Supporters and critics of a proposed natural gas pipeline that would travel through Luzerne County had their voices heard Wednesday night during a virtual public hearing conducted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
The PennEast Pipeline Company is seeking to create a 120-mile pipeline from Dallas Twp. to New Jersey. It’s seeking DEP permits regarding sediment and erosion control and also water encroachment.
Dozens of people from throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey offered commentary during the hours-long virtual hearing.
Those supporting the pipeline, like former Nanticoke Councilman Cameron Cox, testified that construction of the pipeline would be great for the economy.
“These projects are huge job creators,” Cox said. “This is a no-brainer. We need to invest in infrastructure.”
Various pro-natural grass drilling groups voiced their support for the project.
Phase 1 of the project is a 68-mile pipeline from Dallas Twp. to Bethlehem Twp. in Northampton County.
Don Nealey, a resident of Bethlehem Twp., said he’s against the pipeline, as did representatives for groups like the Sierra Club.
“My concern is related to safety,” Nealey said.
Some of the critics said the pipeline would undoubtedly pollute the environment. They also said the project is unneeded. Several noted that several natural gas companies went bankrupt in the past year and prices are down due to a surplus of gas in the market.
Phase 2 of the project would link the pipeline from Bethlehem Twp. to Mercer County, New Jersey.
PennsEast officials said the overall project is a $1 billion investment.
Those wanting to give written testimony about their thoughts on the project have until 4 p.m. Jan. 20. They could email DEP official Colleen Connolly at firstname.lastname@example.org.