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Federal Regulator: New York Can’t Rule On Gas Pipeline

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has reiterated its decision to decline a request from the state of New York, which wanted the state to rule on a permit on the Constitution natural gas pipeline.

The FERC has said that New York state regulators, namely the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC), took more than a year to either approve or decline a water quality permit for the Constitution pipeline, thus waiving its authority to rule on the water permit.

The state of New York has challenged the FERC’s initial decision, and now the federal regulator has denied New York’s request to be heard again, Reuters reports.

NYDEC “disagrees with FERC’s decision that, once again, sides with the fossil fuel industry over protecting our environment,” the department said, as carried by Reuters. The New York state regulator vowed to “use all available legal means to overturn FERC’s decision and prevent the construction of this project.”

NYDEC also criticized the FERC for its actions “consistent with the Trump administration’s ongoing and misguided efforts to dismantle states’ rights under the Clean Water Act.”  

The Constitution Pipeline, approved by the FERC in December 2014, is designed to transport natural gas from the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania to the state of New York. 

The project, however, has seen years of delay due to challenges from the state of New York regarding the water permit.

In April 2016, NYDEC denied Constitution Pipeline’s Section 401 Water Quality Certification.

Three years later, in August 2019, FERC found that the New York regulator had waived the water quality certification required under Section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act for the New York portion of Constitution’s interstate natural gas pipeline project.

New York and its Governor Andrew Cuomo have been opposing the construction of new natural gas pipelines through the state, citing environmental and climate concerns.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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