Federal Court Backs Denial of Constitution Pipeline’s Water Permits

By Michael Reed, Managing Editor

A federal appeals court upheld New York state’s denial of water permits needed to build the proposed Constitution gas pipeline that would run through Central New York, according to the Albany Times Union.

The federal government had earlier approved the line contingent on permits from the state Department of Environmental Conservation needed for crossing streams and wetlands. That permit was denied so the developers sued in federal court. The court agreed with the state that New York regulators have the right to review the “likely effects” on bodies of water and water quality.

“In today’s decision, the Second Circuit recognized the jurisdiction of the D.C. Circuit, and the D.C. Circuit has recently acknowledged FERC’s authority to make the ultimate decision under the Natural Gas Act,” a Constitution Pipeline spokesman said in a written statement. “While we would have preferred an immediate path to construction, we are pleased with the court’s resolution of this jurisdictional issue.”

The pipeline developers didn’t say whether they would appeal the decision.

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