The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission announced Monday it has again delayed the release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the contentious PennEast Pipeline, this time from Feb. 17 to April 7.

FERC said it needed additional time to evaluate the $1 billion pipeline project because of "additional environmental information filed by PennEast and certain state agencies." The agency had initially planned to issue the final EIS in December.

The proposed 120-mile underground pipeline, which would deliver 1 billion cubic feet of Marcellus Shale natural gas from Northeast Pennsylvania to New Jersey utilities, is fiercely opposed by environmental activists and by some adjoining landowners.

PennEast said Monday it plans to bring the project online in the second half of 2018.