“If you don’t intervene, you can’t take them to court,” she said
Pipeline supporters Bruce Hodges of Oneonta, a business representative for the union representing workers at the Amphenol plant in Sidney, and Sidney Village Mayor Andy Matviak, said they were unaware of the upcoming filing deadline for intervenor status and conceded that the pipeline opponents appear to be better organized than proponents.
“It’s amazing to me that the energy companies aren’t more geared up for organizing support for the pipeline,” said Hodges, the former president of Local Lodge 1529 of the International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers.
Christopher Stockton, a spokesman for the Constitution Pipeline and an employee of Williams Partners, the Houston-based company that is the main investor in the project, said the pipeline license application will be granted if FERC is convinced the project is in the public interest.
“It’s not going to be determined in the court of public opinion,” Stockton said in a telephone interview.
Told that the local Audubon group is painting a picture of the project as a threat to birds in a fragile habitat, Stockton said, “We’ve gone to great lengths to avoid any threatened or endangered species.”
Wildlife experts retained by Constitution Pipeline have analyzed the project’s possible impact not only on birds but also on bats, turtles and other species, he noted.
“Our energy has been focused on putting together the FERC application and making sure it is thorough and comprehensive,” Stockton said.
Deborah Goldberg, managing attorney for Earthjustice, contended that the environmental surveys sponsored by the pipeline company have been narrowly focused on the pipeline corridor itself and have failed to address the potential impacts just beyond the immediate route. “They have not done anywhere near the amount of surveying that is required,” Goldberg said.