Constitution Pipeline Still Waiting on “Biggie” Court Decision

Last week MDN brought you the news that a federal judge had dismissed a case brought by the Constitution Pipeline against the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) over the issue of denying water crossing permits for the project (see Federal Judge Rejects Constitution Pipe Request to Bypass NY DEC). What we have since come to understand is that this was one of two lawsuits filed by the Constitution against the NY DEC. In fact, it was the lesser of the two lawsuits. The “biggie” lawsuit is still not yet decided. That decision will come from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit–and is due to arrive within the next two months. The fate of the project hangs in the balance. Lawyers for the Constitution are confident that the court will find the DEC’s denial of permits is capricious and politically motivated, and will strip the DEC of its role in the project. If that happens, it is the equivalent of a 10.0 earthquake. The DEC will no longer play a role in federally regulated pipeline projects. Perhaps if the DEC wants to maintain a role in such projects, they ought to move forward and issue those permits now (i.e. “settle out of court”), before the ruling comes down…

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