PennEast changes pipeline: Route to cross Appalachian Trail in Eldred
Pam Witmer, project manager for the PennEast Pipeline visited Eldred Township Wednesday evening to discuss a revision to the approved pipeline route that will now bring a small section of the pipeline through Eldred Township.
“The route change will bring the pipeline through Eldred Township where it crosses the Appalachian Trail and will be contained entirely on Pennsylvania game lands,” Witmer said. “The route will be shortened by a mile and will cause 15 acres work area disturbance.”
The approximately 120-mile pipeline route begins in the Marcellus Shale production area near Dallas, Pennsylvania, and connects with the existing underground Transcontinental Pipeline near Pennington, New Jersey. The route includes 25 municipalities in Pennsylvania and six in New Jersey.
In Carbon County, PennEast is seeking 9.3 acres of permanent easements, which it would keep for the continual operation of its pipeline; and 15.12 acres of temporary easements, which it would use during construction.
In Carbon County, the pipeline is expected to pass through Kidder, Penn Forest, Towamensing and Lower Towamensing townships.
Witmer said that the change is at the request of the State Park Service and the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The revised route also means less private property will be disturbed and only one residential right of way was required to make the change.
Witmer said that the route has not been proposed to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for approval yet and did not have a date when the amendment will be filed.
PennEast received its certification of public need on Jan. 19. PennEast is in the process of negotiating right of way and property claims with affected land owners.
Chairwomen Mary Anne Clausen asked Witmer to leave contact information for residents in case they had additional questions about the project. Witmer added that any resident who believed that they would be impacted by the change could register with FERC as an interested party and file their comments with the agency.
The PennEast Pipeline Co. began eminent domain proceedings in February by filing 44 lawsuits in federal court, with 11 properties in Carbon County.
The tracts are located on Sei Pike Lane, East Stagecoach Road, Palm Circle Drive, Vista Court, Log Fence Road, Station Street, Beers Lane and Pohopoco Drive in Towamensing Township, and Route 534 in Kidder Township.
Patricia Kornick, spokeswoman for PennEast, said the company is declining additional comment at this time. The website dedicated to the project does not have an updated map.
Save Carbon County, a local group of residents, has opposed the pipeline, which slated to begin this year with service beginning 2019.