On May 6, 2015, the DEC published a notice in the Oneonta Daily Star that said the deadline for comments regarding permits for the “Constitution” pipeline would be 15 days from the date of that publication – meaning May 21st. Pressed by the STP Steering Committee, the DEC sent a confirmation by email that the deadline for submitting comments to the DEC is now May 21, not May 14.

Comments submitted during the first comment period which ended February 27, 2015 will be considered as DEC reviews the permit application.

Use the form below to tell the DEC to protect New York State water quality by denying the 401 water quality certificate.

Suggested Topics (w/ bullet points)

Click the plus or minus sign to open or close the talking points below.

Compose Your Comment to the DEC

  • Stephen M. Tomasik
    DEC – Division of Environmental Permits
    625 Broadway, 4th Floor
    Albany, NY 12233-1750

    May 14, 2015

    Application ID: 0-9999-00181/00009 – Water Quality Certification
    Application ID: 0-9999-00181/00010 – Freshwater Wetlands
    Application ID: 0-9999-00181/00011 – Water Withdrawal
    Application ID: 0-9999-00181/00012 – Excavation and Fill in Navigable Waters
    Application ID: 0-9999-00181/00013 – Stream Disturbance

    Dear Mr. Tomasik,
  • Please write or paste comments above. Recommended comment length is 300 words per submission.


  • Sincerely,

  • ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) should share all new information with the public regarding the proposed “Constitution” pipeline, and reopen the comment period once the joint application is complete.
  • On April 29, 2015, the DEC announced a new fifteen-day public comment period (which will end on May 14, 2015), stating the Constitution Pipeline Company (Company) had withdrawn and resubmitted the same application for the 401 water quality certificate. No new information was provided to the public.
  • However, the Company has been conducting surveys since the application was last updated, in August 2014, and has been sharing information with the DEC. In addition, the Company recently gained access to over one hundred parcels of land, and is now gathering even more information about the streams, wetlands and species on those parcels.
  • All of this new information should be included in a revised or supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), and integrated into a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), but so far that has not occurred.
  • The People of New York State are entitled to have access to all information being exchanged between the Company and the DEC. How can we make meaningful comments on an application if vital information is not shared with the public?
  • I ask the DEC to ensure there is a complete DEIS and FEIS, and an updated application, with all of the information needed to make findings under SEQR (State Environmental Quality Review Act).
  • I also ask the DEC to reopen the public comment period for an additional sixty days once it has obtained all of the required information from the Company and shared it with the public.
  • Williams fined $388,694 in 2013 — the highest fines of any oil and gas company in the PA.
  • Demonstrates a deliberate disregard for the environment and for the agencies in charge of its protection
  • PADEP issued 19-page Penalty Report –the company continuously ignored Erosion and Sediment Best Management Practices
  • PLEASE do not allow this deceitful, negligent, and destructive company to come into our
    state, cut down our trees and contaminate our water — all so they can make a profit overseas.(
  • Protect New York State water quality deny the 401 water quality certificate!
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  • A 2013 Compliance Report issued by the PA DEP states that Williams, through three pipeline subsidiaries, was charged the most fines of any oil and gas company in the state.
  • Williams repeatedly violated these conditions of their permits:
  • Failure to implement and maintain the Erosion and Sediment Best Management Practices
  • Failure to provide an Erosion and Sediment Plan
  • Failure to immediately seed, mulch, or otherwise protect sites after earth disturbance
  • Creating a danger of pollution to waters of PA
  • Allowing sediment to enter waters
  • Discharging pollution into waters
  • Failure to comply with approved ESCGP-1 (Erosion and Sediment control General Permit)
  • Failure to obtain an ESCGP-1 (Erosion and Sediment control General Permit) for an additional access road
  • Inaccurate marking of a wetland crossing
  • A DEP inspector notably commented: “…this violation had been continuously noted in previous inspections and had not been resolved as of the date of this inspection.”
  • Protect New York State water quality deny the 401 water quality certificate!
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  • 9% of the route for the proposed Constitution Pipeline is through regulated wetlands.
  • Wetlands are critical to protecting water quality.
  • Wetlands, also known as marshes, swamps, and bogs, provide critical habitat for plants, fish, and wildlife uniquely adapted to this environment.
  • Wetlands purify polluted waters and minimize the destruction of floods and storms.
  • Wetlands also provide many recreational opportunities.
  • Wetlands purify water by filtering sediment and absorbing pollutants from surface water.
  • A wetland restoration study in NY shows that only about half of the organic matter had reestablished within 55 years compared to the original wetland.
  • Storage of excess water in wetlands reduces downstream flooding.
  • Later, drought is mitigated in streams as this stored water is slowly released.
  • Wetland vegetation reduces erosion and sedimentation of streams.
  • NYS DEC states that a project must not cause “unreasonable, uncontrolled or unnecessary damage to the natural resources of the state, including soil, forests, water, fish, shellfish, crustaceans, and aquatic and land-related environment.”
  • With inadequate survey information, and lacking a forest management plan, the FEIS fails to accurately predict the expected devastation from wetland destruction and the “mitigation” of relocating wetlands.
  • Protect New York State water quality deny the 401 water quality certificate!
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  • The Catskills is famous for its trout fishing. The brook trout is our State Fish.
  • CP’s stream crossings, deforestation and massive streamside shade removal—which would cause erosion, siltation and warming of trout habitat—would violate DEC §703.2 Narrative Water Quality Standards as well as §703.3 Water Quality Standards for dissolved oxygen, dissolved solids, color and turbidity (Chapter X, Divisions of Water).
  • Protect New York State water quality deny the 401 water quality certificate!
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  • CP would clear-cut 1,000 acres of forested land surrounding prime brook trout habitat.
  • CP would permanently remove 100-foot wide swaths of vegetation and tree canopy on either side of 45 trout streams that the pipeline would cross 84 different times. That would be a total of 168,000 feet of streamside clear-cutting—equal to the length of 467 football fields.
  • Trout require cool water because it contains a lot of dissolved oxygen (DO). Without a certain level of DO, trout die.
  • Removal of streamside trees and vegetation exposes streams to sunlight, thus increasing water temperatures and decreasing DO levels. This threatens the ability of trout to live and thrive.
  • If CP’s deforestation raises temperatures in trout streams, it would violate DEC Regulation Chapter X, Divisions of Water, §703.3 regarding DO levels in trout habitat.
  • Protect New York State water quality deny the 401 water quality certificate!
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  • DEC says it is “working to preserve” the brook trout, New York’s official State Fish.
  • CP would threaten this work by cutting across 45 trout streams 84 different times in NY and clear-cutting 1,000 acres of forested land leading up to and away from those streams.
  • Deforestation causes increased runoff and erosion, which increases turbidity, or muddiness, in streams.
  • Brook trout require clear water because they are sight feeders. Murky, muddy water at any time = starving fish.
  • Turbid, muddy water also contains less dissolved oxygen, which trout need.
  • The results of CP’s deforestation would violate DEC Water Quality Standards for dissolved oxygen, color and turbidity. (Chapter X, Divisions of Water, Part §703.3).
  • Protect New York State water quality deny the 401 water quality certificate!
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  • CP will use dry trench technique for almost all 91 wetland and 277 stream crossings which is the most intrusive
  • DEC commented in 2012 that HDD was preferable stream crossing method
  • HDD is also better for littoral zones, wetlands and adjacent uplands
  • Pipeline depth is only 24 inches where consolidated rock is present – shallow installation can lead to scouring, exposure and rupture
  • CP will contain hazardous chemicals in addition to methane which could threaten water quality and downstream drinking supplies if leaked
  • DEC recommendations to extend length of deeper pipeline burial on sides of streams have been ignored by CP
  • Protect New York State water quality deny the 401 water quality certificate!
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  • 1000 acres of forest would be clear-cut by construction of the Constitution Pipeline (CP).
  • At a distance of 10 feet between trees, 436,000 trees would be destroyed.
  • At a distance of 6 feet between trees, 1.2 million trees would be destroyed.
  • In 9 months of construction, CP would wipe out the efforts of the Million Trees NYC Project which has planted 943,205 trees in NY since 2007.
  • As flooding increases, removing trees that would help mitigate the ravages of flooding flies in the face of the DEC’s stated mission.
  • Removal of trees that filter sediment and other solids from runoff, keeping them out of waterbodies, would negatively impact water quality in NYS.
  • Protect New York State water quality deny the 401 water quality certificate!
  • See a Sample Letter
  • Clear-cutting of 1000 acres of forest by Constitution Pipeline (CP) would leave 100-foot-wide bare corridors leading down to and away from streams and wetlands.
  • Removal of trees’ roots and canopies leaves riparian zones vulnerable to erosion.
  • Trenching and rock blasting required to lay the pipe in these streams and waterbodies will increase runoff and stream turbidity.
  • For the AA, A, B, C, and D streams that comprise the majority of streams CP would cross, DEC specifically regulates against an … “increase in turbidity that will cause a substantial visible contrast to natural conditions” (Chapter X, Divisions of Water, §701.3).
  • Turbidity will inevitably increase as construction of CP adds sediment and other solids to stream beds.
  • Protect New York State water quality deny the 401 water quality certificate!
  • See a Sample Letter
  • 554 banks of rivers, streams, and creeks in NY will be permanently changed by the tree-clearing on 100-foot-wide Rights-of-Way (ROWS) for the Constitution Pipeline (CP).
  • Maintenance of 50-100 feet of trees and vegetation is recommended from the banks of all waterbodies by Cornell Cooperative Extension for landowners, loggers, and timber harvesters.
  • This “streamside management zone” allows water to percolate well, thereby reducing flooding.
  • This zone also slows runoff, and filters sediment and nutrients from the runoff, reducing sedimentation in water bodies.
  • Tree cover shades streams, thereby cooling the water – essential for trout survival.
  • Trees and vegetation stabilize stream banks, reducing erosion.
  • Clearing these ROWS along streams causes runoff and turbidity, threatening the water quality standards established by NYS.
  • According to DEC regulations, turbidity should not be such that it causes a noticeable visible change from normal stream conditions.
  • The FEIS states that streams the pipeline would cross in NY are classified as AA, C, C(T), C(TS) and D.
  • Construction of the CP would most certainly cause erosion, flooding, and increased turbidity in the waterways it is projected to cross.
  • Protect New York State water quality deny the 401 water quality certificate!
  • See a Sample Letter
  • Between 400,000 and 1.2 million trees would be lost if Constitution Pipeline (CP) clear-cuts 1,000 acres of forested land through four flood-prone counties in NY.
  • Flooding would increase with the loss of root systems, tree canopy, and leaf litter.
  • Increased water velocity on deforested Rights-of-Way (ROWS) would increase turbidity, flow, and suspended, colloidal and settle-able solids in steams, in violation of 6 NYCRR §703.2 Narrative Water Quality Standards.
  • This increase in flooding will bring road-salt, fuel oil, methane gas, barnyard and septic waste, pesticides, fertilizers, and other toxic chemical contamination to our fresh surface waters.
  • The site of the old Amphenol Plant in Sidney threatens downstream communities with hazardous waste contamination unleashed during floods.
  • Protect New York State water quality deny the 401 water quality certificate!
  • See a Sample Letter
  • The area traversed by the proposed Constitution Pipeline (CP) has seen three 100-year floods in less than 10 years.
  • These floods are expected to increase in frequency as acknowledged by the governor, the DEC, and the scientific community.
  • CP will remove 1000 acres of forest, much of it on steep slopes.
  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated
  • These consequences of deforestation violate NYS Water Quality Standards, including 6 NYCRR §703.2.
  • Protect New York State water quality deny the 401 water quality certificate!
  • See a Sample Letter
    • Southern Tier and Catskills have experienced three 100-year floods and many other extreme rainfall events in the past eight years
    • DEC, NYSERDA and Governor Cuomo have all acknowledged that extreme rainfall events are expected to continue
    • CP will harm and degrade NY’s water quality by upsetting massive amounts of soil and vegetation in 277 waterbodies
    • could cause catastrophic flooding
    • Protect New York State water quality deny the 401 water quality certificate!

See a Sample Letter

    • Southern Tier and Catskills have experienced three 100-year floods and many other extreme rainfall events in the past eight years
    • the number of 100-year storm and flood events in New York is projected to increase
    • rainstorms will become more severe and more frequent
    • even the most conscientious “best management practices” in place for a 5-year storm event would be completely inadequate in a 10-, 50-, 100- or 500-year flood, which will happen again
    • Protect New York State water quality deny the 401 water quality certificate!

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    • stream equilibrium, or a stream’s ability to “pass water and sediment during small and large flood events”
    • stream sections can become unstable when human activity
    • stream can become a source of flooding for communities located along its banks
    • every single water body the pipeline crosses would be degraded
    • Protect New York State water quality deny the 401 water quality certificate!

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    • 277 streams, creeks, rivers and other waterbodies in New York
    • floodwater can scrape or “scour” dozens of feet of soil and gravel off a riverbed
    • CP would be buried just 5 feet deep
    • pipeline would be vulnerable to leaking or rupture
    • Protect New York State water quality deny the 401 water quality certificate!

See a Sample Letter

    • Needs assessment for the project was not done by FERC!
    • The company states the market for the gas is in NYC and New England, there is no way to transport it to either location as the
    • Iroquois and Tennessee pipelines are congested.
    • This gas would not be used in New York State, and benefits outside of the state cannot be used to counter the economic and environmental damages that would occur here.
    • Some nonbinding franchises with towns along the route have been agreed to, but this gas would be only 0.6% of the total volume of gas being transported, and that’s assuming it is economical to lay pipelines for local delivery, which is questionable.
    • Such a tiny amount of speculative use does not indicate a need for the project.
    • This proposed pipeline is not in the public interest.
    • It is not reasonable to destroy over 1800 acres of land so some companies’ stock prices can rise.
    • Protect New York State water quality deny the 401 water quality certificate!

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  • Wetlands are particularly sensitive ecosystems and they support a wide variety of bird species
  • Bald Eagle, Osprey, Red-shouldered Hawk, American Bittern, Pied-billed Grebe, and Northern Harrier are located along the pipeline route – and all are listed as at-risk species by the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation.
  • Pipeline activities during breeding season pose a particular threat to birds.
  • Direct loss of nests will occur, as well as nest abandonment due to disturbance by noise and activity

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  • Construction will cause unreasonable, uncontrolled and unnecessary damage to the natural resources within the town of _________________

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  • Clear-cut of hundreds of thousands of trees
  • Use of herbicides to maintain the clear-cut areas
  • Restricts to our land-use
  • Noise and structural damage from blasting and jackhammers
  • Contamination of our village and town water and personal wells and water bodies from the blasting
  • Degradation of our water quality
  • Additional paths this project will create for storm runoff

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  • Violates Section 401 of the Clean Water Act
  • Tree Cutting Along Hillsides
  • Contribute to Flooding and Sediment Deposition
  • Disturbs Beds or Banks of a Protected Streams or Other Watercourses

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  • Central NY experienced four 100-year floods within ten years
  • No way to protect NYS water quality through best management practices if there were a 50, 100, or 500 year storm event
  • Silt fences and properly sized pipes would be cast aside like a joke in such torrents.
  • No discussion of the impact of climate change on this project
  • Do your job. Protect New York State water quality by denying the 401 water quality certificate

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  • DEC must protect the public water supplies
  • DEC must protect the wild life habitats
  • DEC must protect flooding susceptibility along the entire length of the pipeline as it travels through the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Since there is no way this can possibly be done.
  • Do Not Grant Constitution a 401 permit

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  • Construction of the Constitution Pipeline will have adverse impacts on designated high quality streams
  • Construction of the Constitution Pipeline will have adverse impacts on trout streams
  • Construction of the Constitution Pipeline will have adverse impacts on protected streams

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  • Ask DEC to take into account what the carbon emissions will be from the loss of all these forests which are a natural carbon sink
  • Ask DEC to take into account increased carbon emissions from gas infrastructure build-out with its inherent air pollution.
  • Compressor Station pollution

See a Sample Letter

  • Cumulative impact of two pipelines within 100 feet of each other.
  • Clear-cutting twice as many trees
  • Twice the impact to steep hill-sides
  • Exponential property value losses

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  • DEC is NOT in the business of providing economic opportunities at the expense of our environment
  • DEC’s responsibility is to protect our water,
  • DEC’s responsibility is to protect our health and safety
  • DEC’s responsibility is to protect our citizens
  • DEC’s responsibility is to protect our wildlife
  • DEC’s responsibility is to protect our birds
  • DEC’s responsibility is to protect our fish
  • DEC’s responsibility is to protect our woods
  • DEC’s responsibility is to protect hills
  • DEC’s responsibility is to protect streams
  • DEC’s responsibility is to protect lakes
  • DEC’s responsibility is to protect rivers

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  • Potential for stream and water body contamination in karst topography, including sediment and herbicide migration during and after construction

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  • New York’s water quality laws demand that you do not grant a 401 Permit to the Constitution Pipeline.

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  • Fish, esp. baby trout, need a lot of dissolved oxygen in their spawning streams.
  • They also need clear cold water, and will not survive if the water is too turbid (muddy), or too warm.
  • Construction in clay soils on steep slopes will cause a turbid runoff lowering the amount of oxygen in the water and smothering trout eggs in silt.
  • Clear-cutting will warm those trout spawning waters.
  • Construction of the CP would violate NYS Water Quality Standards
  • DEC’s lawful duty is to enforce the Clean Water Act and protect those same standards.
  • Your job mandates protection of New York State water quality.

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