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Constitution pipeline project in hiatus

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World Pipelines,

Constitution Pipeline Company, the consortium behind the proposed Constitution natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to New York, has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to review its upholding of New York’s decision in 2016 to deny a water permit for the project.

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation denied Constitution’s application in 2016, justifying its ruling by saying that the company had not provided sufficient evidence to determine whether the project would comply with the state’s water quality standards.

Constitution appealed the New York decision to a federal appeals court, but the court upheld the state decision last year.

In addition to challenging FERC’s ruling, the company has also petitioned the US Supreme Court to review the federal appeals court’s judgement.

The decision by FERC thus means the project is on hold. If built, the 201 km pipeline would transport 0.65 billion ft3/d of shale gas. New York uses on average about 3.6 billion ft3/d of gas, and one billion ft3/d is enough to fuel about 5 million US homes.

Officials at Williams are currently unable to estimate latest costs for the project. The company said it would take about 10 to 12 months to build the pipeline after receiving necessary approvals.

When Williams proposed building Constitution in 2013, it estimated it would cost about US$683 million and enter service in 2016. The delays, however, have boosted that estimate to as high as US$875 million, according to upstate New York newspapers.

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