Federal Regulators Approve Construction of the PennEast Pipeline | Newtown News of Interest | Scoop.it

Federal regulators issued approval for construction of the PennEast natural gas pipeline late Friday evening, clearing one of the largest hurdles remaining for the controversial project. However, the project still must obtain permits from other state and regional agencies before construction can begin.

By a vote of 4-1, a majority of the members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, found the proposed 116-mile pipeline met the agency’s standards. The $1 billion pipeline would carry natural gas from northeast Pennsylvania to Mercer County, New Jersey, cutting through the far northern corner of Bucks County before crossing the Delaware River along the way.

“We find that the benefits that the PennEast Project will provide to the market outweigh any adverse effects on existing shippers, other pipelines... and on landowners and surrounding communities,” FERC wrote in its approving order.

“From a lack of need to its devastating impacts on the environment, to the demonstrated false, misleading, and missing information provided by the PennEast companies to FERC, there is no way to support approval of this project,” Maya van Rossum, head of the Bristol Borough-based Delaware Riverkeeper Network, stated in a press release.

Since it originally was proposed in 2014, the pipeline has been met with vigorous opposition from environmental groups, local governments [including Newtown Tpwnship] and citizens holding a range of concerns.