Constitution Pipeline Revived By FERC
The controversial Constitution Pipeline, planned to deliver natural gas along a 124 mile stretch from the Marcellus Shale across New York State, has been revived by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). According to AllOTSEGO, two weeks ago, FERC issued an order that allows the pipeline to proceed without the water-quality permits that were denied in April 2016 by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Those permits were previously required in order for construction of the pipeline to cross streambeds between Northeast Pennsylvania and its planned connection with the Iroquois Pipeline, near Cobleskill.
According to Constitutionpipeline.com, FERC followed a recent decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in a case dealing with similar waiver issues (Hoopa Valley Tribe v. FERC, D.C. Cir. No. 14-1271) and reversed its earlier position on waiver, concluding that by failing to act on Constitution’s Section 401 application within the maximum statutory timeframe of one year, NYSDEC waived the Section 401 water quality certification requirements.
Does this mean that the pipeline will go through as originally planned? It's not known yet. A Delaware County based organization, Stop the Pipeline, and the state Attorney General’s Office (on behalf of the DEC) are expected to challenge FERC’s decision by the end of this month which is the 30-day deadline for appeals.
For more on this story provided in partnership with AllOTSEGO, click here.