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N.J.congresswoman calls for tougher rules on new pipelines

 (Kim Paynter/WHYY, file)

(Kim Paynter/WHYY, file)

A New Jersey congresswoman is calling for more stringent federal review of proposed pipeline projects.

Democrat Bonnie Watson Coleman said the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is rubber stamping pipeline projects with little regard for the public or the environment.

She said her Safer Pipelines Act, which she will resubmit, would assess regional needs for additional pipeline capacity and the environmental impact of proposed projects.

“These reforms would require a thorough and comprehensive review via hearings on potential impacts, goals, and project necessity prior to receiving an approval certificate.”

The Congresswoman said it’ll be difficult to get the Republican-controlled Congress and President Donald Trump on board.

Opponents of the PennEast pipeline joined her in urging the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to reject that project.

Stockton resident Jacqueline Evans said the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is not adequately considering whether projects are necessary, and she’s worried the PennEast pipeline could be built in the middle of her farm.

“They want to take away my property rights, my certified organic farm, my livelihood. PennEast’s proposed unneeded and unwanted pipeline will devalue my largest asset, my home, which I was relying on to finance my children’s college educations.”

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