NY Says No Way to PA Pipeline

New York has rejected a critical permit needed for a major natural gas pipeline project, saying the project fails to meet standards that protect the streams, wetlands, and other water resources in its path.

The Constitution Pipeline Company, a partnership formed by Cabot Oil & Gas, Williams Partners, and Piedmont Natural Gas Company, received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for 124-mile Constitutional Pipeline in 2014 contingent on the state permit, which is required by the federal Clean Water Act. The 124-mile pipeline from Pennsylvania’s shale gas fields to New York had all needed permits for a segment in Pennsylvania and had already begun work on the project.

The project has been halted because the Department of Environmental Conservation won’t issue a water quality permit. The Constitution Pipeline Co. can appeal the decision which comes two days after Kinder Morgan announced it was mothballing its planned Northeast Energy Direct pipeline, which would have followed some of the same route as Constitution. Kinder Morgan, which was earlier in the FERC process, cited economic reasons for its decision.

The Constitution Pipeline has been designed with a capacity to transport 650,000 dekatherms of natural gas per day, enough natural gas to serve approximately 3 million homes. Buried underground, the 30-inch pipeline would have extended from Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, to the Iroquois Gas Transmission and Tennessee Gas Pipeline systems in Schoharie County, New York.