- The New York Department of Environmental Conservation has asked a federal appeals court to block Millennium Pipeline Co. from beginning work on the Valley Lateral Project, despite federal regulators last week authorizing the company to move ahead.
- The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Oct. 27 allowed Millennium Pipeline Co. to begin work on the lateral, which would supply a power plant being developed by Competitive Energy Ventures.
- The NY DEC rejected the gas pipeline in August, arguing that FERC failed to take into consideration the environmental and health impacts of the power plant.
New York regulators and Millennium Pipeline are fighting over each development step, with the argument bouncing among courts, the state and federal regulators.
According to the Times Herald-Record, New York regulators have asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to bar the company from beginning construction while the DEC and FERC deal with their differences.
"FERC’s erroneous decision to allow construction encroaches on State’s rights, runs counter to the federal Clean Water Act, and prevents states from protecting precious natural resources,” the agency said in a statement. “DEC will continue to enforce all of its regulatory authority over these projects under State and Federal law.”
The proposed 8-mile Valley Lateral Pipeline would move shale gas from the existing Millennium Pipeline to the 680 MW Valley Energy Center in Orange County, N.Y., and is being developed by Competitive Energy Ventures. However, an August ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit emboldened opponents of pipelines, determining that FERC should have considered the impacts of climate change when deciding whether to approve the Southeast Market Pipelines Project last year.
The New York DEC subsequently cited that ruling when it called FERC's review of the Valley Lateral Project “inadequate and deficient.” The DEC sent a letter to project backers that cited the "lack of a complete environmental review."