Yesterday WACAP submitted a comment to FERC about wells in proximity of the proposed PennEast Pipeline preferred route (full disclosure: I’m the primary author). The full comment is available at the link below:
The comment tries to make something abundantly clear to PennEast and FERC, something that everybody who lives here knows: just about everybody here is on well water. There are no public water sources except in a few limited cases.
By ignoring this simple fact, FERC and PennEast are guilty of willful blindness. Wikipedia has a pretty good definition of the term:
Willful blindness (sometimes called ignorance of law, willful ignorance or contrived ignorance or Nelsonian knowledge) is a term used in law to describe a situation in which a person seeks to avoid civil or criminal liability for a wrongful act by intentionally keeping himself or herself unaware of facts that would render him or her liable.
This is exactly the situation with FERC and PennEast. They don’t wanna know about problems with the route. They don’t want to hear about wells and septics systems. They cover their ears and chant “blah blah blah blah I can’t hear you blah blah blah blah” and believe it covers them legally.
Well it doesn’t. The law is clear that you can’t act dumb or ignorant to get out of liability.
The comment goes on to show that using publicly available information, PennEast’s own filing, and a dash of common sense that it is statistically certain that a number of wells are within 150′ of PennEast construction.
I hope every town along the route submits a similar comment highlighting their own town and impacted properties.