DEC reviewing 6,000 comments on power plant’s pipeline permit

About 6,000 comments are under review by the state Department of Environmental Conservation over whether to grant a key permit to Millennium Pipeline Company for a pipeline to supply gas to Competitive Power Ventures’ Wawayanda power plant.

The DEC is considering whether to grant permits to Millennium, which has proposed a 7.8-mile, $57.3 million underground pipeline that would feed natural gas to CPV’s $900 million Valley Energy Center. The 650-megawatt plant is being built on Route 6 and is due to go online next year.

In July, the DEC began accepting public comment regarding the water quality permits for the pipeline. The project has been approved by federal regulators but is conditioned on getting state certificates. Without the permits, Millennium can’t begin construction. Without Millennium’s pipeline, the power plant won’t have a permanent fuel supply.

“DEC subjects all applications for environmental permits to a transparent and exhaustive review process that encourages public input at every step. DEC is carefully reviewing and considering all application information and public comments received prior to making a final decision regarding the proposed project’s Water Quality Permit,” the DEC said in a statement.

The DEC stopped accepting comments on Aug. 4 and has said it will make a decision on the permit by Aug. 30. On July 21, Millennium asked federal regulators to approve the project by Aug. 31, arguing the DEC waived its right to issue the water quality permit because it hasn’t acted in time. The DEC has urged federal regulators to deny that request.

jnani@th-record.com