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Local News

April 25, 2013

Files: Pipeline route crosses state forest

COOPERSTOWN — The pathway for the proposed Constitution Pipeline, a transmission system that would carry enough natural gas to power 3 million homes a day, would slice across a state forest in Schoharie County, according to a document released Wednesday.

The pipeline company advised federal regulators the project would run across Clapper Hollow State Forest in Jefferson. That land is controlled by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

The pipeline company said in its monthly filing to the Federal Energy Regulatory Agency that it met with DEC officials March 20 to discuss the forest. The filing did not elaborate on that discussion.

Although pipeline and DEC officials conferred on the routing more than a month ago, a DEC spokeswoman said Wednesday she had no immediate information on the project.

“The DEC is evaluating the proposal for the Constitution Pipeline project. ... This project is still in the pre-application stage,” a DEC spokeswoman wrote in an email Wednesday.

Critics of the pipeline said the state forest should be off-limits to the industrial size pipe — which would be 30 inches in diameter — saying installing it at Clapper Hollow would be disruptive to the environment.

Business groups such as the Oneonta-based Citizen Voices have argued the pipeline could stimulate economic activity and lower energy costs for school districts, hospitals and employers by becoming a local source for natural gas.

The Clapper Hollow State Forest, an 820-acre tract, located just west of state Route 10 and north of state Route 23 is used by hikers, cross country skiers, birdwatchers and hunters.

Anne Marie Garti of East Meredith, an organizer for the grassroots group Stop the Pipeline, said her group wants the DEC to stand firm against the route that would send the pipeline through Clapper Hollow.

“We’re going to make sure that DEC guards the resources of New York state,” Garti said.

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