Delaware River Basin Commission suspends approval of natural gas terminal

By OWEN WALSH
Posted 9/10/20

TRISTATE AREA —  The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) on Thursday, September 10 voted to hold off on either approving or denying  the permit for the proposed Gibbstown Liquefied …

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Delaware River Basin Commission suspends approval of natural gas terminal

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TRISTATE AREA —  The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) on Thursday, September 10 voted to hold off on either approving or denying the permit for the proposed Gibbstown Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) export terminal in New Jersey.

The commission's decision temporarily prevents the limited liability company Delaware River Partners from constructing New Jersey’s first liquefied natural gas export terminal. Completion of the terminal would allow fracked gas from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale, to be transported to a processing facility on the Susquehanna River, and finally hauled as liquefied methane to the Gibbstown, NJ.

The DRBC originally approved the project in June of last year, however, was challenged by the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, an environmental advocacy group, which argued during an eight-day hearing last May that the dock presented health, safety and environmental risks.

"The process of the appeal was concluded very recently, less than 2 weeks ago, and requires a vote by the commissioners about whether to reaffirm the original approval, which is what prompted the vote today," according to a statement from the Riverkeeper. "The voluminous record produced during the appeal process, the full year of legal filings, the eight-day adjudicatory hearing and the fact that legal submittals were made as recently as last week, were cited as the reason for the delay in the decision about the fate of the project."

Representatives from New York, New Jersey and Delaware voted to abey approval, Pennsylvania abstained and the federal representative from the Army Corps of Engineers voted no.

The representatives from New York and Delaware noted that they wanted to wait on approving construction until after the Riverkeeper's administrative appeal is resolved,  but that this decision is "not intended to signal how the appeal will be resolved."

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