Mayors concerned by PennEast financial claims


To the editor: 
We are writing to express our grave concerns about PennEast’s recent claims that its pipeline would bring in $18 million in new property tax relief in its first five years of operation. While the proposed pipeline would bring in some new revenue, it will also lead to other costs and hardships to impacted townships, such as the environmental costs that include risks to drinking water, arsenic contamination, safety impacts, loss or irreparable damage to preserved open spaces and farmland, and damaging or loss of homeowner wells.
The recent PennEast mailer sent to our residents’ homes touted “financial benefits” of the proposed pipeline, but neglects to mention that the company would take advantage of public investments in preserved lands and farms for the private gain of their shareholders.
Pipelines also dramatically lower property values, and homeowners could lose the wells that supply their drinking water from any number of factors, such as possible arsenic or septic system contamination, or damage to water supplies from blasting. If a well is dry or poisoned, the property becomes worthless. Is PennEast prepared to cover millions of dollars in losses to both the affected families and the townships?
The PennEast flyer hides the fact that PennEast’s tax contributions start dropping after five years. The “financial benefits” to taxpayers in the first five years would hardly outweigh the many long-term negative impacts to our communities that the proposed pipeline would bring. If your well is dry or poisoned, your family’s well-being is at risk, and your property has become worthless, it won’t matter how much PennEast is paying in taxes.
PennEast is only sharing part of the bigger picture. Taxpayers deserve the full story — not a tall tale. We urge readers to be relentless in researching and contacting their local and state elected officials, community leaders and PennEast officials to demand full disclosure on the short- and long-term financial “benefits” and costs tied to the project. PennEast’s short-term tax contributions would not offset permanent damage to our homes, properties, communities and natural resources.

Mayor Kevin Kuchinski 
Hopewell Township 
Mayor Susan Lockwood 
Delaware Township 
Mayor Zach Rich 
West Amwell Township 
Mayor Richard Dodds 
Kingwood Township 
Mayor Ray Krov 
Holland Township