For Immediate Release
SPRINGFIELD, NJ, Sept. 2, 2014 – Operating Engineers Local 825 and the Engineers Labor-Employer Cooperative (ELEC) today jointly announced full support for a proposed 100-mile long pipeline from Luzerne County, Pa., into New Jersey.
The PennEast Pipeline project intends to bring lower-cost natural gas to 4.7 million homes in the Mid-Atlantic region, offering savings in lower energy and gas transportation costs. The pipeline will originate in Luzerne County in northeast Pennsylvania and terminate at Transco’s Trenton-Woodbury interconnection east of Lambertville, NJ.
“This project would help meet growing demand for natural gas while lowering costs by using locally produced gas,” said Greg Lalevee, Business Manager of Local 825.
“Our members have become highly experienced in pipeline construction and this project could mean as many as 2,000 construction jobs during its seven-month construction phase,” Lalevee said.
PennEast is a joint project of AGL Resources, NJR Pipeline Company, a subsidiary of New Jersey Resources; South Jersey Industries; and UGI Energy Services (UGIES), a subsidiary of UGI Corporation.
“According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Pennsylvania has become the fastest growing natural gas producing state in the country,” said Mark Longo, Director of ELEC. “As a labor-management organization dedicated to improving economic opportunities for contractors and members of Local 825, we view this pipeline as a critical stimulus our local economies.”
“In addition to these more obvious benefits, pipelines serve as a major economic development tool as energy intensive industries and facilities look to locate their operations and jobs near natural gas pipelines,” Longo said.
As PennEast begins preliminary engineering studies in the coming months and files its application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC),Lalevee and Longo have committed to rally their partner organizations and union members to voice support and help to win federal, state and local approvals, which could see construction begin during 2017.
“We encourage our members and the public to voice their support with their elected officials,” Lalevee said. “We ask them to examine the facts and benefits this project will provide to the local economy.”
Local 825 is headquartered in Springfield, N.J., and represents 6,500 members throughout the state and in five counties of lower New York: Rockland, Orange, Ulster, Sullivan and Delaware. Its operating engineers run heavy-equipment – such as bulldozers, surface graders, backhoes, loaders and cranes – to execute large construction tasks and earthworks operations.
Business Manager, Local 825