Constitution Pipeline Water Permit Petition Denied by FERC

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On Jan. 11, 2018, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) denied Constitution Pipeline Co. LLC’s petition to overturn New York’s denial of a water quality certification for the Constitution Pipeline, an approximately 125-mile natural gas pipeline that will connect Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, to the Iroquois Gas Transmission and Tennessee Gas Pipeline systems in Schoharie County, New York.

According to FERC’s ruling, due to Constitution Pipeline withdrawing and refiling its application twice, it reset the one-year timeframe required under the federal Clean Water Act for New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to rule both times.

However, FERC’s commissioners reiterated their concern over the practice of repeatedly withdrawing and refiling applications for water quality permits, saying it doesn’t serve the public interest, nor does it follow the spirit of the Clean Water Act.

In October 2017, Constitution Pipeline filed its petition after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit had denied its challenge to the DEC decision two months earlier.  Despite FERC’s ruling, the company is not giving up on the project.

“We are planning to seek rehearing and, if necessary, appeal of this decision in order to continue to develop this much-needed infrastructure project designed to bring natural gas to a region of the country that has recently experienced demand resulting in the highest natural gas prices in the world,” said Constitution Pipeline spokesman Christopher Stockton. “Constitution remains committed to constructing and placing into operation this critical piece of energy infrastructure.”

Constitution Pipeline is backed by Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., Williams, Piedmont Natural Gas Co. Inc. and WGL Holdings Inc.

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