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January 28, 2016

Dear Friend,

I thought you might be interested in this recent newspaper article (see below) concerning the PennEast pipeline proposal.  

For my part, I continue to have significant concerns about PennEast's projected path and expected use of lands under farmland preservation protection and within the Delaware River watershed.  These are environmentally sensitive open space areas that I have fought to protect and preserve while a member of the New Jersey Legislature and I believe it would be fiscally and environmentally irresponsible to allow taxpayer protected open space to be used in this manner.  And I have also expressed my strong reservations about the potential use of eminent domain in this situation.  

Rest assured I will continue to keep you informed on any progress concerning the PennEast pipeline project.

Best personal wishes,

Leonard Lance

Federal, N.J. lawmakers call for halt to $1.2B PennEast pipeline proposal
By Keith Brown | For 

Federal and state lawmakers joined New Jersey environmental groups Monday in calling for the review of the proposed $1.2 billion PennEast gas pipeline to be halted after questions posed by federal regulators have gone unanswered.

The proposal for the 114-mile natural gas pipeline, which would originate in Pennsylvania and cut through Hunterdon and Mercer counties is currently pending before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

U.S. Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman, (D-12th Dist.), and Leonard Lance, (R-7th Dist.), along with state Senator Kip Bateman, (R-Somerset), and Assemblywoman Elizabeth Maher Muoio, (D-Mercer) called for the FERC review to be stopped.

"PennEast's failure to provide the additional information requested by FERC offers us one more example of their negligent handling of a proposal that poses risks to the health and safety of New Jersey's families, wildlife, and environment," Watson Coleman said in a statement.

The New Jersey Conservation Foundation and the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association on Friday sent a letter to the commission asking that the review process stop until PennEast fully responds to FERC information requests dating back to November. The state and federal lawmakers joined the two environmental groups in that call.

"It is inconceivable that FERC could move forward with the PennEast application when it omits critical information and contains glaring inaccuracies," Tom Gilbert, of the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, said in a release.

The energy commission on Nov. 24 gave PennEast 20 working days to provide a 22-page list of changes to the application and provide additional information before the commission could further evaluate the application.

Opponents say PennEast fell short of that request.

"PennEast must answer all legitimate questions regarding this matter before FERC engages further in the NEPA review process," Lance said in the release, referring to the National Environmental Policy Act.

A PennEast spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

PennEast, a consortium of natural gas companies that includes all four New Jersey gas providers, wants to build an 114-mile, 36-inch pipeline stretching from Northeastern Pennsylvania to Hopewell Township.

The company in September filed its formal application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which regulates pipelines that cross state lines. PennEast has said the company expects to start construction, if approved, in 2017.


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