Safety Concerns

A big point of contention between public opinion and the PennEast people is on the topic of safety.  People in the path of this pipeline are worried about this thing. It’s a 3 foot wide high pressure pipeline buried just a couple of feet under the surface of the ground, carrying a billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.  PennEast assures us this pipeline is “safe”, or at least as safe as they can make it.

But all things are relative, and safety is not an absolute but a continuum.  It’s not just a question of how statistically likely a breach or explosion of the pipeline is; it’s also about the damage that would be caused if the unthinkable did happen.  I grew up with natural gas in my family home, and my family accepted the risk of small 2″ gas pipelines coming into our home for the convenience and relative cheapness of it.  But 2″ is one thing.  A three foot pipeline carrying a billion cubic feet of natural gas PER DAY is another thing entirely.  I don’t want such a beast near my house.  And neither does Cara from Stockton.

I am an extremely concerned citizen from Delaware Township,NJ and am writing to express my strong opposition to the PennEast pipeline. My concerns are numerous. I am not sure what more that I can say that has not ALREADY been said here over and over, not only by other concerned citizens but by respected scientists and educators who understand the damage that this pipeline will do to our environment a lot better than I.

My greatest opposition to this pipeline is our safety and our health. The news has been more than alarming. A pipeline in West Virginia exploded this past Monday making it the fourth accident this month! I live on a property adjacent to my Mother’s. The alternate route that PennEast has proposed would run directly through her property, land that has been in our family for several generations. What can you do to assure us that she will be protected from one of these explosions? She is a two time cancer survivor and has chronic asthma which I saw on the EPA website can be exacerbated by gas emissions. Please tell me that she did not survive stage 4-lung cancer to now be subjected to possible explosions and contaminated water in our wells from a pipeline that we do NOT want or need?

The pipeline would also be approximately 2 miles from Delaware Township School, our local Elementary and Middle School. Our community does not have adequate emergency responders or resources should there be an evacuation or large-scale emergency. In addition, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA) only has 135 inspectors to oversee the 2.6 million miles of pipeline. It is strikingly evident that they cannot maintain what is already in existence!

Read her complete comments here:

Cara from Stockton – FERC Generated PDF

Ava gets right to the point

Ava from Stockton uses both barrels to blow a hole through the PennEast proposal:

http://elibrary.ferc.gov/idmws/common/opennat.asp?fileID=13758338

I am a 19 year old resident of Stockton, New Jersey and am writing to express my opposition to the PennEast pipeline which is threatening to destroy not only our community but my family’s property. I have had the privilege to grow up in this community, on a beautiful family farm that belonged to my Great Grandmother, Jane Henderson.

I am extremely upset that a company can come in and endanger our land and all the natural resources that come with it. If you drive through our community, you will the signs everywhere opposing this pipeline. The Delaware River,which is one of our biggest resources for water and tourism, is at risk as well as the land that we live on.

PLEASE SAY NO TO PENNEAST AND OTHER PIPELINE COMPANIES AND STOP THE DESTRUCTION OF OUR COMMUNITY! THIS IS OUR HOME!

Nothing says “Home” like a 3 foot wide high pressure gas pipeline…

Sean from West Milford has a similar story to me and my wife.  They came out to the country to alleviate the stress of city working.  Little did they know they’d soon be sharing their sedate lifestyle with a natural gas super highway…

Sean from Millford – FERC Generated PDF

 My property lies directly in the path of the proposed PennEast Pipeline. To be more specific, a hazardous and explosive gas main will be less than 100 yards from the home and mere feet from the well which supplies the tap for myself and my family. I have trouble finding the words to say how outraged I am at the possibility of such action taking place. Beyond the obvious threat to the well being of my family, I am heartbroken at the thought of what this proposed pipeline will do the land.

My wife and I purchased our home to relieve the stress of our city jobs and connect again with nature. We live on 3 acres of wooded land, surrounded by a small creek and backed by preserved woodland. The property abounds with numerous species of wildlife (some rare for these parts) who also call this area home. If the proposition for this pipeline passes, my trees will be leveled, woodland that was previously “preserved” will be decimated, habitat will be destroyed, the creek and our water supply potentially polluted and everything my family and neighbors love about this place we call home will be decimated.

Pipeline Route

The Pipeline route is a work in progress. Check PennEast’s sight regularly for the most recent planned route – they have already changed it significantly once in January 2015, and may do so again. You can see their published route here: http://penneastpipeline.com/proposed-route/ Note that this page is a bit wonky and the route shown seems to change back and forth between the November and January versions.

I’ve saved a copy of the January 2015 route in the form of the Google Earth KMZ file they’re using. While the proposed-route link on the PennEast web site is useful, they’ve limited how much you can do with the map. With the raw KMZ file you can load the route into Google Earth (it’s free, go get it!) or within Google maps and see exactly where the route lies in relation to you and sites you’re interested in, measure distances, etc. I’ve uploaded the KMZ file here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B512ERL8q-oIanZ2Z25xQzR0UFk/view?usp=sharing

Note that the purple lines are showing a 400′ wide “survey corridor”, the actual pipeline easement could be anywhere within that 400′.  During construction that corridor will shrink to around 100′, and the final easement will be 50′ wide.

Farms owned by families going back to the Revolutionary War

Jeanne’s family has owned several farms in Holland Township for generations.  A LOT of generations – going all the way back to the 1700’s:

Jeanne’s comments – FERC Generated PDF

From her comments:

I am totally against the pipeline and a private company making a profit at my families’ expense by destroying the land in New Jersey Hunterdon County, specifically Holland Township. The route is planned to go through not only my husband’s and brother-in law’s family farms, but also through my original home farm. The Moore farm has been in our family since the 1700s. Our ancestors settled this land and started in a one room house that remains part of the current house today. We have documentation that both my original family and my husband’s ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War as Patriots. My husband’s great grandfather fought for the Union in the Civil War in the 9th NJ regiment. It saddens my family that our heritage is being destroyed, that the labor and sacrifice of our ancestors can be dismissed as if this is not entirely our rightful land. I feel especially violated by having my two family farms devalued and destroyed by a company’s bottom –line when none of this project would benefit the local residents of the area. We do not need to export gas/oil to other countries. The fact that it is going to the freight and shipping city of Trenton makes this clear no matter what the “company line” states. Also, I am now suspicious of the political leaders and their previous efforts to keep “open land” in New Jersey. How much are they to profit from this pipeline being approved on my family land?

Wetlands protected for Five generations threatened by the pipeline

Emma sent a powerful message to the FERC with her comments, linked here:

Emma’s Story – FERC Generated PDF

The power of the story really comes from the pictures – the many generations of her family that have enjoyed a pond that PennEast is now threatening.  The words to accompany those images:

The pain that this pipeline will cause is unimaginable.

It will endanger wildlife and environments that this family has struggled through generations to preserve. We have worked so hard to hang on to this land and ensure it’ existence. Penn East proposes to annhialate it.

This wetland and pond has been protected for five generations.  It originally belonged to my great grandmother, Helen Henderson. Depicted here at THIS pond is my grandmother, Jane Henderson, my brother Dan Macy, my sister,Cara Redmond and me, Emma Angele Switzler, as children, my mother Vaughana Feary as a child with her goats, and my own children, Brant and Alexandra Switzler ice skating on the same pond. My children are now old enough to have children of their own. I am BEGGING you not to destroy my legacy to them and their children!!