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Opponents ask New York to deny permits for Millennium Pipeline

Environmental groups continued to press New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to deny air and water permits for two Millennium Pipeline Co. LLC natural gas transportation projects and a CPV Valley power plant project.

At an Aug. 10 rally organized by Protect Orange County and SCRAM, two local organizations opposed to the projects, environmentalists asked Cuomo and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to "deny all permits and approvals for the [projects]," including Millennium's Valley Lateral pipeline and Eastern System upgrade. The permit applications for both the Valley Lateral and Eastern System projects were completed and submitted to the agency in July.

An estimated 400 people attended the rally, including members of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network. Delaware Riverkeeper founder Maya van Rossum said the developers have misrepresented the projects to the state agency and asked Cuomo to oppose the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by denying the permits.

Millennium received a certificate order for the Valley Lateral project from FERC in November 2016, but it has been unable to begin construction on the project because the New York agency has not issued a water quality permit. Millennium asked FERC in July for authorization to build the project and waive the New York permit. CPV Valley, the shipper for the Millennium pipeline, supported the request. Millennium would transport approximately 127,000 Dth/d to the energy center in Wawayanda, N.Y.

The state agency said it has until Aug. 30 to make a decision on the permits.

The Valley Lateral project will include 7.8 miles of 16-inch-diameter lateral pipeline and related facilities in Orange County, N.Y. The pipeline would cross 13 streams, although according to the state agency, there would be no permanent impacts to freshwater wetlands from the project's construction and operation.

The CPV Valley Energy Center would include a 650-MW gas-fired power plant in Orange County, N.Y.

Millennium has applied for a Clean Water Act Section 401 permit for its Eastern System upgrade project, as well as freshwater wetlands, stream disturbance and air permits. The project would be built in Delaware, Orange, Rockland and Sullivan counties and would include 30- and 36-inch-diameter loop, a new compressor station and upgrades to some existing compressor stations. The pipeline would cross 14 streams. It would be capable of delivering approximately 223,000 Dth/d of gas to an interconnect with Enbridge Inc.'s Algonquin Gas Transmission LLC system. FERC issued a positive environmental review for the project in March. (FERC dockets CP16-17, CP16-486)