New York Regulators Deny Permit for Key Gas Pipeline

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – State environmental regulators denied a water quality permit for a 24-mile (39-kilometer) underwater pipeline from New Jersey to Queens that backers say is crucial for meeting rising demand for natural gas in New York City and Long Island.

The Northeast Supply Enhancement project would expand the Transco pipeline, which extends from Texas to the Northeast Coast. It would allow National Grid to bring natural gas from Pennsylvania’s shale gas fields to the metropolitan region.

In denying the permit, the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) said the project “fails to meet New York State’s rigorous water quality standards” and “would cause impacts to habitats due to the disturbance of shellfish beds and other benthic resources.”

Chris Stockton, a spokesman for the pipeline developer, Tulsa, Okla.-based Williams Partners, said the DEC “raised a minor technical issue” with its application for water quality certification, that the company would resubmit the application “quickly.”

New Jersey regulators must also decide on the project by June 5. The pipeline was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on May 3.

National Grid says the project is crucial because existing pipeline infrastructure is at capacity and natural gas demand is projected to rise 10% in the next decade in the New York City region.

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