Pipeline maps related documents

  • 31ff281a705cba20

    Comment of Tullis Onstott in Docket(s)/Project(s) PF15-1. Submission Date: 1/18/2015


    Tullis Onstott, Princeton, NJ.Dear Ms. Bose,I have recently become aware of the revised pipeline map posted by PennEast on their websit e on last week. As a geologist/microbiologist in the Dept. of Geosciences at Princeton Univ ersity I have questions concerning both the safety and the environmental consequences that I believe requires PennEast to seriously reconsider their proposed pipeline route. I canno t offer the details of these questions in this format, but can be discussed during the scop ing meeting or a presentation to FERC. I plan to meet with my colleagues at the New Jersey Geological Survey and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection next week to d iscuss these issues. But briefly, my concerns are two fold.The first is the proposed route crossing the Delaware River into Holland Township. The rout e crosses the boundary fault zone of the Triassic Newark Basin and it the most seismically active region in New Jersey. Within the last 10 years four magnitude 2 to 4 earthquakes hav e occurred 2 by 5 mile zone. Many lower magnitude earthquakes occur along this zone much mo re frequently. All of the epicenters of these earthquakes are less then a mile from the pro posed pipeline and in some case right beneath the proposed route. Although the earthquake m agnitudes seem small, the epicenters for these quakes are less than a mile to two miles dee p. My concern is that the ground shaking, though not severe, could create significant leaks in the high pressure gas pipeline. Currently existing pipelines crossing from Pennsylvani a into New Jersey have all managed to skirt this seismically active region. I find it very odd that PennEast would not do the same and avoid New Jerseys most seismically active faul t zone. I am also concerned about exactly where they plan to lay the pipeline beneath the D elaware River and that location with respect to the fault zone.My second concern, however, is far more significant. The proposed route through Hunterdon C ounty cut right through the Triassic shales of the Passaic and Lockatong Formations. It has been long established that these formations, particularly the Lockaton argillite belt that runs through Hunterdon, are the sources of arsenic in the groundwater in this region. Seve ral New Jersey Geological Survey reports document the high arsenic levels in the wells in H unterdon and Mercer counties. This belt of rocks form an arsenic hot spot. The groundwater supply is known to be vulnerable in these counties, but Hunterdon county is uniquely vulner able because the farms and rural homes all rely upon well water. They have no access to th e public water utilities of their much more populated neighbors. The privately-owned wells are the source of drinking water for the families and for their livestock. These wells tap a surficial, unconfined, fractured rock aquifer in the Lockatong, Passiac and Stockton form ations. The proposed PennEast pipeline cuts right through the arsenic hot spot where it can do the most damage to the drinking water supplies of the