U.S. Supreme Court won’t save Constitution Pipeline

REGION — The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) on May 1 declined to hear an appeal of a lower court ruling that would prevent the pipeline from going forward. The proposed 125-mile line would run from Pennsylvania to New York, and eventually deliver gas to New York City, Westchester and other communities.

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) denied the project a clean water permit in 2016 because DEC said the project did not provide enough information about how the pipeline would impact the environment. With the denial of the appeal, the high court affirmed that DEC has the right to deny the permit.

The project has been opposed by conservation groups including Catskill Mountainkeeper. Wes Gillingham, associate director of the organization, said, “Today, the United States Supreme Court upheld New York’s right to protect our water from dirty and dangerous fracked gas pipelines. The court rightfully denied the Constitution Pipeline’s attempts to use the federal justice system to force New Yorkers into a pipeline we don’t want and don’t need.”

A press release said, “Mountainkeeper has been fighting this fight from the beginning, suing to keep Constitution out of New York, organizing on the ground, and engaging in the legal fight every step of the way. Today’s denial is a huge victory for all New Yorkers, for Catskill Mountainkeeper, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, our partners at Earthjustice, Stop the Pipelines, and every individual person who has stood up to the fossil fuel companies.”

A statement from the pipeline company said, “We are still fully committed to pursuing our primary avenue of relief, which is the pending rehearing request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) of its order denying our petition for declaratory order that New York failed to act within ‘a reasonable period of time’… We continue to believe that this FERC-approved project should be allowed to proceed with construction.”

 

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