The federal agency that will determine if the proposed 124-mile Constitution Pipeline is licensed released documents Friday showing where more than 20 permanent roads would be built near the route to facilitate its construction and maintenance.
The 30-inch in diameter pipe, if approved, would run underground from Susquehanna County, Pa., through the New York counties of Broome, Chenango, Delaware and Schoharie before connecting to two existing pipelines in the Schoharie County town of Wright.
The company’s latest document submission to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission included maps of the access roads that would be constructed, several of which are in the towns of Franklin and Davenport in Delaware County.
Critics of the project said the construction of so many new roads will increase the environmental impacts from the project and create more headaches for landowners, many of whom have refused to sign easement agreements with the company and have refused to allow their parcels to be surveyed.
“These roads will run across fields, farms and wetlands,” said Anne Marie Garti, a lawyer from East Meredith who is affiliated with the Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic and the grassroots group Stop the Pipeline.
She said the inclusion of the roads will likely increase the intense scrutiny the project is already getting from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The pipeline will need to acquire permits from both agencies for the project to move forward , she said.
Christopher Stockton, a spokesman for the pipeline company, downplayed the significance of the maps showing the proposed roads across privately owned parcels. He said the construction of those roads would have no impact on any of the company’s existing easement agreements with landowners.
“FERC had requested last year that we supply the agency with the alignments for the rest of the access roads that extended off the current set of alignment sheets that were filed,” Stockton said. “These access roads are the same access roads identified in the Environmental Resource Reports in other formats.” As an example, he listed topographic maps.