The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has refused to grant a ruling that would have paved the way for construction of the Constitution Pipeline — a proposed 124-mile natural gas line that would cross Broome, Chenango, Delaware and Schoharie counties.
Constitution Pipeline Company LLC filed a petition with FERC on Oct. 11, asking the commission to find that the state Department of Environmental Conservation waived its authority to issue a water quality certification for the pipeline project by failing to act within a statutory time limit.
FERC issued an order on Thursday, denying the petition.
The $1 billion natural gas transmission project — designed to transport shale gas harvested in northeast Pennsylvania to a compressor station in Schoharie County — has been delayed since April 2016. That is when the planners of the pipeline were told by the DEC that its water permits were denied by the state agency.
Constitution sued to overturn the decision, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the DEC, stating the plaintiffs had “no basis” to reverse the decision.
According to a FERC document, Constitution argued that DEC had exceeded the one year allowed for acting on applications because the cumulative time period of three different applications — two withdrawn before their deadlines — amounted to more than a year.
FERC ruled that new deadlines started with each application, and that DEC's action with four days left before the deadline for the most recent application was valid.