It’s hard to believe 2016 is more than halfway gone. And along the way we’re starting to come up on some critical deadlines on PennEast. The kicker is – we don’t know exactly when those deadlines start! But some of them have extraordinarily short windows in which people can act.
So to help give people a sense of what we’re dealing with, I’ve put together a visual aid to demonstrate what the timelines look like. Below is an animated .gif file showing the major FERC milestones coming up for PennEast.
As you can see, we don’t know exactly when the DEIS will be issued, but we do know there will be a 45 day comment window. This window is critical as it forms the basis of any action you want to take against the project in federal court. That 45 day period forms the only legal record that matters.
So you can see the DEIS could drop today – or we might still have a month or more. It’s hard to say. This slides the end of the comment period any where from the beginning of September to near the end of October.
We know the rough size of the DEIS issuance window because FERC has said they will issue the Final EIS (FEIS) in mid-December 2016. And they will need some time to incorporate the DEIS comments into the FEIS.
However, if the DEIS comment window were to blow up with 10,000 comments – well, we’ll have to see what that does to FERC timelines.
After the FERC FEIS issuance, there’s a 30 day clock that starts when people can make motions against it. Which I suspect they will.
After that, there is a 60 day window in which FERC can choose to release its final order in the matter. That order will be: Reject, or Grant.
If that order is given as Grant, then PennEast will have federal eminent domain authority. At that point in time PennEast will likely go for an injunction to get survey access on all properties that have denied access up to that point in time.
Below that we show some of the other permits involved. We know some of them have already been applied for in 2016, such as PADEP and US Army Corp of Engineers (USACE). Others have not yet been begun, and might not be until next year, including the NJDEP permits and DRBC permit (to clarify: the DRBC permit has been entered, but I’ve heard will not be actioned until 2017).
So it’s hurry up and wait time people. But be prepared! Once the DEIS hits we have a very limited time to get our comments in, and we want everyone to hit this one out of the park.