- The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has dealt a setback to PennEast's proposal to build a 120-mile gas pipeline from Pennsylvania into the Garden State. According to NJ.com, regulators closed the book on a wetlands permit and water quality determination.
- The DEP is calling the proposal "administratively closed," but company officials say they anticipated the decision plan to resubmit the application.
- In April, regulators determined that a freshwater permit application for pipeline was incomplete, and gave developers two months to refile. PennEast asked for an extension, prompting the DEP's decision this week.
While conservationists hailed the DEP's decision, PennEast indicated that the project is still moving ahead. The company said it expects to receive a federal certificate for the project this summer, and will then resubmit its application to New Jersey regulators.
The $1 billion line would originate in northeastern Pennsylvania and run to a Transco pipeline interconnection in New Jersey.
"Holding PennEast to the letter of the law helps protect our water, land, and communities from the dangers of a pipeline whose owners just want to rush this project through," Jim Waltman, executive director of Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association, said in a statement.
Pipeline construction in the Northeast has been slowed by fossil fuel opposition in recent years, but developers say the region needs more gas. According to PennEast, had the pipeline been in service during the 2013-2014 winter, developers estimate that the system could have saved consumers almost $900 million.
PennEast Pipeline Co. is being developed by several different companies, including NJR Pipeline, PSEG Power, SJI Midstream, Southern Co. Gas, Spectra Energy Partners and UGI Energy Services.