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Feds decline to overrule state denial of pipeline

Feds decline to overrule state denial of pipeline

In a welcome move, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) yesterday rejected Constitution Pipeline's petition to overturn a previous New York State rejection of the fracked gas pipeline. The system would run 124 miles, moving natural gas from Pennsylvania into NY.

Constitution claimed that NY had waived its right to reject the pipeline - which the state did in April 2016 - because of delay in reviewing the project. Millennium Pipeline Company sued the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), arguing it dragged its feet in ultimately denying its application. The Clean Water Act requires a decision from DEC within a year, and project developers for Constitution say they were forced to withdraw and resubmit their application over the course of nearly three years. If the State fails to act within that time period, the Act's "certification requirements" are deemed "waived". The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed the lawsuit by Millennium, reasoning FERC had the power to override the DEC and issue the permits. Thursday, FERC rejected that request.

FERC noted the statute "speaks exclusively to a state's action or inaction".

Democrat vows to hold impeachment vote after Donald Trump's 'sh*thole countries' remark
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FERC had already approved the pipeline, but NYSDEC concluded that Constitution did not provide enough information to insure that the pipeline would comply with the Clean Water Act.

Williams is developing and would operate Constitution Pipeline, which would be supported by shipments from Cabot Oil & Gas, Piedmont Natural Gas and WGL Holdings.

Constitution will be able to appeal FERC's decision or to go back to New York State and try to reapply with a different application.


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