DEC denies permit for controversial National Fuel pipeline

DEC denies permit for controversial National Fuel pipeline.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation has rejected National Fuel’s plans for a 97-mile pipeline to carry natural gas from northwestern Pennsylvania to Elma.
The DEC determined there was too big a threat to water quality and wildlife to grant National Fuel the water quality certificate required to construct the Northern Access Pipeline.
"After an in-depth review of the proposed Northern Access Pipeline project and following three public hearings and the consideration of over 5,700 comments, DEC has denied the permit due to the project’s failure to avoid adverse impacts to wetlands, streams and fish and other wildlife habitat," the DEC announced.
"We are confident that this decision supports our state’s strict water quality standards that all New Yorkers depend on," the DEC statement added.
Environmental groups and residents raised concern about threats the pipeline posed to water quality, including its planned crossing of Cattaraugus Creek, which is the sole source drinking water aquifer for residents in a 325-square-mile area.
DEC officials determined National Fuel’s plans did not "avoid or adequately mitigate" impacts that could harm water quality and associated resources.
Last April, the DEC denied a water quality permit to the Constitution Pipeline.
Another Pendleton resident and a leader of the action team, Paula Hargreaves, said the DEC’s findings confirmed what her organization had been saying all along.
Hargreaves called the DEC’s findings a victory in a single "battle" and said the organization intends to remain vigilant in anticipation of the gas company resubmitting their plans.

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