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Local News

October 10, 2012

FERC extends pipeline comment period


Richard Downey, a leader of the pro-drilling Unatego Landowners’ Coalition, said he expects the Constitution Pipeline planners will eventually be able to convince FERC the pipeline is needed for the nation’s energy delivery infrastructure.

Downey estimated that the town of Otego and its school system would reap a windfall of some $400,000 a year out of the projected $3 million in tax benefits that Otsego County would receive if the pipeline is run through the county.

“I’m looking at any revenue coming into our town as a positive,” said Downey, noting he does not see Tuesday’s decision by FERC as a setback for pipeline supporters.

The company is expected to file an application early next year for federal approval to build the project. The fate of the proposal will be decided by the five politically-appointed commissioners overseeing FERC.

Those same commissioners, if they are convinced the pipeline needs to be constructed, will also make the final decision on the route that it will take to send gas from Pennsylvania to the town of Wright in Schoharie County.

There, according to pipeline planners, it would connect with two existing pipelines to transport the natural gas to the Boston and New York City markets, where it would power some three million homes each day.

The company has said it hopes to have the pipeline operational by March 2015.

Also Tuesday, in a new filing with the FERC, the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation raised concerns with alternative routes that would cut through Mine Kill and Max V. Shaul state parks in Schoharie County. The pipeline route, at the Shaul Park, would would “disrupt park operation and hinder vehicular access” during construction periods, the agency said. At Mine Kill, the pipeline, as routed, would come close to an overhead power line and would “impact” Schoharie Creek by crossing it, the agency warned.

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