Cutting farms in half

Emma in Stockton NJ owns a fifty acre farm that will have the pipeline running across its entire length. She shares some of her concerns:

1. The proposed easement is would block all fifty acres from being accessed by heavy equipment. The access gate for farm equipment, carefully placed so that there is adequate room to turn a farm tractor from the road will fall within the proposed easement. This is also where the neighboring farm of over 100 acres is also accessed, and also the third adjoining farm behind. So in essence, three farms will be blocked from farm equipment.

2. The access to my lower fields that are farmed will also be blocked by the easement.

3. The easement will prevent me from farming almost one third of my land if even if the access problem could be solved.

4. In the proposed easement is a fruit orchard of over 50 trees and farm of over 350 species of daylilies that will have to be relocated. If the orchard is changed it also endangers the bees that are being raised by our beekeeper.

5. An eighty thousand dollar freestanding solar array, paid for by New Jersey may be within the easement proposal.

6. There is a pond, a creek, and substantial wetlands that will be crossed. Study will be needed to determine if there are specific endangered vegetation in this area and how the hydrology of the stream will be affected.

7. There is a natural hedgerow with at least three dens, one of them may be a wildcat den, and a natural run off waterway that leads directly to the creek, specifically within the proposed placement of the pipeline. If the dirt is at all compacted in this runoff area, there will be substantial storm water management issues that will impact homes downstream. Roads have already been washed out in big weather events.

8. There are numerous natural springs that need to be located specifically in relation to the proposed pipeline.

9. There is an old stone well that needs to be investigated, because it may be of historical significance and the possible sight of an old homestead.

10. There is an oak tree, over 250 years old, which has already been specifically protected by the township that will be endangered.

If you take a look at an overhead map of Stockton you can see what Emma is talking about:

As you can see this is pristine farm country that the pipeline will be running through (the pipeline survey corridor is the parallel purple lines). In many cases they’re trying to co-locate along the power line right-of-way – but then again in many cases they aren’t. Here’s a virgin tract that’s going to be ripped up by Penn East:

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Mike Spille

I'm a thinker, an analyzer, a synthesizer. Maybe not in that order. I live in West Amwell NJ with my wife Kristina, our two kids Day and Z, our two dogs Fern and Cinna, and two cats Ponce de Leon and Xavier.

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