ENVIRONMENT

Lawmakers, advocates urge DEP to reject permits for PennEast pipeline

The battle is still brewing over the controversial PennEast Pipeline.

Lawmakers and environmental advocates Tuesday called on the state Department of Environmental Protection to reject the permits needed to move forward with building the natural gas pipeline. The company submitted a new application to the DEP for environmental permits last week.

Opponents say PennEast is seizing land from private homeowners and properties preserved by the state.

The proposed pipeline would cut through parts of Hunterdon and Mercer counties. Members of New Jersey’s congressional delegation pushed back against the project, which they say won’t bring any benefit to the region.

“The PennEast project has been determined unnecessary by every expert that has looked at it. It is not energy that New Jersey should be investing in and seeking,” said Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman.

“The natural beauty of this part of New Jersey is not something we can place a monetary value on,” said Congressman Tom Malinowski, “why would we spoil that for something that we do not need, that is only driven by the desire of one group of companies to make a profit?”

A spokesperson for PennEast pointed out that federal regulators already approved the pipeline as both safe and necessary, adding it’ll allow residents to “benefit from lower energy costs, improved reliability, thousands of jobs, and a project that supports a cleaner energy future.”