DRBC Stop PennEast - Sign Me Up -- Organizational Sign on
If you would like to sign your organization onto this letter to the DRBC please fill out the form below. Here is the letter text, organizations will be listed in the order they sign up (both at the top of the letter and at the bottom). We will have a sign on for individuals coming soon.
Executive Director Steven Tambini
Delaware River Basin Commission
25 Cosey Road
P.O. Box 7360
West Trenton, NJ 08628-0360
Dear Mr. Tambini and Commissioners,
It is time for the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) to act on the PennEast pipeline – to reject the project and close the file.
The actions you take and the decisions you make regarding the PennEast pipeline – including, but not limited to, the extent of your jurisdictional authority and how you exercise that authority; how you interpret and apply the DRBC Compact and Rules of Practice and Procedure; the public engagement process; your willingness to endlessly keep open an obviously flawed, deficient and false permit application -- are setting precedent for every other pipeline to follow. New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania – including their waterways, the natural landscapes that dictate the health of their water resources, and all of the communities that depend on healthy waters, healthy forests, and the healthy economies that healthy waterways and ecosystems provide -- are being particularly hard hit by the onslaught of fracked gas pipelines emanating from the shale fields. Delaware has not yet been a major target but with LNG proposals cropping up all the time, that state too will soon be in the firing line. DRBC can and should be exercising its authority across the entire right of way of every pipeline infrastructure project that advances – DRBC has independent authority, responsibilities, and legal mandates that it must fulfill. The decisions and actions you take with regards to the PennEast pipeline are setting the precedent for every other pipeline to come.
Now to the PennEast pipeline where the precedent setting next steps are clear: ensure that it is clear DRBC can and will exercise its jurisdiction over the entire length of the pipeline bootprint (every square inch and every impacted resource as the entire length has implications for water resources in the basin) and that you will now deny a docket based on the information and lack of information that is in the PennEast pipeline application materials.
It has been over 3 ½ years since the PennEast pipeline company filed its application with the DRBC in February 2016. Since that time organizations, communities, along with their experts, have documented the false and misleading information contained in the PennEast application materials, along with the significant data gaps. Organizations, communities and our experts have demonstrated the irreparable harm that the PennEast pipeline would inflict on the water resources of the basin if constructed. In addition, there have been significant route changes and most recently a federal court ruling that has upheld the right of the state of New Jersey to deny PennEast the power of eminent domain to take and/or infringe on its property rights which will necessarily result in a new round of route changes. After 3 ½ years of a failing application for a pipeline that cannot demonstrate it will meet the legal requirements of the DRBC Compact, its Water Code and its Rules of Practice and Procedure, it is time for the Delaware River Basin Commission to deny a docket to the PennEast pipeline. It is no longer legally appropriate, nor morally defensible, for you to continue to keep the application file open and leave communities and natural resources across the basin threatened with harm from the ever-present PennEast-axe hanging over our heads.
All of this has been happening against the backdrop of a rapidly worsening climate crisis that is exacerbated by continued shale gas development and the willful disregard by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission of court mandates calling for consideration of climate impacts as part of the pipeline review process.
At this time when the federal government is looking, through regulatory rollbacks, to reduce the time and authority states have to protect their water resources, and given the massive explosion of gas drilling and associated infrastructure, the role of the Delaware River Basin Commission to protect the water resources of our region, and within the watershed portion of our 4 basin states, is increasingly important. As states have less time and authority to protect water resources, having DRBC exercise its full jurisdictional authority with absolute vigilance is more important than ever.
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