Residents have contacted the township and individual supervisors regarding an alternative route that potentially could bring the Penn East natural gas pipeline through the township. We are aware of the situation and are monitoring it.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), has oversite of intrastate natural gas pipelines. They are reviewing PennEast’s proposal. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP), which has authority to issue certain permits associated with the proposal, has already issued a Water Quality Certification associated with the project.
The original proposal that PennEast submitted to both FERC and PADEP was for a path that did not cross through Solebury Township. As part of the review process, PennEast was advised to submit what is known as an “alternatives analysis.” An alternatives analysis is an exercise in which a project sponsor compares their proposal to other possible locations as a way to demonstrate that their proposed location will have the least environmental impact. It was during this alternative analysis that PennEast produced a map showing a potential route through more portions of Bucks County — including Central Bucks — than reflected in their proposed route. PennEast was not proposing the Central Bucks route, but was showing this as an undesirable one that would have greater environmental impact. FERC has not expressed any preference for the alternative Bucks County route. When PADEP issued its Water Quality Certification it specifically identified the municipalities that the PennEast Pipeline would cross through, and it listed only Durham and Riegelsville in Bucks County.
We will continue to closely monitor the situation. Township officials will continue to take every available opportunity to protect the public health and environment that we all cherish and on which we all depend. When additional information becomes available, it will be posted on the web site.