Bethlehem Press

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Specifics addressed in report

Thursday, April 20, 2017 by The Press in Local News

The proposed 118-mile PennEast pipeline would run from Luzerne County to Mercer County, New Jersey, passing through Carbon County.

The project also includes a 47,700 horsepower compressor station in Kidder Township.

On Friday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released its final environmental impact statement on the project.

According to FERC, any adverse environmental damage would be reduced to “less than significant” levels through mitigation actions proposed by PennEast and recommended by FERC.

The mitigation is aimed at protecting wildlife, plants, water, and air.

Here are some of the mitigation points:

• About 27.0 miles of the pipeline in Pennsylvania would be built adjacent to existing rights of way;

• PennEast would minimize impacts on natural and cultural resources during construction and operation of the project by implementing FERC’s procedures for upland erosion control, revegetation, and maintenance plan, and wetland and water body construction and mitigation, and its erosion and sediment control plan.

• PennEast would use plans specific to the pipeline project, including unanticipated discovery, fugitive dust control, agricultural impact minimization, karst mitigation (karst is a type of landscape that is formed by the dissolution of soluble rocks, such as limestone and dolomite. Karst areas include aquifers that can provide large supplies of water).

The project-specific plans also include blasting, contaminant, drilling, stormwater management, spill prevention, invasive plant species control, well monitoring, wetland restoration, residential access and traffic management, site-specific residential construction, vibration monitoring, noise mitigation, post-construction landslide monitoring and migratory bird conservation.

• PennEast would comply with all air and noise regulatory requirements during construction and operation of the project.

• An environmental inspection program and a third-party monitoring oversight program would be implemented to ensure compliance with the mitigation measures that would become conditions of any FERC authorization.

• In addition, FERC would take steps to ensure the project doesn’t jeopardize any endangered or threatened species or their habitats.

• It would also take steps to protect any historic properties.

Chris Parker