New York Rejects Constitution Natural Gas Pipeline

The state cites failure to address water impacts in permit refusal.

Tue April 26, 2016 - Northeast Edition
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The state cites failure to address water impacts in permit refusal.
The state cites failure to address water impacts in permit refusal.

The Times Union is reporting that for the second time in a week, a major natural gas pipeline project in the state appears to have hit the rocks.

Late Friday, the state Department of Environmental Conservation denied critical water quality permits for the planned $750 million Constitution pipeline, which was envisioned to carry hydrofracked natural gas from Pennsylvania into New York, crossing through Broome, Chenango, Delaware and Schoharie counties.

The state permits were the final approval needed for Constitution's developers, which already had approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

On Wednesday, backers of the $3.1 billion Northeast Energy Direct pipeline announced they were shelving their project, which would follow Constitution's route to Schoharie County before continuing through southern Albany and Rensselaer counties en route to metropolitan Boston.

Anti-pipeline advocates praised Gov. Andrew Cuomo, noting that Friday was Earth Day, while a state industry lobbying group decried the Constitution decision as anti-business. First proposed in August 2013, the project drew 15,000 public comments to DEC.

On its route in New York, the pipeline would cross 250 bodies of water and clear 1,000 acres of forest containing 700,000 trees. More than 700 parcels of land are affected by the proposed pipeline, and 120 landowners face losing property to the gas company under eminent domain.

According to DEC, the agency had "repeatedly requested that Constitution provide a comprehensive and site-specific analysis of depth for pipeline burial to mitigate the project's environmental impact — but the company refused, providing only a limited analysis of burial depth for 21 of the 250 New York streams."

Source: The Times Union

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