The $1.1 billion PennEast pipeline, which the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved in 2018, would carry 1 billion cubic feet of gas underground each day from the Marcellus shale fields in Pennsylvania through Hunterdon and Mercer counties in New Jersey, where the state has easements on 40 of the 42 affected land parcels.
The issue before the court is whether Congress can delegate the power to condemn state land or whether the 11th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution precludes this.
New Jersey is seeking to block PennEast from using eminent domain powers provided under the FERC decision to take the land needed for the project and compensate property owners. New Jersey claims the federal government cannot delegate condemnation powers to a private company, but opponents say creating such a loophole would mean any landowner along a pipeline route could block it by granting an easement to the state.
To read the full amicus brief click HERE.