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Constitution Pipeline Fails to Make Its Case For Construction

Headquarter of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in Albany

Constitution pipeline, the $1billion gas pipeline project designed to run 200-km from the Marcellus Shale natural gas field in Pennsylvania to Upstate New York, has thus far failed to meet New York's water quality standards and will not be granted a permit to proceed with construction.

The pipeline's parent company, Constitution Pipeline Company, first filed for a water quality permit with New York's Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in August 2013, then withdrew and resubmitted its application in 2014 and again in 2015 at the DEC's request.

New York's rejection is in line with a 11 January 2018 decision of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to deny a request from the company to revive the proposed pipeline, which is surprising, as the make-up of the federal commission has changed with President Trump's tenure, with two new pro-pipeline and pro-growth members of the body in place.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo praised FERC's latest decision:

"No corporation should be allowed to endanger our natural resources, and the Constitution Pipeline represented a threat to our water quality and our environment," Cuomo said in a statement. "I commend the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for ruling in favor of New York's efforts to prevent this project from moving forward."

For its part, the project sponsors, Williams Cos., Cabot Oil and Gas, Piedmont Natural Gas and WGL Holdings, vvc, have petitioned the Supreme Court to review the judgment of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In a joint statement they said "we continue to believe that this federally-approved project has been unjustly prohibited from construction.”

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Admir Celovic
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