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NGSA Advocates For Pipeline Projects in New York State

The Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA) has stepped up in support of two pipeline projects in New York State, pushing back against environmentalist objections to one and arguing for approval of a delayed state air permit for another.

The "New York situation" has "become really tough (understatement)," NGSA spokesperson Daphne Magnuson said in an email.

In a brief filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, NGSA called on the Court to deny a petition by Catskill Mountainkeeper, et al., challenging FERC's environmental review of the long-delayed Constitution Pipeline (see Shale DailyJuly 26).

The environmentalists are arguing, as they have before, that new infrastructure would induce increased natural gas production. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has rejected this argument in the past, as does NGSA, which said production precedes pipeline construction.

"The true aim of the petition is to advance Sierra Club's [Beyond Natural Gas campaign] to eliminate the use of fossil fuels...which would deprive the region's businesses and consumers of the benefits of abundant and accessible clean natural gas supplies.

"Petitioners incorrectly argue that authorization of the Constitution Pipeline itself will cause cognizable increases in domestic natural production...incorrectly reversing the causal connection between natural gas production and the infrastructure necessary to transport natural gas."

Earlier this year, the state of New York denied a water permit to Constitution Pipeline LLC, which has stalled the Marcellus/Utica shale takeaway project which filed for a FERC certificate three years ago (see Shale Daily, April 25). The 125-mile pipeline would carry Marcellus Shale gas from Susquehanna County, PA, interconnecting with the Iroquois Gas Transmission and Tennessee Gas Pipeline systems in Schoharie County, NY.

Separately, NGSA wrote to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), urging it to "act promptly" and approve state air facility permits for compressor stations that are part of Dominion Transmission Inc.'s (DTI) New Market Project in Upstate New York (see Daily GPIOct. 21, 2015). FERC approved the project in April.

"...FERC notes in the certificate order that the analysis in its EA [environmental assessment] went beyond DEC's permit review requirements by requiring air quality impact modeling," NGSA told DEC. "Yet, DTI's air permits have now been pending before the DEC for more than two years, precluding DTI's ability to begin construction." New Market would provide 112,000 Dth/d of firm transportation service, with more than 33,000 hp added to Dominion Transmission's existing system. It would improve access for two National Grid subsidiaries, Niagara Mohawk and Brooklyn Union.

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