NY attorney general objects to pipeline tree-cutting request
ALBANY, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Constitution Pipeline Company, LLC received authorization from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today to proceed with limited tree felling activities along its federally-certificated pipeline right-of-way in Pennsylvania. The authorization is a significant milestone and major step forward for the pipeline designed to transport enough natural gas to serve approximately 3 million U.S. homes.
Constitution Pipeline Receives FERC Authorization to Proceed with Limited Tree Felling Activities in Pennsylvania
“We appreciate the FERC’s prompt issuance of a limited ‘Notice to Proceed’ for non-mechanized hand felling of trees in Pennsylvania,” the project sponsors said in a joint statement. “Although the Commission has not yet authorized tree felling in New York, we are optimistic that authorization will come in order for the project to meet its 2016 in-service commitment while complying with the environmental conditions of the FERC Order and the USFWS Biological Opinion.”
Approximately one-quarter of the trees planned to be felled are located within Pennsylvania, while the remaining tress are located in New York. Constitution Pipeline plans to begin limited tree felling activities in Pennsylvania as soon as its contractors and crews can be trained and deployed, finishing before March 31 to avoid adverse impacts to migratory birds and the Northern long-eared bat. These activities will be subject to third party environmental monitoring. In coordination with state and federal agencies, Constitution Pipeline has agreed to voluntarily provide $8.6 million in conservation funding for the restoration and preservation of migratory bird habitats as a conservation measure.
Assuming timely receipt of all remaining permits, in addition to a full “Notice to Proceed” from FERC, Constitution Pipeline anticipates beginning mainline construction in the spring of 2016 in order to help meet growing natural gas demand in New York and New England during the fourth quarter of 2016.
Last week in Afton, N.Y., more than 300 people, including landowners, elected officials, business leaders, labor union members and community leaders, rallied in support of the pipeline project, highlighting the economic benefits the pipeline will deliver to New York. Construction of the project is estimated to directly and indirectly support 2,400 jobs and generate $130 million in labor income for the region. Once operational, the pipeline’s economic impact is anticipated to result in more than $13 million in local tax revenue and more than $600,000 in new income in the region.
In addition to serving markets in New England and New York City, Constitution Pipeline and Leatherstocking Gas Company, LLC have announced plans to install four delivery taps along Constitution’s proposed route to facilitate local natural gas service to homes and businesses in southern New York and northern Pennsylvania.
The Constitution Pipeline project involves the construction and operation of approximately 125 miles of 30-inch-diameter pipeline from natural gas supply areas in northeast Pennsylvania and connecting with existing transmission pipelines in Schoharie County, N.Y. Once complete, the pipeline will immediately become a key piece of natural gas pipeline infrastructure in the Northeast, creating an important connection between consumers and reliable supplies of clean, affordable natural gas. Constitution will help address pipeline infrastructure issues that have exposed New England and New York consumers to periods of high natural gas prices and, significantly higher electric-generation costs. Constitution will also provide opportunities to improve regional air quality by using cleaner-burning natural gas in lieu of other fuels.
Constitution Pipeline Company
Constitution Pipeline Company, LLC is owned by subsidiaries of Williams Partners L.P. (NYSE:WPZ), Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (NYSE:COG), Piedmont Natural Gas Company, Inc. (NYSE:PNY), and WGL Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:WGL). The 125-mile pipeline project is proposed to connect domestic natural gas production in northeastern Pennsylvania with northeastern markets during the fourth quarter of 2016. Additional information about the Constitution Pipeline can be found atwww.constitutionpipeline.com.
Portions of this document may constitute “forward-looking statements” as defined by federal law. Although the company believes any such statements are based on reasonable assumptions, there is no assurance that actual outcomes will not be materially different. Any such statements are made in reliance on the “safe harbor” protections provided under the Private Securities Reform Act of 1995. Additional information about issues that could lead to material changes in performance is contained in the company’s annual reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Constitution Pipeline Company, LLC
Chris Stockton, 713-215-2010