Photo by Bradley M. Koltz - Pipeline work off Route 518 earlier this year.
By Bradley M. Koltz
Earlier this week, Township Committee voted unanomously to ban survey work on the $1.2 billion PennEast pipeline project, according to published reports. This has the Township following the lead of Mercer County which also has acted to ban survey work.
Mayor Harvey Lester has been quoted as saying that the unanomous Township Committee vote seems “fitting” to make the position of denying survey access as part of the public discussion about the pipeline project.
“Our goal” Mayor Lester is quoted, “is to stop the pipeline.”
Every municipality that has been impacted by the pipeline work has passed resolutions against it. This move by Hopewell Township, however, bans the company from Township land.
PennEast is a consortium of natural gas companies backed by all four natural gas providers in the state.
The project seeks to build the 110-mile, 36-inch pipeline from the Marcellus Shale region of Pennsylvania to Hopewell Township.
Last week, the state Department of Environmental Protection sent a letter to the federal regulatory commission, saying the department does not have enough information to determine which permits would be needed to build the pipeline because so many homeowners along the project's path have not allowed PennEast to survey their property.
Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes has also reportedly sent the consortium a letter demanding that the company cease drilling operations on Baldpate Mountain and remove all equipment from county-owned land.