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Atlantic Bridge Gets NY Water Permits After State's Recent History of Denials

Algonquin Gas Transmission LLC has secured necessary water quality permits from New York state for its Atlantic Bridge expansion, an important step for the project given the state has used its authority to stall two major pipeline projects in the past year.

Algonquin notified FERC last week that it has received freshwater wetlands, stream disturbance and Clean Water Act Section 401 permits from New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

According to DEC’s permit, Atlantic Bridge would cross eight perennial streams, eight intermittent streams and five ephemeral streams in New York. Within the state’s jurisdiction, the project would entail replacement of 4 miles of 26-inch diameter pipeline with 42-inch pipeline along an existing right of way in Westchester County.

It was the DEC that dealt a major blow to the proposed Constitution Pipeline last year when it denied a Clean Water Act permit for the project.

The DEC followed that up last month by denying water quality permits for National Fuel Gas Co.’s (NFG) Northern Access project. NFG CEO Ronald Tanski didn’t mince words during a recent conference call when he said the company was “getting lousy regulatory treatment in New York state.”

Atlantic Bridge, a 132,700 Dth/d expansion of the Algonquin and Maritimes & Northeast pipeline systems in New England, is backed by Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. after its recent acquisition of Spectra Energy. The project is designed to deliver additional volumes of natural gas into New England and the Canadian Maritime provinces.

FERC issued a certificate order for the project in January [CP16-9]. In March, FERC issued a notice to proceed with construction on Atlantic Bridge despite calls from opponents to halt the project while the Commission lacks a quorum and can’t act on rehearing requests.

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