Opponents of the proposed PennEast natural gas pipeline send heated responses to a report drafted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that states the “adverse environmental impacts” of the $1 billion pipeline project could be reduced by mitigation measures.
In the lengthy report issued Friday, FERC concluded that the impact would be at “less-than-significant levels” with the implementation of PennEast’s and FERC’s proposed mitigation measures.
Supporters of PennEast were happy about FERC’s statement. Pat Kornick, spokesperson for PennEast, said FERC’s announcement was “another major step forward” for the project.
Meanwhile, environmentalists and other opponents of the line were unhappy with the report. “The whole process is bogus,” executive director of the N.J. Sierra Club Jeff Tittel said. “Calling this an environmental impact statement is an oxymoron. Instead it should be called a ‘Destruction of Our Valley’ statement.”
FERC has scheduled a number of public hearings regarding the draft and has given the public 45 days to comment. The deadline for submissions is September 12.
The PennEast pipeline is a proposed 118-mile line that would transfer natural gas from northeast Pennsylvania to the William’s Transco line in Mercer County in New Jersey. It is designed to deliver approximately 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. Construction is estimated to start in the spring of 2017 and take approximately 7 months to complete.