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FERC to decide on NY authority over Constitution pipeline within 2 months

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FERC to decide on NY authority over Constitution pipeline within 2 months

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit that it intends to decide within two months whether the state of New York waived its Clean Water Act authority when it took an extended period of time to issue a water quality certificate for the Williams Cos. Inc.-led Constitution Pipeline Co. LLC.

FERC provided the update on its proceeding to the court in a May 28 filing. (U.S. Appeals Court for the 2nd Circuit dockets 16-345, 16-361)

FERC originally denied a Constitution request that the commission find that New York had waived its Clean Water Act review on the grounds that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation took longer than the statute's one-year deadline to act on the company's permit application. But FERC recently reopened the matter after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in a separate case ruled that states cannot use water quality certificates to hold up federal hydropower licenses, a decision that Constitution and energy industry observers said has implications for the pipeline's case. (FERC dockets CP13-499, CP13-502)

In December 2014, FERC approved the proposed 124-mile natural gas pipeline, but the project has been stalled since the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation rejected the permit application in April 2016. The state agency said it denied the permit based on a lack of information for stream crossings.

The project is designed to ship up to 650 MMcf/d of gas production from northeastern Pennsylvania to interconnects with the Iroquois Gas Transmission System LP and Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. pipelines in New York.