New Jersey Superior Court Sides with PennEast, Dismisses Baseless Trespassing Lawsuit

July 7, 2016

WYOMISSING, Pa. – A New Jersey State Superior Court judge on July 7 clearly rejected a lawsuit filed by HALT, an association of New Jersey landowners, and several of its individual members, in its attempt to prevent the PennEast Pipeline from being built.

Dismissing the complaint for trespass and nuisance filed by HALT and several of its members, the Court denied their attempt to stop PennEast from taking project-related surveys. PennEast hails the decision as a resounding victory. PennEast will resume and complete Project surveys where there is landowner permission, and continue working toward Project approval to deliver lower cost energy and thousands of jobs that together will power New Jersey’s future.

“We respect the rights of every landowner, and have worked tirelessly to engage in a respectful dialogue that has, in many instances, resulted in modifications to the route and reduced landowner impacts,” said Pat Kornick, spokesperson for PennEast. “Unfortunately, some outside interests are willing to say or do anything to mislead the public. We’re pleased the Court agreed with PennEast and dismissed the claims. It’s unfortunate that HALT has wasted the Court’s time and taxpayer resources with this filing.

“PennEast remains committed to earning approval and responsibly constructing this $1 billion Pipeline Project that will provide greater energy security and lower energy costs for New Jersey and Pennsylvania families and businesses, create thousands of jobs, and deliver cleaner air for generations to come,” added Kornick.

The actions and false claims by HALT leading to the July 7 dismissal by the New Jersey Superior Court are symptomatic of other actions taken by similar extreme groups, such as a separate frivolous lawsuit brought by the Delaware Riverkeeper Network that FERC has already stated should be dismissed because of a fundamental misunderstanding of FERC’s operations and funding. Yet another frivolous complaint was filed with FERC by the Eastern Environmental Law Center, the New Jersey Conservation Foundation and the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association requesting an “evidentiary hearing” of market need, which is duplicative and already covered by FERC’s multi-year review. Even the New Jersey Sierra Club objected to their actions and said the “suit could easily be dismissed.”

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Judge rejects trespass claim by residents opposed $1B PennEast gas pipeline