natural gas pipelines in pennsylvania

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Environmental Protection

PennEast Pipeline Company and its member companies are deeply committed to safeguarding and preserving the environment.

Nearly two years of planning led the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to conclude in its July 2016 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that, “approval of the Project would result in some adverse environmental impacts; however, most of these impacts would be reduced to less-than-significant levels with the implementation of PennEast’s proposed mitigation and the additional recommendations in the draft EIS.”

FERC examined PennEast’s impact on: geology; soils; water resources and wetlands; aquatic resources; vegetation and wildlife; threatened, endangered and special status species; land use, recreation, and visual resources; socioeconomics; cultural resources; air quality and noise; reliability and safety; and cumulative impacts. Their analysis found that – in all these areas studied – PennEast’s impact would be adequately minimized, not significant, and/or appropriately mitigated.

Additionally, FERC:

  • Found that the Project could, “contribute to a cumulative improvement in regional air quality if a portion of the natural gas associated with the Project displaces the use of other more polluting fossil fuels;” and,
  • Reviewed alternatives, concluding that, “There is no available capacity for existing pipeline systems to transport the required volumes of natural gas to the range of delivery points proposed by PennEast.”

Since announcing the Project in August 2014, PennEast has continually worked to improve the Project and reduce environmental impacts. Most recently, on September 23, 2016, PennEast filed with FERC a total of 33 route modifications to further reduce impacts on endangered species and wetlands, increase co-location with existing rights-of-way and address feedback from collaborative discussions with landowners and regulatory agencies.

Protection Measures

From the planning and construction stages to final operation of the PennEast Pipeline Project, PennEast will protect the community and the environment by:

  • Evaluating numerous environmental and socio-economic factors (public water supplies, wetlands, protected and preserved areas, threatened and endangered species, wildlife, etc.) in developing the route.
  • Conducting on-the-ground civil, environmental and archeological field surveys on public, as well as private properties as authorized.
  • Co-locating the route next to existing rights of way – approximately 37 percent of the proposed route is co-located.
  • Requiring environmental training for all land agents, construction personnel and environmental inspectors.
  • Having a chief environmental inspector and two other environmental inspectors on site throughout the construction process to ensure compliance with permits, regulations and industry best practices.
  • Restoring areas to their original use and condition after construction; and much more.

Learn more about our environmental mitigation plans, natural resource and wildlife mitigation plans, regulatory oversight, agriculture mitigation plans and more here.

For additional information on PennEast’s commitment to the environment, see PennEast’s Erosion and Sediment Control Plan (E&SCP), as well as PennEast’s Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan. The E&SCP and SPCC plans may be found on the Official Filings page and are identified as appendices E and H.

New Jersey Green Acres Diversion Process

The New Jersey Green Acres program was established in 1961 to preserve open spaces in New Jersey by partnering with public and private funders. Often, these include non-profit agencies, municipalities and county governments. PennEast proposes to safely transport natural gas from Pennsylvania to New Jersey by constructing a new pipeline to connect with existing gas pipelines in three New Jersey locations: West Amwell Township, Holland Township and Hopewell Township, which is where the main interconnection with Transco Pipeline is located.

Reaching these New Jersey locations requires that PennEast cross land in Hunterdon and Mercer counties, where a number of open space parcels and preserved farmlands are located. As a result of the required Green Acres diversion process, not only does existing open space revert to open space after pipeline construction, the diversion process can result in significantly more open space than exists today. Additionally, the route across Green Acres parcels is approximately 80% collocated with existing, overhead electric transmission lines, minimizing tree clearing and community impacts. Click here to download our Fact Sheet.