Description: Petition seeking declaratory order that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation had waived jurisdiction over water quality certificate for interstate natural gas pipeline project.
In re Constitution Pipeline Co.
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 01/11/2018 Order Download Petition for declaratory order denied. FERC Declined to Find That New York Department of Environmental Conservation Waived Authority to Act on Water Quality Certification Application for Gas Pipeline. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) denied a petition from the company developing the Constitution Pipeline. The petition requested that FERC find that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) had waived its authority to act on the company’s application for a water quality certification. (The Constitution Pipeline would extend for approximately 124 miles from Pennsylvania through four counties in New York.) The company first submitted an application to NYSDEC in 2013, and subsequently withdrew and resubmitted applications in 2014 and again in 2015. NYSDEC denied the company’s application in April 2016, citing, among other things, the risk of future flooding events that could expose the pipeline and noting that flooding conditions from extreme precipitation events were projected to increase during the pipeline’s anticipated operational life due to climate change. NYSDEC also cited potential increases in water temperature related to the project’s removal of riparian vegetation and said climate change could exacerbate the temperature increases in the long term, resulting in long-term loss of trout populations. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld NYSDEC’s denial in August 2017. In denying the company’s request for a waiver finding, FERC found no reason to depart from its previous determinations that the reasonable period of time for action on a water quality certification application was one year and declined to review NYSDEC’s review process for the company’s application to determine whether it had been reasonable. FERC also said the company’s voluntary withdrawal and resubmission of its application gave NYSDEC new deadlines. 10/11/2017 Petition Download Petition for declaratory order filed. On October 11, the pipeline company developing the Constitution Pipeline petitioned the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a declaratory order finding that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation had failed to act within a reasonable period of time on its application for a water quality certificate and had therefore waived its jurisdiction. The Constitution is an interstate natural gas pipeline project in New York and Pennsylvania. NYSDEC denied the developer's application for a water quality certificate in April 2016; the Second Circuit upheld the denial in August 2017.