jersey Conservation Foundation / the Watershed in one brief, while the NJDEP and the NJ Division of Rate Council shared a separate brief. Each group focused on a distinct legal issue – together posing many significant challenges to FERC’s procedures.

Even though the pipeline may never be built, PennEast – owned by New Jersey Resources, South Jersey Industries and UGI – initiated over 180 eminent domain proceedings against homeowners and used FERC’s certificate to acquire court-ordered easements on their properties. In its brief, HALT asked the D.C. Circuit to void the certificate and nullify any easements that were granted as a result of its issuance.

HALT’s request for rehearing can be downloaded by clicking here:


Rally Against PennEast April 8th

Come one, come all to a rally for everyone opposed to the PennEast pipeline!  Dress up in colonial/revolutionary era clothes or come in your modern day attire to a rally event with a revolutionary theme -“No Certification without Justification”.  The family event includes a town crier, period costumes, a wagon stage, music, speakers, and more!   If you would like to participate as a volunteer, musician, or reenactor please email msyrnick@gmail.com with your contact info.

If you would like to participate as a volunteer, musician, or reenactor please email msyrnick@gmail.com with your contact info.

EVENT DATE: April 8th, 11 am to 2 pm at the Prallsville Mill, 33 Risler street, Stockton NJ


HALT Talks Fundraiser with Tullis Onstott Nov. 30th.

Wednesday November 30, 2016 at 7:pm. HALT Talks Fundraiser in Lambertville NJ.

In the spirit of TED talks, HALT PennEast and New Jersey Conservation Foundation are hosting an evening at the Rago Arts & Auction center, featuring a presentation by Professor Tullis Onstott, one Time Magazine’s most influential people in the world!  Professor Onstott will speak about his background and studies, focusing on how the PennEast pipeline project threatens to poison our water supplies by mobilizing naturally occurring arsenic, from the bed rock and soil into the water supplies.

Come and join us for a science based HALT Talk, sip some wine, enjoy an art preview for one of Rago’s upcoming sales, and taste some light fare provided by Hertzog Associates, a distinctive landscape design and build firm.

Your contributions will directly help HALT PennEast and NJCF build our funds to continue the fight to end the un-needed PennEast pipeline project.

Buy your tickets online at:   HALT Talks Tickets