PennEast Pipeline Company applauded a Washington, DC, federal court judge who on March 22 dismissed a Delaware Riverkeeper Network lawsuit deemed baseless in its attempt to delay the PennEast Pipeline by suing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
FERC and the US Department of Justice also urged dismissal of the fringe group’s lawsuit.
“The Delaware Riverkeeper Network is an organization that stops at nothing to spread misinformation, scare the public and file ridiculous lawsuits, as validated by a federal court judge who dismissed the lawsuit that was filed last year,” said Pat Kornick, PennEast spokesperson. “This is the latest example of opposition groups wasting time, tax dollars and government resources with baseless claims and ridiculous lawsuits.”
The lawsuit alleged that permit fees paid to FERC by applicants for energy infrastructure created an institutional bias.
Last year, a separate lawsuit filed by opposition groups alleging trespassing also was dismissed by a New Jersey Superior Court judge because she found no evidence of their claims. In September, the Eastern Environmental Law Center, the New Jersey Conservation Foundation and the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association filed another frivolous complaint, requesting an “evidentiary hearing” of market need, which is duplicative and 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.”
“Despite scare tactics from opposition groups, the reality is that two government agencies under Democratic administrations have determined that PennEast Pipeline can be constructed with minimal impact on the environment,” said Kornick. “PennEast looks forward to a favorable environmental ruling next month and soon delivering lower electric and gas bills, creating thousands of jobs and powering the region’s economy with clean-burning, American energy for decades to come.”
PennEast is anticipating FERC’s Final Environmental Impact Statement early to mid-April, followed within approximately 90 days an anticipated favorable Order authorizing construction of the approximately 120-mile, underground natural gas pipeline.