Appeals Court Upholds DEC Pipeline Decision
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
NEW YORK – A federal appeals court has dismissed a challenge to New York State's denial of a water-quality permit for the Constitution Pipeline. The 124-mile natural-gas pipeline had received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or FERC.
But under section 401 of the Clean Water Act, states also have a say. New York's Department of Environmental Conservation says the Constitution Pipeline Company failed to turn over necessary information and denied the water quality certification last year.
Attorney Mike Dulong with Hudson Riverkeeper, calls the appeals-court ruling "precedent setting."
"This should give environmental advocates and states certainty that states have the right to protect their waters," he says.
The pipeline builder says the completed project would create jobs, reduce energy costs and address concerns about air quality.
But environmental groups point out the pipeline's route would affect 500 acres of forest, 85 acres of wetland and cross 251 streams. While plans called for drilling under some streams, Dulong says the pipeline would have crossed others by digging trenches through them.
"Which has the potential to cause a lot of soil erosion and suspended sediment," he explains. "That's harmful for fish, for recreation and fishing, and it can have permanent impacts on those streams."
He adds that no plans were provided for crossing some of the rivers and streams along the route.
And while environmentalists are celebrating the court ruling as a victory for clean water, Dulong emphasizes that it's a victory for the climate as well.
"Really, it's a victory for New York State," he added. "We should be turning to clean energy, and we should not be building out fossil-fuel infrastructure that's going to stick around for another 50 or 100 years."
Natural gas burns cleaner than coal or oil - but methane, its main component, is a powerful greenhouse gas.
get more stories like this via email
By Tom Perkins for Planet Detroit.Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Michigan News Connection with support from the Solutions Journalism Network…
By Jared Brey for Governing.Broadcast version by Deborah Van Fleet for Missouri News Service reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Public New…
South Dakota is once again locked in a debate over a bill concerning transgender youth. It seeks to ban gender-affirming care, with supporters …
While the Pennsylvania House is still out of session and won't resume until late February, the public and advocacy groups are voicing their concerns…
Better health and educational outcomes are being touted as the potential benefits as Minnesota lawmakers discuss whether to provide free school meals …
CORRECTION: YouthTruth surveyed more than 28,000 high school seniors from the class of 2022 and the class of 2019 in 19 states, including New York…
For more than two decades, a workforce development program in El Paso has invested in the economically disadvantaged to help them attain the …
Health and Wellness
Nebraska's long-term care facilities face staffing shortages and other factors that could lead to more closures if state funding isn't increased…