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Local News

January 17, 2013

Pipeline planners' timetable delayed

An application to federal regulators for a license to construct the proposed Constitution Pipeline won’t be submitted until the spring, a company representative said Wednesday.

The statement from John Faso, a veteran of New York politics hired by the company to build support for the project, is the first public acknowledgement that the $750 million project has been delayed from an initial schedule targeting this month for license filing.

Before meeting with the Schoharie Board of Supervisors on Wednesday night, Faso told The Daily Star he is confident that the pipeline’s application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will make a compelling case that the transmission system is both needed and in the public interest.

“That will be all documented in the filing,” he said.

Asked about claims submitted to FERC by a grassroots group of pipeline foes, Stop the Pipeline, that the gas could be transmitted in existing pipelines, Faso said, “That is simply not true. There is a need to enhance the distribution through a multitude of entryways into the metropolitan (New York City) area.”

Constitution Pipeline executives have said the ultimate destination of the gas will be the New York City and Boston markets, where it would be routed after the transmission system links with two existing pipelines in Schoharie County.

Faso likened claims that the gas should instead by funneled by existing natural gas infrastructure to requiring that all traffic to New York City be routed over a single bridge and through a single tunnel. That simply wouldn’t be feasible, he said.

Anne Marie Garti of East Meredith, an organizer of Stop the Pipeline, said she was not surprised that the pipeline project has run into a delay. She said the fact that scores of landowners along the proposed primary route are refusing to allow the company to send surveyors onto their property suggests the project has an uphill road ahead of it.

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