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Constitution Resubmits Permit Application, Expects to Begin Construction Within Months

Constitution Pipeline Co. LLC has resubmitted an application for a water quality permit from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and said it expects to begin construction of the pipeline, which would transport Marcellus Shale natural gas from Pennsylvania to markets in the northeast, within months.

Constitution spokesman Chris Stockton said Wednesday that the company has been working closely with the DEC for years in order to satisfy the conditions for a Section 401 Water Quality Certification permit, one of the last it needs before beginning construction.

"At the request of the DEC, Constitution Pipeline has withdrawn and resubmitted its...application with no changes or modifications to allow the agency sufficient time to complete its review of potential impacts on wetlands and water quality," Stockton said. "This is an administrative procedural action which we do not expect to delay the timing of the agency's final determination.

"We remain optimistic that we will receive final clearances so that we can begin construction of this critical piece of pipeline infrastructure in the next few months in order to help meet growing natural gas demand in New York and New England by the second half of 2016."

Stockton told NGI's Shale Daily on Thursday that the DEC had originally faced a May 8 deadline to process Constitution's application. He said the agency now has until April 29, 2016.

The 124-mile, 30-inch diameter pipeline would originate in Susquehanna County, PA, and terminate in Schoharie County, NY, where it would connect with two existing interstate pipelines: Iroquois Gas Transmission and Tennessee Gas Pipeline. It would provide 650,000 Dth/d of takeaway capacity.

Constitution is owned by subsidiaries of Williams Partners LP, Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., Piedmont Natural Gas Co. Inc. and WGL Holdings Inc.

FERC approved the project [CP13-499] last December. Two months earlier, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave its approval for a final environmental impact statement on the project (see Shale Daily, Dec. 3, 2014;Oct. 24, 2014).

In March, a federal court ruled that Constitution can have access to, and build its pipeline upon, land owned by seven property owners in Pennsylvania who were opposed to the project (see Shale Daily, March 20). The seven were the only holdouts of the 130 properties in Pennsylvania that the company needed to access.

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