FERC: Constitution Pipeline Should Make Changes to Lessen Impacts

From the beginning when it was first proposed, MDN has chronicled the journey of the proposed 125-mile Constitution Pipeline, a natural gas pipeline that will stretch from the gas fields of Susquehanna County, PA to central New York where it will connect with two major interstate transmission Pipelines–the Tennessee Gas Pipeline and the Iroquois Gas Transmission pipeline. We have an important milestone to report on the Constitution. Wednesday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the federal agency in charge of approving these kinds of pipeline projects, issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project (the Executive Summary is embedded below).

In brief, the draft EIS, which is now open for public comment until April, says that the project as proposed does pose some threats to the environment, but that those threats can be reduced to “less than significant levels” if Williams, the builder of the pipeline, makes certain changes and takes certain precautions. FERC also said there’s no better alternative to meeting the energy needs for hundreds of thousands of people–that the Constitution is the best option out there for delivering more natural gas to the northeast in a timely manner. To do nothing is not an option, according to FERC, and there are no other pipelines that can do what the Constitution will do. This EIS was FERC essentially blessing this project–with certain conditions attached…

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