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NJDEP once again denies PennEast Pipeline application

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The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has once again denied the PennEast Pipeline Co. application to construct a 116-mile pipeline through New Jersey and Pennsylvania due to what it said was inadequate information regarding environmental compliance in building on freshwater wetlands.

In a letter sent Thursday to PennEast Pipeline Chair Michael Mara, the NJDEP denied the application without prejudice, meaning that PennEast may resubmit an application. PennEast was denied applications in both June and April for the same reason.

Put simply, PennEast has not given the DEP sufficient information to show that controversial pipeline project would not pose significant risk to drinking water. “The Department has determined that significant and necessary information to determine compliance with the freshwater wetlands rule was missing from the application set forth.”

The pipeline project was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission late last month, but PennEast still needs approval for the project from the NJDEP.

PennEast said it plans to resubmit the application soon, adding the pipeline is necessary to increase the natural gas capacity in both states and deliver cheaper gas to residents.

“Thursday's announcement by NJDEP is part of the multiyear, multijurisdictional review process of an interstate pipeline application,” said a PennEast spokesperson in an email. “Since PennEast Pipeline received federal approval, landowners have contacted PennEast about providing survey permission, and PennEast will continue to work with other landowners in accordance with the FERC order. PennEast looks forward to a continued, positive working relationship with NJDEP to ensure this project is constructed with minimal environmental impact.”

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Vince Calio

Vince Calio

Vince Calio covers health care and manufacturing for NJBIZ. You can contact him at vcalio@njbiz.com.

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