Arsenic Expert Field Studies Prove PennEast Does Not Threaten Drinking Water Supplies with Arsenic
- PennEast is the only entity that has conducted and published research on the potential for mobilizing naturally-occurring arsenic in the Newark Basin geologic formations through which the pipeline would pass. PennEast conducted its research in accordance with the recognized US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Method 1627 to simulate the planned pipeline excavation and operational activities. Opposition groups like ReThink Energy, Sierra Club and Delaware Riverkeeper have not. Both the initial study and a rebuttal to opposition claims were filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and can be accessed here and here.
- New Jersey’s foremost expert authority on the mobilization of naturally-occurring arsenic in the geologic formations of the Newark Basin conducted the research and concluded arsenic threats to drinking water are nothing more than unsupported scare tactics by opponent groups. Read an op-ed here.
- More widespread construction exists in the region – housing construction, roadways, commercial development, and water and sewer lines – and there has been absolutely no evidence that they have increased arsenic concentrations in ground water.
Federal Regulators Agreed PennEast “Would Not Result in an Increased Risk of Arsenic Mobilization in Groundwater”
- The Final Environmental Impact Statement released by federal regulators confirmed that the PennEast Pipeline “would not result in an increased risk of arsenic mobilization,” and acknowledged its “aggressive” research indicates impacts would be below strict New Jersey drinking water standards.
- Federal regulators also agreed with the conclusions that arsenic threats alleged by opponents Drs. Tullis Onstott and Julia Barringer, among others, are “speculative, constitute a misapplication of physical principles… and are not supported by empirical data for construction and operation of natural gas pipelines.” (Pages 130-134, FEIS)
Three Government Regulators Agree PennEast is Safe for the Environment
- The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s nearly three-year review, finalized April 7, 2017, analyzed the potential for a wide array of impacts to water generally, and arsenic impacts specifically. Pennsylvania DEP’s water quality certification in February 2017 also confirmed PennEast Pipeline is safe for waterways. The US Environmental Protection Agency added May 8, 2017 that the environmental impact statement “improved safeguards for protection of human health and the environment…[and] many of of our concerns and objections have been or will be addressed.”
PennEast is Committed to Safe Construction
- Out of an exceptionally high regard for public safety, PennEast created a well-monitoring plan, which includes pre- and post-construction monitoring of identified drinking water supply wells, within 150 feet of the proposed construction workspace, which is increased to 500 feet in Karst terrain. In the highly unlikely event water quantity or quality is affected, PennEast is required to pay damages and provide an alternate water supply.
- PennEast will be among the safest pipelines in the U.S., with advanced safety technology, independent inspections during construction, monitored 24/7 throughout operation, and will meet or exceed every federal and industry safety standard. Read about our safety measures here.
- Environmental inspectors will be assigned to each construction spread during construction and restoration, and will have the authority to stop activities that violate environmental conditions of FERC’s orders.
Did You Know?
Arsenic naturally occurs in rock, soil and groundwater in the Hunterdon and Mercer County region, and concerns in this region aren’t new. 25-30% of residential wells in this region already exceeded the NJ maximum contaminant level based on studies by NJDEP/NJGS conducted from 1999-2000.