Constitution Gas Pipeline
|This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.|
Constitution Gas Pipeline is a cancelled natural gas pipeline.
The pipeline runs from Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, to Schoharie, New York.
- Operator: Williams Partners (51%), Cabot Oil and Gas (25%), Piedmont Natural Gas (24%)
- Current capacity:
- Proposed capacity: 650 Million cubic feet per day
- Length: 124 miles / 200 km
- Status: Cancelled
- Start Year: 2022
The project proposed the construction of a 124 mile-long (200km), 30-inch-diameter pipeline, along with other support facilities. The pipeline would have a capacity of 0.65 billion cubic feet per day. The Pipeline project was a joint-venture formed by Williams Partners, Piedmont Natural Gas, Capitol Energy Ventures (a subsidiary of WGL Holdings), and Cabot Oil and Gas. Williams Partners is responsible for the construction, operation and maintenance of the pipeline. The Environmental Impact Statement was issued in February 2014 and construction was planned to begin in 2014, with operations commencing in 2015.
However, despite FERC's approval of the project, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) denied a water permit for the 125-mile Constitution pipeline in 2016 for environmental reasons, beginning a court battle between the state of New York and the Constitution Pipeline backers. In August 2017, Federal appeals court ruled against Constitution Pipeline's challenge to New York's denial of their water permit. The Federal appeals court sided with the state, declaring that New York acted within its authority to deny the permit to the pipeline despite FERC's approval.
In October 2017, On Oct. 11, Constitution asked the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to overturn New York’s denial of a required water permit that would allow it to move ahead with the project, making it unclear what the future of the pipeline may be. Constitution stated that they still plan to commence the pipeline in 2019, despite major legal setbacks.
In November 2018 Williams received a two-year extension from FERC to obtain the necessary permits to build the pipeline, including a water quality permit from New York state.
On February 24, 2020 , Williams announced that it "has halted investment in the proposed Constitution project." The company credited "the underlying risk adjusted return" diminishing "in such a way that further development is no longer supported."
In 2016, the Holleran family of Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania refused to permit the pipeline to cut through their maple syrup farm. Despite their refusal, five acres of their North Harford Maple Farm were taken by eminent domain. Crews, accompanied by federal marshals wearing bulletproof vests and carrying semi-automatic weapons, cut down about 560 trees, many of which were hundreds of years old, to make way for the pipeline that would be cancelled by developers in 2020.
Articles and resources
- Constitution Gas Pipeline, Constitution Pipeline website, accessed September 2017
- Constitution Natural Gas Pipeline, Pennsylvania, Hydrocarbons-Technology, accessed December 2017
- Marie Cusick, Federal court rejects Constitution Pipeline’s lawsuit against NY, StateImpact, August 18, 2017
- Constitution Pipeline Could Enter Service By First-Half 2019, Oil & Gas Investor, October 16, 2017
- Williams granted more time to gain approval for Constitution gas pipeline, Seeking Alpha, Nov. 6, 2018
- Williams. "Feb. 24 Media Statement". ConstitutionPipeline. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
- New Trees Are Sweet Healing for North Harford Maple Farm, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Oct. 9, 2020