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NJ regulator denies PennEast Pipeline permit request amid eminent domain ruling

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NJ regulator denies PennEast Pipeline permit request amid eminent domain ruling

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection on Oct. 8 denied and closed PennEast Pipeline Co. LLC's application for several permits for a section of its proposed 116-mile natural gas pipeline.

The company on Sept. 11 submitted a response to a Sept. 4 administrative deficiency letter from the DEP. Based on the information submitted, the DEP found that the deficient items have been addressed. However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit's Sept. 10 order blocked PennEast's right to perform construction work on 49 properties along the proposed pipeline route, as the company lacked the authority to take state land for a right of way.

As a result, PennEast's application cannot be considered "administratively complete," because its authority to submit an application for the project has not been demonstrated, according to a letter from the regulator, or DEP.

PennEast on Aug. 8 applied for a freshwater wetlands individual permit, flood hazard area individual permit, flood hazard area verification and letter of interpretation and requested a water quality certificate for about 37.8 miles of gas pipeline in Hunterdon and Mercer counties in New Jersey.

New Jersey Gov. Philip Murphy tweeted Oct. 11 that the state is "committed" to transitioning to 100% clean energy by 2050. "My administration fought and won in court to stop the proposed 116-mile [PennEast] natural gas pipeline," Murphy said.

The 1.1-Bcf/d gas pipeline project, which would run between Pennsylvania and New Jersey, is a joint venture of South Jersey Industries Inc., Enbridge Inc., Southern Co. Inc., New Jersey Resources Corp. and UGI Corp.