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New York denies critical permit for natural gas pipeline

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The pipeline planned to bring fracked natural gas from Pennsylvania to NY, passing through Broome, Chenango, Delaware and Schoharie counties.

Chris Stockton, a spokesman for the Constitution Pipeline project, said the company is disappointed but exploring its options, which may include an appeal to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation permits were the final approval needed for the developers, who had won approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Environmental and community groups have pressed Gov. Andrew Cuomo to decline the permit. Although DEC requested significant mitigation measures to limit affecting the state’s water bodies, this new right-of-way construction would impact approximately 250 streams across New York State.

The Sierra Club praised the DEC’s decision. The company, which drills for gas in Pennsylvania’sMarcellus Shale, had hoped the pipeline would ease bottlenecks crimping the movement of gas out of the region.

The decision would make for the second time this week that a gas pipeline through upstate has been scrapped.

Just Thursday hundreds turned out to a rally in Binghamton in support of the pipeline project.

Environmental groups noted that the decision was made on Earth Day.

A statement from the DEC says that the application for the certificate failed to meet New York’s water quality standards.

The rejection of the Constitution pipeline comes after Cuomo’s administration in late 2014 rejected hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, which would have been primarily in the Southern Tier.

“This decision impacts not only the residents of NY, but also the families and businesses in the surrounding states whose consumers now pay the highest energy costs in the country”, he said. “Today’s decision also places numerous jobs in jeopardy and puts further strain on our already overworked energy grid”.

Kim Earnest

The author Kim Earnest

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