PennEast first announced its pipeline project in 2014 designed to bring approximately 1 bcf/day of natural gas from shale fields in northeastern Pennsylvania to consumers in eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Taking into account numerous landowner and other stakeholder concerns, PennEast made several route modifications, and after extensive review, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the PennEast project in 2018, finding the project is in the public interest and could be constructed with minimal impact to the environment.
Since FERC approved the project, legal issues have delayed the New Jersey section of the project. While that process plays out, PennEast has proposed a phased approach to constructing the project, whereby, with FERC and PA DEP approvals, most of the Pennsylvania route would be constructed.
I support the PennEast pipeline. Unfortunately, legal issues have delayed the New Jersey section of the project. In order to move the project forward, PennEast has proposed a phased approach to constructing the project whereby, with FERC and PA DEP approvals, most of the Pennsylvania route may be constructed.
The Pennsylvania portion of the pipeline would have an economic impact of over $1 billion and create thousands of direct and indirect jobs. Local 798 and every leading union organization supports the project.
Residences and businesses will also benefit. In just two winters in the last ten years, Pennsylvania consumers could have saved nearly $800 million in lower natural gas and electricity costs if PennEast was operational. This project is even more important at this time because neighboring states, such as New York and New Jersey, prevented many proposed natural gas infrastructure projects from moving forward, making regional pipeline constraints worse, especially during high demand periods.
During construction, PennEast will be built with highly skilled union labor using the most up-to-date safety procedures. For example, PennEast will adopt the following processes:
- Special coating to prevent corrosion will be placed inside and outside the high-strength, carbon steel that forms the pipeline, along with other corrosion prevention measures;
- Periodic in-line inspections of the pipeline, which provides an important additional source of information about the condition and integrity of the pipeline;
- X-ray of all welds and a hydrostatic pressure test will be conducted at pressures that exceed the maximum allowable operating pressure to ensure all welds can tolerate the designed operating pressures;
- Continuous monitoring of gas pressure and flow in the pipeline, which will immediately alert technicians of any anomalies;
- Remotely operated automated valves at locations consistent with the federal regulations;
- Training and coordination with first responders along the project route, starting with communicating construction plans and expanding into training and coordination during ongoing operations.
FERC and the PA DEP have conducted a rigorous review of the PennEast project. Approval of the Chapter 102 and 105 permits will provide the regulatory certainty needed to move forward and allow construction of this important pipeline project. For all of the reasons above, I support the PennEast project and urge approval of the permit applications before the PA DEP.
PennEast Project Supporter