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Carbon County planner raises concerns over pipeline

The Carbon County Planning Commission is taking exception with some of the items in PennEast's permit application to the state.

Ivan O. Meixell Jr., county planner, outlined a letter that will be sent by the county planning and development office to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection regarding the review of the ESCGP-2 permit and Chapter 105 water obstruction and encroachment permit application. The commission did not need to take action to send the review letter.The PennEast pipeline will traverse through Penn Forest, Kidder, Towamensing and Lower Towamensing townships in Carbon County as it connects the Marcellus Shale natural gas processes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.Meixell said that the company's narrative states that the project is designed to provide the lowest cost of natural gas produced in the Marcellus Shale region in Pennsylvania and adjacent states."There is not one home in Carbon that will receive any of this natural gas," Meixell said. "In fact, when I was on the stop the pipeline site online, every township in Carbon from Kidder, all the way down to New Jersey, is protesting this. They don't want this to happen."He noted that he took specific exception to one question in the application.The question asked if the proposed project meets the provisions of the zoning ordinances or does the proposed project have zoning approval."They checked yes," Meixell said, adding that the application then says if "yes" is checked, attached documentation showing the zoning approval should be attached, but he did not receive any documentation on this matter for review."I requested copies of the documentation," he said. "I also pointed out that out of the four townships that this will affect, they all passed resolutions protesting this pipeline being built through their townships. I don't see how they would give them zoning approval."Meixell also pointed out that to date, no subdivision plans have been submitted to the county planning commission for review."I know they are in their early stages, but they could have at least submitted a list of subdivisions that will come before the board, and they didn't do that," he said. "I put in the letter that will be sent that the project doesn't meet any of the requirements."The letter will now be sent to DEP and all other required parties as part of the 30-day comment period allowed during the application process.