By Andrew Maykuth, The Inquirer
SERGEANTSVILLE, N.J. – A blanket of snow overlay the idyllic landscape of farms, stone walls, and New Jersey’s oldest surviving covered bridge last week. Alix Bacon, a regional manager for the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, swept her arm across the postcard vista.
“All of this is preserved,” said Bacon, whose organization played a key role in securing the development rights to maintain the region’s rural character.
Last year, a consortium of utilities announced plans to build the 110-mile PennEast Pipeline to deliver natural gas from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale region to an interconnection near Trenton. The proposed route would cut a swath across this part of Hunterdon County hugging the Delaware River.
Local landowners have risen up – colorful anti-pipeline protest signs sprout from the roadsides of most communities along its route. Residents say they fear the pipeline will cause environmental harm, permanently scar the terrain, lower property values, and put their lives at risk.