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NJ At A Crossroads: Garden State or Pipeline State?

Clean Water Act Trumps Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Rubber Stamp

Christie DEP Has Power To Kill Pipelines By Denying Water Quality Certificate

People Over Pipelines Targets Christie DEP

Garden State or Pipeline State?

Garden State or Pipeline State?

In the wake of New York Governor Cuomo’s use of Section 401 of the Clean Water Act to kill the controversial proposed Constitution pipeline, and with multiple pipeline battles raging across the State, it’s only a matter of time before environmental activists organize a Statewide campaign that targets DEP and Section 401. That would provide a focus on the Statewide political implications, including injection into the nascent NJ Governor’s race.

With Senate President Sweeney having supported the South Jersey Gas Pinelands Pipeline and a likely Democratic candidate for Governor, the issue is a ripe target and there soon will be nowhere to hide.

Given the strong public opposition to pipelines and the high visibility the issue has taken on – almost rising to a motherhood and apple pie issue – there are huge incentives  and advantages to being first to move (HINT TO STEVE FULOP, who just moved exactly right in opposing the DEP Highlands rule rollback).

The NJ Legislature could hold regulatory oversight hearings on DEP’s Clean Water Act 401 powers and regulatory policy as well, just like they recently did regarding FERC reviews – hold DEP accountable, instead of more useless gestures to reform FERC that have absolutely no chance of passage.

These pipeline battles are real grassroots politics and old school kitchen table organizing:

People over Pipelines (North Hanover, 7/16/16)

People Over Pipelines (North Hanover, 7/16/16)

The People Over Pipelines group opposing the NJ Natural Gas “Southern Reliability Link” (SLR) pipeline through the Pinelands held a rally today to kick off a campaign to focus on impacts to local streams and wetlands and the NJ DEP’s powers under the federal Clean Water Act to kill pipelines.

This shifts the focus of prior opposition from the FERC to the DEP. Most pipeline activists, misled by Rethink Energy NJ PennEast opponents, have focused almost exclusively on FERC while ignoring DEP’s Clean Water Act powers.

I loved their “solar balloon” pipeline!



About 30 people attended, including local officials from North Hanover and Bordentown Township. Chesterfield and Bordentown are challenging Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approvals and have begun to focus on DEP’s approval powers.

This battle sheds a whole new light on the word TRUMP:

The Clean Water Act trumps FERC

The Clean Water Act trumps FERC

All the pipeline activists across the State should organize a protest event at the DEP building – like the group REACT did in response to the DEP’s Fenimore Landfill fiasco.

People need to know that DEP can kill pipelines, just like NY and Connecticut did, and stop wasting time on far away, gas industry captured rubber stamp FERC, and start to target DEP and the Governor’s powers.

More to follow on the issues, but for now, some photos of today’e event:

John Kocubinski, North Hanover Township Committeeman, speaks to pipeline activists

John Kocubinski, North Hanover Township Committeeman, speaks to pipeline activists

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