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WILKES-BARRE, PA — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will host a virtual public hearing on Wednesday, January 13, 2021, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM to take testimony from interested parties regarding two permit applications for construction of Phase 1 of the PennEast Pipeline project in northeast Pennsylvania. The permits under review by the department include Chapter 102 for erosion and sediment control and Chapter 105 for water obstruction and encroachment. Both applications are under review by the department’s Regional Permit Coordination Office.
“The department understands that this pipeline project will have a significant impact on the communities that it will pass through, so it is important that we hear from residents,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve had to adjust and shift to remote hearings, but the testimony of residents will still carry the same weight as in-person testimony.”
The PennEast pipeline will cross four counties in the northeast: Carbon, Luzerne, Monroe and Northampton. Phase 1 will primarily entail the construction of approximately 68 miles of 36-inch diameter pipeline from Dallas Township in Luzerne County through Carbon and Monroe counties and into Bethlehem Township in Northampton County. The southern terminus of Phase 1 will be at the Church Road Interconnects with Columbia Transmission and Adelphia Gateway in Northampton County. The total length of the pipeline will encompass 116 miles in northeast and southeast Pennsylvania.
The permit applications were originally received by the department in December of 2018 and then, in September of 2019, the department received updated applications to reflect the phased-in approach of the pipeline project.
Those wishing to register for the virtual public hearing can contact Colleen Connolly, Community Relations Coordinator, DEP’s Northeast Regional Office in Wilkes-Barre at 570-826-2035 or by email: [email protected]. Registration for the virtual hearing will end 24 hours before the scheduled date and time. Testimony will be limited to Phase 1 of the project only.
The WebEx information for the virtual public hearing will be available through the Public Participation tab on DEP’s website at www.dep.pa.gov. Please select “Public Participation.” All comments, whether delivered orally during the virtual hearing or submitted in writing to [email protected] carry equal weight and consideration with DEP. Written comments will be accepted until close of business on Wednesday, January 20, 2021, by 4:00 PM.
More information on the permit applications can be found on DEP’s pipeline portal.