Will the Constitution Pipeline get built?
The fight over the controversial pipeline is heading for federal court.
September 8, 2019
Three years after the DEC rejected the pipeline, the ultimate fate of the pipeline is up in the air. There are several avenues by which opponents of the pipeline could ultimately stop it from being built. . . . The [most] likely route to block the pipeline runs through the federal court system. There are several grounds to challenge FERC’s waiver to Williams, but they all focus on one key provision of the Clean Water Act that gives a state one year to approve or deny a proposed project before that state gives up its right to decide. . . .
Finally, there is the issue about whether Williams should have petitioned a court first before appealing to FERC for a waiver from New York’s state approval. Section 401 is written into law and federal courts have already upheld the state’s reasoning for rejecting the application. A regulatory agency like FERC should not be allowed to unilaterally upend what the courts decide, according to Anne Marie Garti, an attorney with Stop the Pipeline, a grassroots group in the Catskills that is fighting the pipeline. “FERC is basically putting itself in a position of overruling a circuit court decision.”