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Take Action: Protect NY Water from Constitution Pipeline


Photo via Doug Kerr/Dougtone, CC Flickr
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Photo via Doug Kerr/Dougtone, CC Flickr

Photo via Doug Kerr/Dougtone, CC Flickr

Constitution Pipeline Company, LLC (Constitution) has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for permission to build a 124 mile, 30 inch natural gas pipeline – the Constitution Pipeline – from Susquehanna County, PA to Schoharie County, NY, crossing a portion of the Hudson River watershed. The pipeline would carry gas from northeastern Pennsylvania to New York and New England markets.

Pipeline construction and right-of-way maintenance could have massive negative impacts on water quality. In New York alone, the pipeline would cross 20 aquifers (including one that provides the main source of drinking water to more than 100,000 people in Broome County), more than 20 private wells, and 4 public water supply watersheds. It would also cross 207 waterbodies – most by digging a trench through them – and impact 75 acres of wetlands. We are also concerned that, if constructed, the pipeline could incentivize increased gas drilling, including the use of high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing (fracking), in the Marcellus and Utica shales in western New York.

The proposed project is now undergoing environmental review. Despite these concerns, FERC – which has the authority to deny project approval if the environmental impacts are too great – has issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for public review and comment that proposes to conclude that the Constitution Pipeline will not result in significant environmental impacts. And just this month, Constitution started bringing pipeline construction materials into New York, preparing for construction once it receives approval.

Tell FERC not so fast! The DEIS is severely flawed, and does not support a conclusion that the project will avoid significant environmental impacts.

For example:

1) Cumulative impacts, including those associated with the pipeline’s potential to encourage future fracking in New York, must be fully evaluated.
2) Alternatives to the use of proposed trenching methods, which involve digging a hole through a waterbody or wetland, should be fully evaluated for each and every proposed waterbody and wetland crossing.
3) Necessary information that FERC identified as missing from the DEIS must be submitted by Constitution before FERC makes a decision about significant environmental impacts.

Also tell FERC you agree with its conclusion that a proposed alternative pipeline route that would cut through the New York City drinking water supply watershed is not viable and should not be considered further.

To file written comments:

Visit by 5:00pm Monday, April 7 to file your comments. Simply click on the eComment button and follow the directions; make sure to enter docket number CP13-499.

To learn more about the proposed project and upcoming public hearings:
Join Clean Air Council, Earthjustice, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Stop the Pipeline, and pipeline expert Richard Kuprewicz for a webinar Thursday, March 27 from 7:30pm – 8:30pm.
Register for the webinar

Tell Gov. Hochul to block invasive species at the Erie and Champlain canals
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