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Environmental group appeals NJ permit for gas export facility on Delaware River

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Environmental group appeals NJ permit for gas export facility on Delaware River

An environmental group appealed a New Jersey permit issued for the proposed Gibbstown Logistics Center LNG export facility on the Delaware River, saying that the state's Department of Environmental Protection Agency violated rules put in place to protect coastal and water resources.

The Delaware Riverkeeper Network accused the New Jersey agency of jeopardizing the river's resources by approving an expansion and "tripling the number of docks at the facility," according to an Oct. 21 press release from the group.

"The public is supposed to be able to count on our state agencies to implement environmental protection regulations consistently, and for the benefit of our communities and environment," the group's leader, Maya van Rossum, said in the statement. "New Jersey [Department of Environmental Protection's] approval of the waterfront development permit for the Gibbstown LNG export facility is arbitrary, unreasonable and contrary to law because [the department] had insufficient evidence to determine that there would be no adverse impacts to water quality or water quality violations."

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection said it does not comment on ongoing litigation.

On Sept. 27, Delaware Riverkeeper accused the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission of not verifying its jurisdiction over the Gibbstown facility. The group cited documents obtained from FERC through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Delaware Riverkeeper also said FERC failed to provide information on the facility even after the group won an appeal over a request for information about the scope of the expansion project. On Aug. 6, FERC's Office of the General Counsel ruled in favor of the group in the appeal.

On July 11, the conservation group asked the Delaware River Basin Commission to reconsider its approval of a permit for the LNG facility. The group said the agency approved the permit without "full information on impacts on water resources to the [Delaware River] Basin" from construction and operations. The commission represents Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York, and the federal government through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Gibbstown facility near Philadelphia is owned by Delaware River Partners LLC, which would export LNG derived from natural gas from the Marcellus Shale. New Fortress Energy a public company and a subsidiary of Fortress Investment Group LLC, is a potential customer.