Environmental Groups Seek Emergency Stay of NJ Natural Gas Pipeline Expansion
The Delaware Riverkeeper Network and the New Jersey Highlands Coalition have asked an appeals court to issue an emergency stay of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) approval of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners $400 million natural gas pipeline expansion in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The groups Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. LLC of artificially dividing the upgrade of the pipeline into a number of subprojects in an attempt to evade a comprehensive environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act.
Because the pipeline is an interstate pipeline approval rests with FERC, which granted the project's permits in 2010 and issued a final work order last month. The company has already completed several legs of the expansion, in which it is looping 30-inch pipe alongside an existing 24-inch line to handle the flood of natural gas flowing from shale plays across the state.
The Group’s petition challenges FERC's May 29 order and certification for the project, as well as a notice to proceed with construction issued Dec. 14. The Groups allege that FERC conducted a minimal level of environmental review for just one small segment of the entire project.This filing is the latest battle in an ongoing fight. Opponents of the project, led by the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, filed a case before FERC in July, asking the agency to reconsider its approval.
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