By April 25, 2016 Read More →

Critics charge New York rejection of Constitution Pipeline based on politics

Constitution Pipeline says denial of water-quality certificate was political and it will not give up on the project

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Constitution pipeline
Source: naturalgasnow.org

WASHINGTON–Constitution Pipeline Company, announced that it remains steadfastly committed to pursuing the federally-approved energy infrastructure project, despite the recent decision by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to deny the Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the Constitution Pipeline Project.

“We believe NYSDEC’s stated rationale for the denial includes flagrant misstatements and inaccurate allegations, and appears to be driven more by New York State politics than by environmental science,” the project sponsors said in a joint statement.

The company says it worked in good faith with the Department for years and the decision “comes as a surprise and is contrary to our dialogue and collaborative effort to address concerns.”

The FERC-certificated route was developed after extensive environmental and engineering analysis, Constitution Pipeline said in its statement, including a comprehensive review of route alternatives. In its Final Environmental Impact Statement, the FERC concluded that environmental impacts associated with these alternatives were significantly greater than the preferred route.

“Despite this, in the spirit of collaboration we followed NYSDEC guidance and further altered our preferred route to adopt NYSDEC staff recommendations,” the company said.

Constitution Pipeline claims it was informed by the Department that the agency had everything it needed to process the water quality certification: “This point was further emphasized when the agency issued a notice on Dec. 24, 2014, indicating that the application was indeed administratively complete.”

Constitution Pipeline also claims that, contrary to Department statements, the company was not informed of any outstanding issues that it had not agreed to address as a condition of the permit, and says that during the past nine months weekly inquiries were made to the department to ensure no additional data was needed.

“Those inquiries were either ignored or responded to in the negative. It is obvious that the NYSDEC deliberately chose to remain silent to bolster the political campaign of the State,” said the statement.

Marty Durbin, API executive director for market development, said Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s rejection of the Constitution Pipeline is a clear example of politics coming before the interests of U.S. workers and consumers.

“The Cuomo administration’s decision to reject permits for the Constitution Pipeline is another example of politics at its worst,” said Durbin. “This decision will cost the state thousands of jobs and is an assault on families and businesses.”

Constitution Pipeline agreed to fund approximately $18 million for wetland mitigation and banking and approximately $8.6 million for the restoration and preservation of migratory bird habitats.

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Source: Ecowatch Maple Syrup Farmers protesting constitution pipeline

According to media website StateImpact, the project was delayed on Feb. 10 after tree fellers were confronted by protesters opposed to the cutting down of over an acre of maple syrup trees.

A judge ordered the protesters to keep 150 feet away and work resumed a few weeks after the incident. The family that owned the property and trees had lost an ongoing court battle to stop the project from going ahead.

Protesters have been calling on Gov. Cuomo to deny the pipeline company the water-quality certificate and thus prevent the pipeline from being built according to StateImpact.

 

Posted in: Politics

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