Court Rejects Constitution Pipe’s Case Against NY DEC; Now What?

In a disappointing, but perhaps not all that unexpected decision (full copy below), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Friday ruled against the Constitution Pipeline and their lawsuit against the Cuomo-corrupted New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The DEC dithered, for years, on a decision about whether or not to grant stream-crossing permits (Section 401 permits, a federal Clean Water Act thing) to the Constitution Pipeline, a $683 million, 124-mile pipeline from Susquehanna County, PA to Schoharie County, NY carrying Marcellus gas. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) authorized the project in 2014. Since that time the DEC delayed, and eventually denied permits for the project (see NY Gov. Cuomo Refuses to Grant Permits for Constitution Pipeline). So the Constitution (being built by Williams) sued the DEC in federal court (see Constitution Pipeline Case Goes to Court in 2 Weeks, Briefs Filed). We had hoped that the court would grant Constitution the right to commence building. But they didn’t. So now what? There are three options left for Constitution: (1) appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, (2) file a new case with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals (a different court), or (3) request FERC take matters into its own hands by deciding the DEC took too long (which would probably be challenged at the D.C. Circuit). The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is a different court than the Second Circuit that just ruled. Our best guess? Williams will take option #3 and ask FERC to overrule NY DEC and grant the permit themselves…

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