Save Carbon County gathers to discuss pipeline
PennEast set up their surveying equipment next to Paul Shinsec's no trespassing sign on Pohopoco Drive and State street. Police were called and the surveyors moved across the highway. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Seventy people responded to a recent invitation from Linda and Roy Christman for a meeting at the Big Creek Grange to provide entertainment along with education about the PennEast pipeline.
Christman introduced Tara Zrinski, a professor of philosophy at Northampton Community College who is on the Food and Water Watch.
She said everyone is impacted by the pipeline.
"We are winning because PennEast is not a good planner. They are late for everything. Papers are filed wrong. There was no date so it gave intervenors more time to file," she said.
PennEast wants to begin construction in the first quarter of 2016 but they won't make it, Zrinski said. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has been refusing permits.
"Elected officials are behind us. In New Jersey all officials are in opposition," Zrinski said.
There are 1,558 intervenors including 22 of 29 municipalities and the Bethlehem Water Authority.
"The company said it would provide cheaper energy but we have the energy we need and the gas will be shipped overseas," said Zrinski.
PennEast said it would provide 1,200 jobs but only 89 of them will be permanent and they may be people from outside the area.
Forty-seven people were at Penn's Peak and 250 postcards were mailed to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. One hundred thirty people get the monthly Save Carbon County newsletter.
Attention has been called to crossing the Appalachian Trail. "We know they are listening," Zrinski said. The route has been changed several times.
"You are the watchdogs who have enabled police to get them off properties," she said. "They are scared because there are more of you than of them. The DEP should rescind permits.
"When you go home know that PennEast is losing, listening, mad and scared."
Paul Shinsec said he had a 100-acre farm but Wild Creek took 80 acres. Now surveyors set up next to his no trespassing sign at Pohopoco Drive and Station Road. The state police came and asked them to leave and they crossed Pohopoco into Beltzville Park property.
He said if people see PennEast people in the right of way they should challenge them, and if there is no response police should be called.
"Inform the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission each time someone is challenged," he said.
Chuck Weber of Kidder Township said his property will be the first private land outside Hickory Run to be affected. He said he is in the blast zone and updates Kidder supervisors and Carbon commissioners. He said he read recently that many more miles of pipeline are proposed in Pennsylvania.
Bert Holczman of East Penn Township provided postcards from the Delaware Riverkeepers to be mailed so the group can say it represents many people.
William and Donna Kellner, who live along Route 209, said they have put up signs to "Stop the Pipeline," and they have been removed. Bill hung the latest one in a tree and hopes it will be more difficult to remove. The sign is 3 feet, the diameter of the proposed pipeline.