Yesterday an order issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) appeared to overrule a decision by New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) denying permits for the Constitution Pipeline. In a unanimous decision, FERC waived the state’s authority to use Section 401 of the Clean Water Act to withhold water permits needed for construction of the pipeline to commence, citing DEC’s three-year process of reviewing permits. FERC initially approved the 125-mile pipeline in 2014.
This comes just days after Gov. Cuomo directed a state agency to broaden an inquiry into the natural gas provider, National Grid, who has been hamstrung from servicing new customers because of supply issues, due to a lack of pipeline capacity.
Following is a statement from the GAIN Coalition that you can source to me, Craig Stevens, spokesman for the coalition:
“The GAIN Coalition welcomes the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) decision to advance the Constitution pipeline project. The shortage of natural gas in the region is a crisis of Gov. Cuomo’s own making. Instead of finding solutions, he has stonewalled the development of new energy infrastructure then turns to blaming the victims – the natural gas providers themselves. It’s a political tactic as old as time, but the reality of his short-sighted policies has led to less economic development throughout Upstate New York and energy shortages Downstate. Hopefully this decision will help move construction and operation of the Constitution Pipeline forward and bring more natural gas to the region.”