Land Use & Cultural Resources

 Deficiencies in the DEIS:

Missing and Faulty Analysis

  • Prior to construction, PennEast shall file with the Secretary its final Traffic Management Plan, developed in conjunction with local public transportation and safety officials along the Project pipeline route. (Section 4.7.1.6)
  • Prior to construction, PennEast shall file with the Secretary, for review and written approval by the Director of the OEP:
        a) the results of previously unsurveyed areas along the pipeline route and an updated list of residences and commercial structures within 50 feet of the construction right-of-way;
        b) for all residences identified within 25 feet of a construction work area, a final site-specific construction plan that includes all of the following: a dimensioned site plan that clearly shows the location of the residence in relation to the pipeline, the boundaries of all construction work areas, the distance between the edge of construction work areas and the residence and other permanent structures, and equipment travel lanes;
        c) a description of how and when landowners will be notified of construction activities;
        d) documentation of landowner concurrence if a structure within the construction work
area will be relocated or purchased; and
        e) documentation of landowner concurrence if the construction work areas will be within 10 feet of a residence. (Section 4.7.3.1)

  • Prior to the end of the draft EIS comment period, PennEast shall file with the Secretary any route adjustments, workspace modifications, or mitigation measures developed through PennEast’s ongoing consultations with landowners regarding the following planned and/or pending projects:
          a) Fields at Trio Farms Subdivision;
          b) Huntington Knolls, LLC Housing Development; and
          c) Hopewell Township Emergency Services Facility.

  • PennEast shall provide documentation of correspondence with these landowners.

  • PennEast shall either incorporate these deviations or a route that avoids the resources of concern, or otherwise explain how potential impacts on resources have been effectively avoided, minimized, or mitigated. (Section 4.7.3.2)

  • Prior to the end of the draft EIS comment period, PennEast shall file with the Secretary an update of the status of the development of the site-specific crossing plans for each of the recreation and special interest areas listed as crossed by the Project or otherwise affected in appendix G-14. The site-specific crossing plans shall include, as applicable:
           a) site-specific timing restrictions;
           b) proposed closure details and notifications (e.g., reroutes, signage, public notices);
           c) specific safety measures; and/or
           d) other mitigation to be implemented to minimize effects on the recreation areas and their users during construction and operation of the Project. (Section 4.7.5)

  • Prior to construction, PennEast shall file with the Secretary, for review and written approval of the Director of the OEP, plans regarding a gating or boulder access system for the pipeline right-of-way across state lands, developed in consultation with PADCNR, to prevent unauthorized vehicle access while maintaining pedestrian traffic. (Section 4.7.5.2)

  • Prior to the end of the draft EIS comment period, PennEast shall file with the Secretary documentation of USDA approval for construction and operation of the Project within any and all parcels affected that have active USDA conservation easements. Alternatively,
PennEast shall identify any Project changes made to avoid parcels with USDA conservation easements, and include documentation of consultation with the USDA that confirms avoidance of USDA conservation easements. (Section 4.7.5.4)

Key Writing Points For Comments

 
Historic Districts

  • The pipeline would cross 6 nationally-recognized historic districts: Pursley’s Ferry Historic District, Amsterdam Historic District, Covered Bridge Historic District, Rosemont Rural Agricultural District, Sergeantsville Historic District, Pleasant Valley Historic District, totaling more than 3,900 acres.

  • It would also cross 6 potential historic districts: Horseshoe Bend District Edward Foxhouse and Farm, Sandy Ridge District, Alexauken District, Old York Road Rural Historic District, and Goat Hill District. 

  • The DEIS claims that the pipeline would have minimal effect on historic districts because it is below ground, but this is not true. These historic districts’ view sheds will be disrupted by the construction and maintenance of the pipeline. Trees will be cleared and the historic integrity and historic landscape of these areas would be marred.

The DEIS neglects to look at the cultural resources impacted by the proposed pipeline  as a continuous historic landscape, where stone walls, field, and wind breaks as well as threatened and endangered plants tell the story of human habitation in this river valley over the past 10,000 years.
  • The proposed route crosses many areas that are significant to the history of the Revolutionary War, yet this is not addressed in the DEIS. There should be a separate section in the DEIS that documents the impact of the proposed pipeline route in the context of the Revolutionary War.

The DEIS fails to address issues flagged by the latest letter from New Jersey State Historic Preservation Office (NJ SHPO), some of which are listed below:

  • Lack of Investigation/Information
​         
          - PennEast has only surveyed 32% of the pipeline route; the remaining 68% could be historically significant. For this reason, SHPO suggests that PennEast has neglected to identify important lithic (stone) historical “scatter sites” in particular.

  • Lack of Public Engagement

​          -SHPO emphasizes the importance of public engagement in identifying potential historically significant sites, yet very little of this is seen in the DEIS. Many local historians and archaeologists have posted concerns on the Docket which the DEIS fails to address.

  • Questionable Survey Methods
   
          - Not a single argillite artifact (tools made of native stone) was found during PennEast’s inspections, despite the fact that argillite is prolific in this area and well-documented with signs of Native American activity.

  • Areas of Native American significance

          - The DEIS says that it has not yet heard any responses back from the 15 Native American tribes, but many tribes have posted documents to the docket which the DEIS does not address.

          - According the SHPO, PennEast also failed to show that they had consulted the literature on Native American activity in the area.
 

Sample Letter  

Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street NE, Room 1A
Washington, DC  20426

RE: PennEast Pipeline (CP15-558-000) 

Dear Secretary Bose,

I am (enter your name and state how you are affected - directly impacted landowner?  Intervener?  Business  Owner?) in this proceeding who lives in (enter your address or Twsp).  I am concerned that the DEIS says, “with implementation of PennEast’s proposed impact avoidance, minimization, and mitigation plans, and our recommendations, we conclude that overall impacts on land use and visual resources would be adequately minimized.
” How can FERC say this when they don’t have PennEast’s minimization and mitigation plans?

PennEast has yet to file:
      a) the results of previously unsurveyed areas along the pipeline route and an updated list of residences and commercial structures within 50 feet of the construction right-of way;
      b) for all residences identified within 25 feet of a construction work area, a final site specific construction plan that includes all of the following: a dimensioned site plan that clearly shows the location of the residence in relation to the pipeline, the boundaries of all construction work areas, the distance between the edge of construction work areas and the residence and other permanent structures, and equipment travel lanes;
      c) a description of how and when landowners will be notified of construction activities;
      d) documentation of landowner concurrence if a structure within the construction work area will be relocated or purchased; and
      e) documentation of landowner concurrence if the construction work areas will be within 10 feet of a residence. 

PennEast also has yet to file:
    -any route adjustments, workspace modifications, or mitigation measures developed
    through PennEast’s ongoing consultations with landowners regarding the following
    planned and/or pending projects:
        a) Fields at Trio Farms Subdivision;
        b) Huntington Knolls, LLC Housing Development; and
        c) Hopewell Township Emergency Services Facility.

With so many information gaps, I don’t see how FERC can conclude that this pipeline won’t have any impacts to land use and recreation. It is against NEPA for FERC to make/favor a decision prior to having all the information needed to make an informed decision!

I respectfully call upon FERC to respond to my comments, and to suspend the review of this fraudulent DEIS.

Sincerely,
 
You will have a FERC ID, if
you filed as an intervener or have filed previously.

  Forgot your FERC ID?
If you have intervened or commented before you should have recieved a FERC ID #.
If you do not have it you can enter your email address you used to file.
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File?
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You will need to know the Docket # CP15-558 when you file.

Comments to FERC on the Docket

Below are some of the teriffic comments from citizens they have already filed on the docket.

You can use these as a tool to help you build your comments. Some of these comments are from specialist in their field so your comment does not have to be as detailed. You can write about your concerns about LAND USE & CULTURAL RESOURCES.