Supervisors Pass Resolution Opposing Penn East Pipeline



Res. 2015-1 Pipeline Opposition




Bucks County, Pennsy1vania


WHEREAS, PennEast Pipeline Company, LLC, has proposed the construction of a new pipeline for the transfer and delivery of approximately 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day generated by deep well “fracking” in areas of Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania crossing parts of Luzerne, Carbon,
Northampton and Bucks Counties in Pennsylvania and Hunterdon and Mercer Counties in New Jersey;
WHEREAS, The PennEast Pipeline project will cut its right-of-way for over 108 miles, approximately 87% of which will be within the boundaries of the Delaware River watershed, crossing over 88 waterways and potentially affecting approximately 44 wetland complexes, and well over 1,200 acres of land; and among the waterways to be crossed are the Delaware, Lehigh and Susquehanna Rivers; and

WHEREAS, the pipeline will affect approximately 1,094 tracts of land and approximately 861 landowners and crosses or abuts numerous farms and conservation land in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey that were preserved by the expenditure of public funds for the exclusive use of agriculture, wildlife, human enjoyment and permanent protection of open space; and

WHEREAS, the size and scope of the construction activity for the pipeline and stream crossings associated with this project will have a deleterious effect on the water resources of the Delaware River Basin. Large scale transmission lines such as the PennEast line can result in significant forest destruction and fragmentation, destruction of animal habitat, disturbance of natural ground cover that will invite and propagate the spread of invasive species, and degrade the diversity and dispersion of native flora and fauna. Furthermore, pipeline projects also degrade the functions and values of wetlands, as the construction and operation of the pipeline permanently converts forested wetlands to uplands or emergent wetlands as well as increased stormwater runoff, pollution loading, soil compaction, herbicide runoff and pollution from HOW maintenance; and

WHEREAS, there are at least seven pending proposals to build pipelines in the Delaware River Bus in, and eleven such proposals have been approved since 2011, threatening the Delaware River and other critical water resources;

WHEREAS, there are also significant concerns related to the cumulative impacts of the continuous water crossings and wetlands disturbance that pipeline construction activity has on the health and vitality of the Delaware River Basin. This is particularly a concern with the PennEast line, as many of these same sub-watersheds were recently impacted by construction activity on Transco’s parallel line.
WHEREAS, the proposed pipeline passes through historically significant areas such as the Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area, including the sites of two documented Revolutionary War encampments;

WHEREAS, the project appears to be largely redundant, as it will run nearly parallel to an already existing large scale transmission line that is owned and operated by Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. Transco’s pipeline, the Leidy Southeast Expansion Project, is currently in the process of being upgraded to take on more capacity. Another new pipeline proposal called Diamond East is also anticipated to cut a somewhat parallel path, creating another redundant line to PennEast; arid

WHEREAS, currently, no federal, state or local regulatory agency other than the Delaware River Basin Commission is tasked with evaluating the cumulative impacts of natural gas pipeline projects and associated infrastructure construction within the Delaware River Basin.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Bridgeton Township Board of Supervisors that:

1. Bridgeton Township opposes the proposed PennEast pipeline; and

2. If the PennEast proposal is submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) as contemplated, FERC must consider it, Williams/TRANSCO’S Leidy Southeast Expansion and other pipelines proposed or being constructed in the Delaware Basin as part of one network requiring a full environmental impact statement, and not in a segmented fashion.

3. Bridgeton Township supports the Delaware River Basin Commission’s decision to exercise its jurisdiction over the proposed PennEast Pipeline project to prevent a substantial impact to and degradation of the water quality in the Delaware Basin.

4. This Resolution Shall be distributed to:
a. The Governor of Pennsylvania
b. Senators Casey and Toomey,
c. Congressman Fitzpatrick,
d. State Senator Mensch,
e. State Representative Quinn
RESOLVED and ENACTED this day of A.D., 2015 Bridgeton Township
Board of Supervisors

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