PennEast Pipeline Cancelled! Dogged Opposition by the People Wins the Day

Monday, September 27, 2021

Trenton, NJ; Harrisburg, PA; Washington, D.C.: In a simple statement, sent quietly Monday morning, September 27, the companies advancing the PennEast pipeline project announced it has been cancelled. The statement could not be found on the company’s website but has been shared by multiple news outlets and reads:

“Although PennEast received a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from FERC to construct the proposed pipeline and obtained some required permits, PennEast has not received certain permits, including a water quality certification and other wetlands permits required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act for the New Jersey portion of the Project; therefore, the PennEast partners, following extensive evaluation and discussion, recently determined further development of the project is no longer supported. Accordingly, PennEast has ceased all further development of the project.”

As of 1:30 pm, the statement is not found on the PennEast Pipeline official website.

We knew we would get here eventually, it was just a matter of time,” said Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper, leader of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, and staunch opponent to the PennEast Pipeline. “Organizations like the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Berks Gas Truth, Environment NJ, NJ Sierra and Clean Water Action, have been partnering with frontline organizations, community leaders, property owners, and environmental advocates literally since day one. Since the project was announced People Against the Pipeline community groups have been popping up all along the over 100 mile long line, all coordinating and working together.  We have advocated, litigated, conducted critical scientific groundtruthing, and been clear throughout that we would accept nothing short of cancellation! All along, we have assured residents up and down the pipeline that we could win as long as we stuck together in opposition. We stayed united in our opposition and we won! Today is a day to celebrate. Tomorrow we battle on to end the fracking that spawned this evil pipeline project as well as the other LNG, pipeline, and compressor projects that are part and parcel of the devastating and dangerous fracking industry advancing the climate crisis and putting the health and safety of our planet and future generations at such consequential risk.”

"I’m grateful for all of the work that has been accomplished by the advocacy groups on the ground these last years, fighting this unnecessary and dangerous proposal. I also thank the residents and communities on the front line of the proposed route for their tireless efforts. My work is not done. I will continue to commit to this fight for comprehensive oversight by FERC. We must have accountability when it comes to proposed projects and take a cumulative approach of the need and the environmental impact when pipelines are put forth into consideration. Make no mistake though, today is a great win,” said Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman.

"Thanks to the tireless work of our members, organizers, local activists, and elected officials  who never stopped believing we could stop this dangerous and unnecessary pipeline, we are celebrating today," said Eric Benson, Clean Water Action, NJ Campaigns Director. "But we know the fossil fuel industry will continue to try to put their profits before people and the planet. We are ready to build on our existing deep partnerships with Governor Murphy, US Representatives Watson-Coleman and Malinowski, NJ Senators Turner and Bateman, and Assemblyman Zwicker. Together we will continue to fight to build a clean energy future -- and we know we can win."

“It’s about time!” exclaimed Karen Feridun, Founder of Berks Gas Truth and among those battling PennEast since day one.

“I’m deeply thankful for the endless efforts of resilient battling our communities have endured to reach this victory! I will forever be in gratitude for the Delaware Riverkeeper’s wisdom and educational guidance in bringing awareness to this very important mission, to protect our waters and lands! I’m honored for myself and my 4 children to have been involved in spreading that awareness for years and helping the greater communities stop this deadly PennEast pipeline! We did it!!” offered Tina Venini, an impacted landowner in Riegelsville PA.

“This is truly wonderful news for the communities along the pipeline route who have fought tirelessly for an unneeded project that would not benefit them. My family farm is one of many on the route and we are so happy that it will be protected along with preserved lands and beloved family homes. My gratitude goes out to all who worked tirelessly for this outcome!  We still have a lot of work to do in our transition to clean energy solutions but for today so many will sleep well knowing this project has been canceled,” said Liz Magill Peer, Environment Team Lead Indivisible Lambertville New Hope.

"The death of the PennEast pipeline is a long time coming. This is a watershed victory to stop fossil fuel companies from destroying our natural lands and waterways and pollute our climate. This is a win for the public, a win for the environment and a win for the climate. This has been the day we've been waiting seven years for and seemed so far away. This victory wouldn't have been possible without the support of the Murphy Administration and the NJDEP standing up to the environmental bullying from PennEast. Residents are shedding tears of joy today --- residents stood up for the environment and against private gas companies from taking their land and fought battles all the way to the Supreme Court," said Doug O'Malley, director of Environment New Jersey. "Today is proof that you can fight the gas industry and win.  Today the deception of the gas industry to build new gas pipelines without proving the need for gas was exposed a little more. Today the willingness to bully landowners using the threat of eminent domain by gas companies died a little bit more.  PennEast spent the last seven years bullying New Jersey --- from landowners to state government --- and this win is a testament that you can't bulldoze the public and the environment.”

“For over half a decade, PennEast Pipeline LLC., has threatened the welfare of communities throughout PA and NJ with its unwanted and unneeded project. The FERC, having approved the project certificate, has failed the public. This pipeline project was proposed under the guise of public need, yet, public outcry has demonstrated otherwise. Restitution for the financial burden of legally protecting our communities is overdue. PennEast was never needed, and yet, so much damage has already been done,” said Arianne Elinich, Bucks County Concerned Citizens Against the Pipelines.

“From the beginning, we were struck with PennEast's intimidation, corporate arrogance, and unwillingness to consider alternative rights-of-way. Very steep slopes (>35%) and fragile wet lands on our property were needlessly embraced by their right-of-way when less vulnerable pathways might have been followed. They were not open to alternatives and in a comprehensive sense the pipeline itself was an unneeded enterprise,” said Ned Heindel, Ph.D., impacted landowner and retired professor of chemistry at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA.

“Many people have worked diligently and persistently to make sure this project, beloved by corporations but hated by the people who would have to live with it, would be stopped. Against almost impossible odds, the people prevailed. Now, end all pipelines everywhere,” said Sharon Furlong, Spokesperson for Bucks Environmental Action.

“The tears of joy, relief, gratitude, and release of all the tears I have held back all of these seven years trying to stay strong battling this demon won’t stop. I am so grateful for all of the awesome people who I was blessed to be fighting this battle with. And I thank God for not abandoning us and for His hand and His army of angels protecting us and our land, air and water,” added Therese Buchanan, an impacted landowner in Stockton, NJ.

“Save Carbon County is a group that was formed seven years ago to fight the PennEast pipeline.  From the beginning of this project the PennEast company dismissed the concerns of landowners and environmentalists.  They refused to compromise in any way and promised us that the pipeline was going to be built on their terms—it was a done deal and we might as well give up.  I am so proud of all of the opposition groups.  We stuck with it for seven years.  We never gave up and finally—the good guys won.  I think other “amateurs” can take heart from this win.  Don’t give up,” said Linda Christman, President, Save Carbon County.

The Delaware Riverkeeper Network was in federal court challenging FERC approval of the project, as well as leading efforts to challenge approvals sought from the Delaware River Basin Commission, the PA DEP and the NJDEP.  

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Since our founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking and people power to the table.


Eric Benson