Dela. Riverkeeper Loses Another Court Case Against Marcellus Pipe

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit slapped down THE Delaware Riverkeeper in yet another crushing defeat for the virulent anti-fossil fuel organization (and mouthpiece for the William Penn Foundation, its main funder). Even though Williams’ Transco Leidy Southeast expansion project went online some 18 months ago, Riverkeeper sued the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) some 14 months ago over its approval of the project (see Dela. Riverkeeper Sues FERC Again – Over Leidy Pipeline Expansion). Leidy Southeast was/is 30 miles of additional pipeline segments laid next to existing pipe, called loops, in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, along with upgrades at several compressor stations. The project bumped up the capacity of the mighty Transco pipeline by an extra 525,000 dekatherms of natural gas per day–enough natural gas to serve 2 million homes. The project means more Marcellus gas now flows south to new markets. Riverkeeper claimed FERC should not have approved the project until PA had issued federal 401 stream crossing permits under the Clean Water Act. It was a “procedural” objection. That is, Riverkeeper claimed FERC did things out of order and should be, we don’t know, shut down? Punished? Flogged? Prevented from doing it ever again? Riverkeeper also went after PA and NJ after they issued the 401 certificates, saying they shouldn’t have. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals (in Philadelphia) rejected that argument last August (see Court Rejects Dela. Riverkeeper Case Against PA DEP Pipe Approval). The new news is that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has now rejected Riverkeeper’s case against FERC. The justices said FERC is free to approve projects prior to states issuing 401 certificates because a project approval still doesn’t mean the project will get built–unless the states DO issue those 401 certificates. It all sounds rather complicated to follow. The short version is this: Delaware Riverkeeper lost yet another court case against a pipeline project…

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