US Court of Appeals upholds New York rejection of Constitution pipeline permit
- The United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals last week upheld New York's rejection of a key water permit sought by backers of the Constitution Pipeline, putting the future of the project on uncertain ground.
- Williams would operate the pipeline, supported by shipments from Cabot Oil & Gas, Piedmont Natural Gas and WGL Holdings. The system would run 124 miles, moving natural gas from Pennsylvania into New York.
- According to Platts, Williams still believes the project can be constructed though it is not clear if the company will re-file the water quality permit or appeal the court's decision.
Grid operators for New England and the mid-Atlantic have warned that opposition to new natural gas capacity will mean higher energy prices and less reliable supply, but the Second Circuit's decision last week casts doubt on one particular solution.
Constitution Pipeline would move 650,000 dekatherms of gas per each day from Susquehanna County, Pa., to the Iroquois Gas Transmission and Tennessee Gas Pipeline systems in Schoharie County, N.Y.
The pipeline has been in the planning stages since 2012, and received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in 2014. Last year, FERC granted developers an additional two years to complete construction, recognizing the New York Department of Environmental Conservation's rejection of a water permit.
Williams challenged the rejection, arguing the state improperly denied their permit. The court, however, disagreed.
"A state's consideration of a possible alternative route that would result in less substantial impact on its waterbodies is plainly within the state's authority," according to the court's decision.
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