Dream home is nearing completion – but so is the PennEast proposal

Henry from Stockton, NJ is just a few weeks away from completing his dream home in Delaware Township. Unfortunately his dream is located fairly close to both the original and proposed pipeline routes.

I am weeks away &om completing my dream home on a piece of property located close the the proposed route of the PennEast pipeline project. My property is between the original route and the proposed alternate route of the pipeline. My property is located at Block 19 Lot 24 in Delaware Township, NJ.

One reason we decided to build here is that almost the entire immediate area surrounding my home are properties in Farmland Preservation. We enjoy the rural character of the area and would not like to see it marred by a new pipeline right of way. I feel our community was directly targeted because so many properties are in preservation.

I do have some concerns about what could happen to my home and family as well as my drinking water well. I believe the public need for this project has been greatly overstated by PennEast since New Jersey, where the pipeline will terminate, already enjoys the low’est residential natural gas prices in the region. The corporation “needs” the pipeline for profits, not for the benefit of the citizens in the area. I also find it very ironic that residential gas delivery will not even be offered to the very communities that will have to be traversed by the pipeline.

There is a very sad and deep irony buried in Henry’s story. If you google his block and lot information in Delaware Township you’ll land on the minutes of a Delaware Township municipal meeting that took place several years ago. The topic was variances they needed from the town and the NJ DEP to install their septic system. They noted that it took two years to complete the NJ DEP approval process.

Think about that for a moment. An individual trying to get a septic system installed on their lot needs to go through a lengthy process that takes years to get environmental approval for. For just one house. Meanwhile PennEast says that the entire pipeline process will be done in the same amount of time!

What kind of planet do we live on that approving an individual septic system takes two years but approving a pipeline sails through the system?

Henry also shares his eye-witness account of the 36″ gas pipeline explosion in Edison, NJ in the 90s. One part talks about why it took hours to get the pipeline gas flow turned off:

The valves on this pipeline normally operate in power assist mode, in which the gas pressure powers a small motor that opens and closes the valve. Normally, it is a seven- to 10-minute procedure. This night the rupture had reduced pressure in the line such that the valve would not automatically turn. However, even if there had been sufficient pressure, firefighters were concerned that the natural gas vented off from this valve during the automatic valve-closing procedure would be ignited by the intense heat from the fireball.

South Plainfield Volunteer Fire Department and TETCO employees had to close the valve manually. The firefighters, in four- or five-member shifts, took turns on the four-foot-diameter hand-wheel, moving it six to eight inches at a pull against the flow of gas through the line. The heat was such that the reflective material on their turnouts burned away and the bottoms of their fire boots melted. It took 752 turns and 2 1/2 hours to close the valve.

Henry’s submission is available below.

Henry’s submission – FERC Generated PDF

Henry’s submission – FERC Generated PDF Alternate site

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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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