Steven J. Tambini, Executive DirectorDelaware River Basin Commission25 State Policy DriveWest Trenton, NJ 08628-0360
Re: PennEast Pipeline Project
Dear Mr. Tambini,
On April 26, 2017 the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection issued a determination that the PennEast application materials submitted to the state were significantly deficient and incomplete. Among the deficiencies were:• Delineations of all freshwater wetlands, transition areas and open waters;• Soil borings and/or other physical indicators of wetlands, transition areas or open waters;• Other identified information pertaining to wetlands, open waters and transition areas;• An amended Phase I Archaeological Survey Report investigating the entire proposed alignment for the PennEast Pipeline project occurring in the State of New Jersey.
Subsequently, on June 28, 2017, NJDEP determined the PennEast Pipeline Company’s application for state approval of its project to be “administratively closed” due to the company’s failure to remedy the significant deficiencies and its failure to provide full information in a timely fashion for Clean Water Act decisionmaking. In its determination letter the NJDEP wrote:
“…given the complexity of the remaining deficient items, and the lack of demonstrated progress on the part of the applicant, it appears that it would be unlikely that an additional 60 days would allow substantial progress on the application. This application will be deemed ‘administratively closed’ as of the date of this letter.”
Even the FERC Final EIS notes a wealth of missing information, including much, if not most of which, speaks to issues that have a direct effect on the quality and health of the surface waters, groundwater and wetlands of the Delaware River watershed under the jurisdiction of the DRBC.
And so we urge the DRBC to formally make a determination that you too find the information on the record with the Delaware River Basin Commission to be inadequate and incomplete and that as a result the DRBC will not be undertaking any consideration of the PennEast Pipeline project at this time as pertains to a DRBC docket for any portion of the construction of this project.
In addition, we ask that you confirm for the public that you will not hold any public hearings until such time as the information filed with the DRBC is demonstrated and verified to be both complete and accurate.
And we urge you to make clear, for the public, FERC and PennEast, that the DRBC intends to enforce its authority as clearly articulated in its November 14, 2014 letter to the PennEast Pipeline Company that “DRBC review and approval are required prior to the commencement of any water withdrawal, discharge, or earth disturbance activities.” This is particularly important give that a quorum of Commissioners has been restored at FERC and so a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity may be imminent.
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