New York Demands Probe of Tree Cutting on Pipeline Route RTO Insider – By William Opalka May 16, 2016
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Friday demanded that FERC investigate Constitution Pipeline for alleged tree cutting and other construction activities in defiance of a commission order (CP13-499). . . .
“My office has found compelling evidence that Constitution not only ignored widespread, unpermitted construction along its pipeline right-of-way corridor, but even authorized, encouraged or condoned it. Constitution also did not report this activity to FERC or to the state. FERC must take strong enforcement action against Constitution to ensure that pipeline companies know they can’t simply thumb their nose at laws that protect New York’s landowners, communities and environment,” Schneiderman said in a statement.
Schneiderman called for an investigation and an enforcement action by FERC for alleged violations of the Natural Gas Act that could subject the pipeline developers to fines of up to $1 million per day. He also asked for a stay of the FERC order from December 2014 that approved the pipeline.
In a two-month investigation, the attorney general’s office said it collected evidence of widespread clear-cutting, road building and heavy equipment use adjacent to state-protected streams and wetlands along the pipeline’s right of way in three counties. State environmental officials said the pipeline route includes about 250 stream crossings, dozens of which are critical to protecting trout. . . .
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