PennEast Pipeline Ceases Project Despite Victory in Supreme Court

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with the PennEast Pipeline company in a dispute over New Jersey land needed for a natural gas pipeline. The decision overturned an earlier ruling that said PennEast Pipeline could not use eminent domain to build its pipeline.

Now, just three months after its victory, PennEast has announced it will be terminating the $1 billion project, according to the Associated Press.

The decision was made because of a lack of permits. PennEast spokesperson Patricia Kornick said that the company "has not received certain permits, including a water quality certification and other wetlands permits under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act for the New Jersey portion of the project."

PennEast also did not get approval from the Delaware River Basin Commission or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, StateImpact.npr.org said.

Although PennEast claims that the pipeline will "help utilities deliver this affordable energy source to families and businesses across New Jersey and Pennsylvania," the project has long been opposed by environmentalists, who "argu[ed] it would cut a scar across the landscape, threaten wildlife and contribute the use of fossil fuels," the AP said.

"For the last four years, my Administration has fought back against the unnecessary construction of the PennEast Pipeline, which was wrong for New Jersey and would have destroyed acres of New Jersey's conserved land and threatened species," New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said in a statement.

The pipeline was supposed to be nearly 120 miles long, and it would have begun in Luzerne County in Pennsylvania, running through Lehigh Valley, Bucks County, and into Hunterdon County in New Jersey, before stopping in Mercer County. The project's second phase had an in-service date of 2021, PennEast's website said.

Line 3 oil pipeline protests tribal lands
Environmentalists have opposed the PennEast Pipeline project, saying it would harm wildlife. Above, climate activist and Indigenous community members gather for a traditional water ceremony during a rally and march to protest the construction of Enbridge Line 3 pipeline in Solvay, Minnesota, on June 7. KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images

Currently, financial supporters "are examining further steps needed to start the Pennsylvania portion of the project," but Kornick said that "PennEast has ceased all further development of the project."

Terese Buchanan, who lives along the would-be pipeline's route, told ABC News that "it's relief."

Clean Air Council Executive Director Joseph Minott said in a statement that "PennEast's cancellation of this unneeded, dangerous fracked gas pipeline is a momentous win for the communities that have fought hard for years to defend their property and the environment."

He added, "Others who seek to exploit the residents and natural resources of New Jersey and Pennsylvania should take note: We are not easy-take states and we will continue to resist."