New York Gov. Cuomo Rejects Constitution Natural Gas Pipeline

April 25, 2016



Late Friday, New York's Department of Environmental Conservation denied critical water quality permits for the planned $750 million Constitution Pipeline, which was planned to carry hydrofracked natural gas from Pennsylvania into New York. The project had been approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission but DEC said it had "repeatedly requested that Constitution provide a comprehensive and site-specific analysis of depth for pipeline burial to mitigate the project's environmental impact — but the company refused, providing only a limited analysis of burial depth for 21 of the 250 New York streams."

The DEC letter of refusal, in line with Section 401 of the US Clean Water Act, named several issues showing Constitution was failing to demonstrate compliance with state environmental standards including unauthorized clear cutting.

The DEC denial came two days after Kinder Morgan  announced April 20 that it would suspend all work on its 420-mile Northeast Energy Direct, another major interstate pipeline project in the Northeast, due to economic reasons. In New York and Pennsylvania, Constitution would have largely paralleled the supply path of Northeast Energy Direct.

Actor Mark Ruffalo, a member of New Yorkers Against Fracking, said the state had put "protection of our precious water and the public health and safety of New Yorkers ahead of the special interests of the oil and gas industry. This is what real climate leadership looks like."

The Constitution Pipeline is a partnership of Cabot Oil and Gas Corp.; The Williams Companies Inc.; Piedmont Natural Gas; and WGL Holdings.

Read more about the Constitution Pipeline denial here.

A good summary of the Williams Companies Inc., " Constitution Pipeline Joins Keystone On The Regulatory Casualty List" is available at