A Stop PennEast billboard is up at the corner of N611 and Kintner Hill Road, just south of Kintnersville. Be sure to drive by, it's impressive!
The Cooks Creek Watershed is a 30-square-mile Exceptional Value watershed located in Upper Bucks County. It contains more than 40 miles of pristine streams and brooks that retain a stunning array of fish, insects and other wildlife including the last remaining natural brook trout fishery in Southeastern Pennsylvania. The Cooks Creek is unique in the Delaware Valley because of the exposed limestone and karst topography, making it home to a number of rare and endangered species. This limestone valley is capped north and south by granite ridges, creating a seam of springs that feed numerous headwater streams and wetlands and keep the water in Cooks Creek unusually clear, clean, and cold.
Historically, the watershed provided hydro power for one of the earliest iron furnaces in colonial America, and its iron mines helped secure the colonists’ victory over England in the Revolutionary War. The boats used to ferry General Washington across the Delaware in Trenton on a cold Christmas Eve in 1777 were made in Durham Township. A railroad once transported people and goods from the Delaware River to nearby Quakertown, and the proximity to the Delaware River canal system ensured a ready market for lumber and iron ore. Despite these industrial beginnings, the townships of Durham, Springfield and Lower Saucon are today a pastoral landscape of rolling hills, orchards, farms and forested lands interspersed with quaint villages and secluded estates.
In recent years there have been attempts by entrepreneurs to bring industry back to the Cooks Creek valley. A tank farm was proposed in Springtown; a quarry and asphalt plant was proposed in Durham, and recently, there was an attempt to export the exceptionally clean groundwater of Springtown to support regional development. Since 1973, the Cooks Creek Watershed Association has successfully defended the watershed’s resources from these assaults. We now face a new attack. The PennEast pipeline is proposed to cross the Cooks Creek Watershed along the Durham/Riegelsville boundary. This 30-inch natural gas pipeline will carry natural gas from the fracking fields of North Central PA, to processing facilities in Mercer County, NJ.
If allowed to cross the Cooks Creek Watershed, the PennEast pipeline will cut a 125-foot swath of destruction across forest, headwaters and farmland in Durham, creating a scar that will bleed pesticides, sediments and invasive species. Unlike the impacts from historical industrial practices, these impacts are both permanent and have no discernible benefit to the people residing within the watershed. In a sad twist of irony, the majority of the gas will likely be liquefied and shipped overseas to fuel competing economies.
We need to take a stand now to stop this madness. It is ridiculous and irresponsible to allow political interests fueled by greedy international companies to give away our resources. The members of the Cooks Creek Watershed Association have written and signed a resolution regarding our interests and how we stand in this matter. We will be presenting this resolution to local municipal governments, other environmental groups, the media, and local, county and state elected officials. Read the resolution.
W. Scott Douglas, President
Cooks Creek Watershed Association
This image is of Kaia Elinich making her statement at the FERC Scoping Meeting in Bethlehem on February 10, 2015. Note a distressed Alisa Harris, PennEast spokesperson, behind Kaia and to her right. The image shows just one line of her statement. Read it in total below.
My name is Kaia Elinich and I am a resident of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The Penn East pipeline is proposed to cut through watersheds and be buried in the earth only a couple of miles away from my home. It would cross the highway whether I go towards Hellertown or head out towards the Delaware River.
PennEast Corporation is clearly planning on growing pipeline infrastructure bigger and bigger until it's in our backyards. Think about the water supply that will be negatively affected by the construction of the Penn East Pipeline. Cooks Creek, which runs through my backyard, is an Exceptional Value Watershed that must be protected.
We have a pipeline on the property I live on. One day the pipeline company came and told us they had to cut down a good section of the beautiful trees that grew there for 30 years or more. Apparently the company had forgotten to check up on the pipeline to make sure there were no trees or buildings on top of it. If a pipeline goes through your land, it will never be the same again. Think about the forests, the streams, and farms that would be affected in a negative way. Think about all the animals and people that live in these places and how this pipeline is going to affect them. Put yourself in the shoes of the people whose property PennEast plans to take by eminent domain.
I cannot understand why Penn East thinks that making money from natural gas is more important than our lives. When is Penn East going to recognize all of the negative impacts of their pipeline? I am sure Penn East thinks gas pipelines are good because they make them money...but they are a limited liability corporation for a reason. What happens when we run out of natural gas?
How would you like to have to get your water from a truck every day because your drinking well had been poisoned by a fracking operation nearby. We could be using solar panels and other types of renewable energy instead of burying dangerous gas pipelines in the ground. Please think about how all of this is going to affect my generation. We have a right to a voice because when you leave us with a poisoned environment We are going to be the ones cleaning up the mess. We must change our country’s energy policies or my generation is going to pay the price of an immeasurable impact for decades to come.
Bucks County, PA
2. Attend Public Meetings:
3. Organize in your own neighborhood
4. Write letters to the editor
5. Say NO to surveyors who arrive on your property.
6. E-register your comments with FERC – the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission – Docket number PF15-1. There is pdf a handout attached here (156 KB) that can explain the e-register process as well as the steps to follow in the future to participate in the application process.
The most imporant thing for you to do is to connect with other people in this movement. We are engaged in an uphill but not impossible battle to not only move this pipeline out of our backyard but make sure it doesn't get moved to someone else's back yard. Educate yourself and your neighbors and join Food & Water Watch on November 19th in Bath.
Lower Nazareth Township supervisors plan to write the United States regulatory agency that will decide whether the PennEast pipeline is built and voice concerns. While Lower Nazareth supervisors last month stopped short of passing a formal resolution in opposition of the project, the board had suggested the public write the township with concerns. The township now plans to send those comments, as well as additional concerns from the board, to FERC by the deadline [for the Environmental scoping period].
A group of Williams Township residents has formed to oppose the PennEast pipeline with the aim of developing similar groups throughout Northampton and Bucks counties. The group, Concerned Citizens Against the PennEast Pipeline of Williams Township, announced its intention Wednesday night to the township supervisors.
Accidents involving 'high consequence area pipelines,' where people or buildings are more likely to be impacted, have increased in recent years. The study (pdf), issued Tuesday by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), was released amid a growing push by the federal government to extract and exploit the vast gas holdings found in shale deposits around the U.S.
The family of Linda Cerritelli, 62, whose badly charred body was found after the explosion, are accusing PSE&G and subcontractor Henkels & McCoy of negligence. The March 4 explosion occurred after workers digging in the South Fork neighborhood ruptured a gas line that spewed gas for a lengthy period before the explosion occurred, officials have said.
Last month an anti-fracking group settled a lawsuit against Pennsylvania, after it was erroneously labeled a potential terrorist threat. But documents obtained by StateImpact Pennsylvania show law enforcement here and in other parts of the country continue to conduct surveillance on anti-fracking activists, leading some to claim their Constitutional rights are being violated.
See how many pads there are throughout Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming and Pennsylvania via a Google Earth tour.
Thousands of miles of new pipelines in Pennsylvania will have to be built to transport Marcellus Shale gas.
Nobody knows how many miles of pipeline already exists in the state. That’s because Pennsylvania does not have one regulatory authority that oversees intrastate gas pipelines. In fact, out of 31 states that produce natural gas, Alaska is the only other state, besides Pennsylvania, that doesn’t.
National Journal, Issued by EAP - Energy Association of Pennsylvania, November 12, 2014
More than 130 people filled the Williams Township Fire Company No. 1 building Thursday night to find out how to fight the natural gas pipeline that PennEast is proposing to build through the Lehigh Valley and into New Jersey.
Karen Feridun, founder of Berks Gas Truth, told residents that she has been involved with a few other communities that were fighting proposed gas pipelines and that the communities have always emerged victorious.
"My best piece of advice is to get involved," she said. "Get organized, pull together. These are more winnable than you think."
WFMZ-TV Channel 69, November 07, 2014
Watch the channel 69 segment covering the informational pipeline meeting in Williams Township at the Morgan Hill fire house on October 6.
"This building was absolutely packed tonight, in fact some people had to be turned away because the building exceeded its maximum capacity."
Hunterdon County Democrat, November 06, 2014
This article about a community meeting in West Amwell, NJ describes not only the meeting and its circumstances, but shares some of the thoughts of the speakers.
"Although PennEast reps have conveyed the impression that the pipeline is inevitable, last night’s experts said that the right kind of united and strategic opposition has a good chance of stopping the pipeline."
By Charles Malinchak
Special to The Morning Call
That the PennEast Pipeline is not welcome in Lower Saucon Township was made clear Wednesday when council approved a resolution opposing the 108-mile natural gas line that would cut through the southern part of the township.
The measure was met with some applause after it was approved in a 4-0 vote.
"Thank you for doing the right thing,'' township resident Gloria McVeigh said.
Tara Zrinski, local coordinator of Food and Water Watch, a national group advocating for clean water and safe food, said, "We applaud the draft resolution. ... It is a symbolic gesture to show opposition from the community.''
She said in addition to the PennEast line, there is potential for seven more pipelines traveling a similar route.
"We need a united front. The only people to benefit from this is PennEast,'' Zrinski said
The resolution, which council discussed last month, is mostly symbolic because the ultimate decision on whether or not it's built will be made by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
"Our ordinance will not trump federal law,'' council Vice President Tom Maxfield said last month.
The 36-inch natural gas line is proposed to go from Luzerne County and travel south through a 1.5-mile section of the township, go under the Lehigh River, and continue through Williams Township, a part of Bucks County and then under the Delaware River into New Jersey before ending in Mercer County.
According to a copy of the resolution, "Tthe Council of Lower Saucon Township opposes and objects to the design, route and construction of the proposed PennEast Pipeline and the Hellertown lateral. ... The proposed pipeline/lateral threatens to significantly damage streams, wildlife habitat, existing farm operations and the quality of life in Lower Saucon Township.''
The Hellertown lateral, according to the resolution, is a 2.1 mile, 24-inch pipe that would come off the main 36-inch line into the borough and feed natural gas into the area's existing gas system.
The resolution also urges surrounding municipalities affected by the pipe to draft similar resolutions, but supervisors in neighboring Williams Township rejected such a resolution last month and Bethlehem Township has not made a decision.
Councilwoman Priscilla deLeon said Lower Saucon joins Moore Township as the only two municipalities in Northampton County to draft an opposition resolution. Several municipalities have approved such resolutions.
Council President Ron Horiszny said after the meeting that council's decision was based on several factors, such as the pipeline providing no benefit to the township, and that it would scar the landscape, create traffic jams during construction and come very close to land preserved by the township.
"There are no property taxes generated from a pipeline. You can't tax it and you can't regulate it. All you could do is endure,'' he said.
DeLeon said she is opposed to fracking — the method of extracting natural gas from Marcellus Shale — and by allowing the pipeline, "all we're doing is exacerbating the problem.''
The proposed route of the 108 mile, 36-inch pipeline will cut through seven Northampton County Townships including, Moore, Upper Nazareth, Lower Nazareth, East Allen, Bethlehem, East Allen, Williams and Lower Saucon. This route will deliver up to 1 Billion cubic feet, (Bcf), of natural gas, carrying with it risks of catastrophic explosions and spills through northeastern Pa en route to its termination at Transco's Trenton Woodbury interconnection.
Williams Township Route
The pipeline is proposed to enter Williams Township from Lower Saucon Township through pristine woodlands along Buttermilk Road. It will then across Gaffney Hill Road, continuing through mature woodlands on Hexenkopf Road, crossing the Columbia pipeline to Raubsville Road. It crosses Raubsville south of Durham Road. East of Raubsville Road, the pipeline will dig through at least 4 miles of farmland. Before it crosses over into Durham. It crosses Fry’s Run – a High Quality Cold Water Fishery and Migratory Fishery -- and two of its tributaries. It bisects known areas of occupation by Native Peoples, as well as mature heavily-wooded forests and farms preserved from development with tax-payer dollars. Its descent of steep slopes at 30% grade will contribute to erosion and run-off to properties at lower elevation. The right-of-way transits or abuts existing and proposed residences thereby significantly reducing land values.