Those crazy Important Bird Area “avoidance” routes

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As part of PennEast’s most recent submissions to FERC, they were asked to look at re-routes to avoid Important Bird Areas (IBA). This because they are severely impacting several.
 
Their answer? The maps below. The blunt lines in blue are the “alternative” possible route that would avoid IBAs. Except these alternatives are clearly crazy. They add miles to the route and are completely unsurveyed.
 
These are NOT any sort of official route, and PennEast is saying they are not interested in developing them, but nonetheless these are their possible response routes if they are forced to avoid IBAs.
 
The places to look:
 
Hickory Run State Park (PA) – Alternate runs to the east of the park through a housing development.
 
Holland NJ area (NJ) – Alternate avoids Holland almost all together, crosses more of PA with a stab upwards to connect to the Gilbert plant, and then crosses the Delaware at another point to continue into NJ. Yes, two crossings of the Delaware for this.
 
Frenchtown (NJ) – Route moves closer to Frenchtown in the vicinity of Horseshoe Bend Road.
 
West Amwell (NJ) – Route misses West Amwell and Baldpate Mountain almost entirely. By heading out West at Route 202, over the Delaware and then going South West 8.4 miles into PA. Then turning around and ultimately crossing the Delaware again between the I95 Bridge and the Washington Crossing Bridge
Many people think these proposals are being made to make the current route look good.  Others think maybe PennEast is trying to avoid more of NJ.  It’s tough to say, but no matter how you look at it these alternate routes are very, very bad options.  Warn people you know in these areas and get them involved!  They can still comment before the Dec 5th deadline.
 
Map link below:

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Published by

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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