Stop Pipeline Hails Decision;
Company: We’ll Win In End
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
A federal Court of Appeals today denied the Constitution Pipeline’s appeal of the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s 2016 decision blocking the 121-mile project intended to carry fracked gas from Northeast Pennsylvania, through Delaware County, to connect with the Iroquois Pipeline near Cobleskill.
The case was argued last Nov. 16 before the Second Circuit in New York City, and the decision was handed down today.
In the decision, the federal judges deny both of the Constitution’s contentions: one, that the DEC waited too long to issue a decision, and the project should thus be allowed to go forward; two, that the DEC decision was “arbitrary” and “capricious.”
At issue was whether the DEC had authority to block the pipeline by denying a water-quality permit, or whether the decision belongs to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; and pipeline developer, Williams of Tulsa, Okla., said today it believes FERC, not the state, will make the ultimate decision.
Anne Marie Garti, Delhi, lawyer for Stop the Pipeline, nonetheless hailed the decision: “We applaud DEC for its careful consideration of the impacts of this dangerous and damaging project and for taking its responsibility to protect New York’s water resources so seriously.”
In its statement, though, Williams said that, in today’s decision, the Second Circuit court recognizes the jurisdiction of the D.C. Circuit, which “recently acknowledged FERC’s authority to make the ultimate decision under the Natural Gas Act.”
“The Constitution Pipeline represents a transformational opportunity for New York and New England to uplift their economies, create short- and long-term jobs, reduce energy costs for consumers and businesses, and also address concerns about air quality,” the company said.