Constitution Pipeline Challenges Decision by New York State to Block Federally Approved Pipeline
NYSDEC decision blocks millions of New York and New England
consumers from lower cost energy
Thousands of New York jobs delayed and threatened by the decision
State and regional leaders say decision impacts economic
development, school funding
Decision slows U.S. transition from coal to natural gas; Slows
carbon reductions and adoption of more renewable resources
ALBANY, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Constitution Pipeline Company, LLC today announced that it has
appealed the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's
(NYSDEC) refusal to grant the company's request for a Section 401 Water
Quality Certification under the Clean Water Act. The appeal was filed
with the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
and contends, among other things, that the refusal is arbitrary and
capricious and constitutes an impermissible challenge to the Federal
Energy Regulatory Commission's Certificate of Public Convenience and
Necessity which was issued to the company in December 2014.
Also today, the company filed an action with the U.S. District Court for
the Northern District of New York seeking a declaration that the State
of New York's authority to exercise permitting jurisdiction over certain
other environmental matters is preempted by federal law.
"Upon its review of the evidence, we believe the court will agree that
this permit denial was arbitrary and unjustified and improperly relies
on the same failed arguments that the NYSDEC made during the FERC
certificate proceeding regarding the pipeline route and stream
crossings. The NYSDEC's allegation that it did not receive the necessary
information is inaccurate as demonstrated by extensive and comprehensive
technical materials submitted by Constitution for the record. We believe
this allegation was intended to distract stakeholders from the
application of a fair technical and regulatory review of the merits of
Constitution's application for a water quality certification. We are
ultimately seeking to have the court overturn this veiled attempt by the
state to usurp the federal government's authority and essentially 'veto'
a FERC-certificated energy infrastructure project," the project sponsors
said in a joint statement.
The project sponsors continued, "We would like to express our
appreciation to the many project supporters in New York who have
expressed disappointment in the state's decision, which blocks millions
of northeastern consumers from accessing lower-cost energy while
ultimately slowing the region's capabilities in transitioning from coal
and fuel oil to natural gas, as well as its ability to integrate more
renewable energy sources into its power portfolio."
To see what others are saying about the state's decision, visit www.constitutionpipeline.com.
Denial of the 401 Water Quality Certification by NYSDEC further delays
the potential for Constitution Pipeline to help facilitate local natural
gas service to homes and businesses in Southern New York by
Leatherstocking Gas Company, LLC.
The permit denial will also delay about 2,400 direct and indirect jobs
that would be created during pipeline construction, generating $130
million in labor income for the region. The decision could also cost
local governments approximately $13 million in annual property tax
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Dec. 2, 2014 issued its
certificate of public convenience and necessity for the Constitution
Pipeline. In its final environmental review of the proposed Constitution
Pipeline, FERC concluded that environmental impacts would be reduced to
"less than significant levels" with the implementation of proposed
mitigation measures by the company and recommendations by FERC.
Constitution Pipeline Company
Constitution Pipeline Company, LLC is owned by subsidiaries of Williams
Partners L.P. (NYSE:WPZ), Cabot
Oil & Gas Corporation (NYSE:COG), Piedmont
Natural Gas Company, Inc. (NYSE:PNY), and WGL
Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:WGL). The 125-mile pipeline project is proposed
to connect domestic natural gas production in northeastern Pennsylvania
with northeastern markets during the second half of 2017. Additional
information about the Constitution Pipeline can be found at www.constitutionpipeline.com.
Portions of this document may constitute "forward-looking statements"
as defined by federal law. Although the company believes any such
statements are based on reasonable assumptions, there is no assurance
that actual outcomes will not be materially different. Any such
statements are made in reliance on the "safe harbor" protections
provided under the Private Securities Reform Act of 1995. Additional
information about issues that could lead to material changes in
performance is contained in the company's annual reports filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission.
View source version on businesswire.com: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160516006544/en/
for Constitution Pipeline Company, LLC
Chris Stockton, 713-215-2010
Source: Constitution Pipeline Company, LLC
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