ReThink Energy NJ Applauds New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for Denying Constitution Pipeline’s 401 Water Quality Certificate
Stockton, N.J., (April 22, 2016) — ReThink Energy NJ, a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing fossil fuel use and bringing clean, renewable energy to New Jersey, today expresses its strong support of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) in denying the 401 Water Quality Certification for the Constitution Pipeline, which has been proposed for the region.
“The actions of NYSDEC demonstrate the considerable authority that state governments hold in regulating potentially dangerous pipeline projects, and in protecting the state’s residents and natural resources,” said Tom Gilbert, campaign director for ReThink Energy NJ and New Jersey Conservation Foundation. “We urge the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to take a similarly prudent approach when it considers permit applications for the proposed PennEast Pipeline, which would significantly affect preserved open spaces, cross protected C-1 streams 49 times, and threaten the drinking water supply for over 1.5 million New Jerseyans.”
The NYSDEC rejected the 401 Water Quality Certification because the proposed Constitution Pipeline would violate New York State’s water quality standards. Under the Clean Water Act, state standards meant to protect water are elevated to a federal level.
Like PennEast, Constitution would be an interstate natural gas pipeline designed to transport “fracked” natural gas from Pennsylvania to other markets. Both pipelines face stiff opposition from homeowners and communities in their path. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted a certificate to Constitution almost a year and a half ago, whereas it is still in the early stages of reviewing PennEast’s application.
“NYSDEC has demonstrated that states are not just at the mercy of FERC when it comes to reviewing interstate gas pipelines,” continued Gilbert. “The PennEast Pipeline is not needed, would cause enormous damage to water and other natural resources, and would tether us to more dirty fossil fuels as an energy source. We should instead be developing clean, renewable sources of energy that create more jobs and healthier communities for our families.”