Constitution Pipeline all but approved


By Patsy Nicosia

The Constitution Pipeline Company has as good as gotten final approval from FERC.
But the battle's not over.
Stop the Pipeline has already said it will file a lawsuit against FERC-the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission-for ignoring the concerns of DEC and the Army Corps of Engineers.
Stop the Pipeline is also considering seeking an injunction against eminent domain as another way to stop construction, said Bob Nied of the Center for Sustainable Rural Communities.
Friday, Constitution reported that FERC had published its final environmental review of the 124-mile pipeline.
That final EIS concluded that while the project "would have some adverse environmental impacts...[they] would be reduced to less than significant levels" with the proposed mitigation.
"After a long and comprehensive review of our proposed route, as well as significant route alternatives, the FERC's final Environmental Impact Statement confirms that the Constitution Pipeline can be constructed in a manner that minimizes environmental impacts while adding a key piece of natural gas infrastructure to the US Northeast," the project sponsors said in a written statement.
Those sponsors include not only the Constitution Pipeline Company, but the Iroquois Gas Transmission System and in addition to the proposed pipeline from Pennsylvania to Wright, include the Wright Interconnect Project.
FERC could issue its final decision on the project as soon as late November.
Assuming the necessary permit approvals follow, Constitution expects construction could begin as early as the spring.
Not so fast, said Mr. Nied.
In addition to the thousands of formal comments filed by interveners, he said, both DEC and the Army Corps had criticized the EIS as incomplete-and both will need to issue permits so that construction can begin.
"They won't be able to build without those permits," he said. "That's an issue that has to be resolved. It's not over yet."
FERC has until January 22, 2015 to issue its final decision.