HOPEWELL: Pipeline opponents warn landowners about right-of-way agreements in mail 

To the editor: 
It looks like the PennEast Grinch is at it again! Coming to a mailbox near you soon, just in time for the holidays!
Landowners have started to receive packages of material from PennEast’s land agents, Western Land Services with monetary offers for properties and lots of little sticky arrows showing where to sign. The contracts are full of sugar plums for PennEast, but lots of coal for landowners. They remind us of a deal Ol’ man Potter from ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ would make when trying to get his clutches on the town. Well, Hopewell is too smart for that.
Remember, there is no rush! The proposed PennEast pipeline is not a done deal and might never be approved. The company does not have any eminent domain powers, and homeowners do not have to make any decisions or sign anything at this time.
While we are not offering legal advice, lots of very smart people dedicated to fighting pipelines tell us that no one should sign this first offer and that this offer is not in your best interest. And, as we all know, it is NEVER a good idea to sign anything without first consulting an attorney. The proposed right-of-way agreement gives PennEast a blank check to do whatever it wants, including adding other infrastructure and more pipelines on our lands. PennEast also wants homeowners to hold PennEast harmless in the event its pipeline causes personal injury and death.
If you sign and agree to an easement and the PennEast pipeline is defeated, you are still stuck with that burden on your property. So, beware of the Grinch.
We will start off the new year with an educational forum to answer many of your questions, including where are we in the process, what’s next, and what everyone, especially landowners, needs to The forum will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, at the Hopewell Township Municipal Building. It is being hosted by Hopewell Citizens Against the PennEast Pipeline, along with Concerned Citizens Against the Pipeline, Hopewell Township, New Jersey Conservation Foundation, Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association, Sourland Conservancy, Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space, and Washington Crossing Audubon Society.
By working together, we can keep our communities free from this destructive project.
We wish everyone this holiday season joy and peace. 
Patty Cronheim 
Hopewell Township 
Citizens Against the PennEast Pipeline 