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DEC Screams Like Stuck Pig As Millennium Asserts Rights

delaware riverkeeper - Jim Willis reports

Jim Willis
Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)

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Millennium Pipeline has asserted its rights with FERC and New York State DEC is screaming like a stuck pig, begging for retention of its supposed authority.

MDN just brought you the exciting news that Millennium Pipeline has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to overrule the New York Department of Environmental Conservation. The agency is politicized and corrupted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, so Millennium has asked FERC to go ahead and issue permission to commence construction of a very small 7.8 mile pipeline that will connect its pipeline to a natural gas-fired power plant now under construction in Orange County, New York.

Now, DEC is screaming and begging for an opportunity to make to still be the decision maker. If any further proof is needed that hardball is the way the game is played in New York, this is it. Millennium knows how to play, because they’ve done business here before.

Millennium

New power plant in Orange County, NY that will be served by proposed Millennium Pipeline extension

According to the law as written, if a state (like NY) does not act on a federal Section 401 Water Quality Certification for 12 months, FERC has the right to step back in and issue the certificate. It would totally emasculate the corrupt DEC.

But hold on. The DEC is once again using sleazy political tactics to try and forestall FERC from taking action. On Tuesday the DEC filed a letter with FERC requesting they hold off on granting Millennium permission to build, based on a technicality. Millennium first filed their application with the DEC 19 months ago. But, the DEC says the initial application was “incomplete” and that the completed application, refiled by Millennium, didn’t happen until months later–and if you count the time from the refiled application, the DEC has until August 30th to issue the 401 water permit. And, DEC says they will rule by or on August 30th.

In a somewhat comical typographical error, the final paragraph of the DEC letter to FERC begins this way: “For the above reasons, I respectfully urge the Director of OEP to deny Millennium’s Request, or, alternatively, place the Request in abeyance until August 31, 3017…” Did you catch that? August of “3017.”Freudian slip? We’re sure the DEC would love FERC to delay a decision for another 1,000 years.

Regardless, make no mistake folks, the DEC knows what is on the line. The DEC does not want to lose its seat at the table. Constitutionally, the DEC never had power to approve or not approve federal pipeline projects in place of FERC, which is what they’ve tried to do, illegally. The DEC can, however, heavily influence a project, helping to steer it along a certain path by the way it manages the Water Quality Certification. This is still a lot of power.

If FERC rules in Millennium’s favor, the DEC will be cut out of the process altogether. They are petrified that is exactly what will happen.

Here’s the “please please please don’t issue an order just yet” letter from the DEC to FERC:

Millennium

Editor’s Note: I’m of a slightly different view than Jim, as I’ve noted here before. I think it’s quite possible Governor Andrew Corruptocrat wants FERC to overrule DEC so he can claim he did everything he could to appease the NRDC gang and like-minded folks and still get the gas. DEC may well be fearful in this case they simply won’t get a chance to say no first. What do you readers think is happening:

Is this entire controversy just a Cuomo head fake so Corruptocrat can claim he opposed pipelines he knows FERC will later approve, giving him both the natural gas and a political victory opposing it?

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19 thoughts on “DEC Screams Like Stuck Pig As Millennium Asserts Rights

  1. Clarence Rapplyea once described Andrew as being twice as mean and half as smart as his father. This is a event that proves that assessment.

  2. While the Valley Lateral Pipeline is only 7.8 miles long, it will feed the 650MK natural gas-fired CPV power plant. As the photo in post shows CPV is a huge facility, conceived and constructed under clouds of corruption, which will send millions of tons of pollutants and leak methane into the atmosphere for the next 30 or more years. Of course DEC should be involved in protecting NYS from the expansion of natural gas infrastructure. Continued expansion means we will not be able meet NYS and international goals for greenhouse gas emissions, but we will continue down our current path of environmental destruction – primarily for the profit of a few large companies. We can create new, sustainable jobs in the clean energy sector – meaning renewable energy, not the pollution belching, methane leaking un-clean gas industry.

    • But, of course, this Water Quality Certification has zero to do with any of that. And those renewables jobs are phantom.

    • Donald, I strongly suggest that you stop smoking the frack pipe.

      1. There is nothing new and superscary about a natural gas power plant Donald unless we are talking about improvements. You understand how many plants there are in the country or state even?

      2. No Donald. NY DEC shouldn’t be protecting NY state from the expansion of natural gas infrastructure. Unless by protection you mean making sure power plants comply with current regulations for emissions and that pipelines are permitted and built properly. (Read that to mean with minimal impact, best practices etc)

      3. No. Continued expansion of natural gas does not mean goals for emissions reductions won’t be met Donald. You are dead wrong about that. Natural gas expansion has in fact been credited with helping to reduce emissions and that includes air pollutants and co2.

      You have a problem donald. It is frack fever.

    • Donald,
      Where will downstate get its power from since Indian Point is supposed to be shuttred in the near future? NYRI was scuttled about 10 years ago. Do you think all marine life killing and bird chopping wind turbines out on the east end of LI is going to satisfy metro NY power consumption? Look for rolling blackouts like they have in Germany. I would suggest you invest in a candle factory. …oh..wait a minute, you can’t. ..most candle wax nowadays is a petroleum derived product.

  3. So what was the islander east ,is it case, about? Mr.willis should consider that environmental groups know about this or of it. I don’t have time myself to research but law suits (I think more than one) and a permit denial were involved. Certainly things might have changed since that time. But that was a proposal prior to the fracking controversy that was fought in Connecticut and NY State and it was not built.

  4. In addition to screaming/squealing pigs are slippery too!
    Fire the DEC and reverse the protest – stop the flow of natural gas generated electricity into NY City for two days. Oh, and make it the two days Indian Point is shut down for maintenance.

  5. Well just because the DEC has a certain time frame for LEGITIMATELY reviewing and making a decision on a permit, this does not mean their standard operating procedure should be to run that clock out until the last second only to permit or then alternately not permit on say earth day 2016 which occurred with the consittuion pipe or whenever the permit was denied this year for what the antifracking pipeline resistance movement referred to as the NAPL pipeline.

    And what happened with the SGEIS and fracking decision in NY State was atrocious. There the NY DEC basically said they had come to a decision before laying out how they came to that decision, I think stating that their decision would be defendable legally and proceeded to lallygag another six months to produce the proper paperwork???? While the press of course snored??? What????

    • FERC should also step into the LPG-Storage issue at Watkins Glen. The never-ending “Administrative Law Judge’s” scrutiny needs to be brought to an end, so that thousands of LPG trucks will not be going through Watkins Glen every winter, carrying propane to the northeast USA.

  6. cuomo’s only motivation is “what’s in it for me?” A sadistic thug who would prefer those who don’t vote for him banished from his thoroughly corrupt NY.

    The DEC’s radical no drilling no pipelines policy is assisted by the likes of the brainwashed alarmist anti poster above who has a very poor grasp of how the energy world works…

  7. “According to the law as written, if a state (like NY) does not act on a federal Section 401 Water Quality Certification for 12 months, FERC has the right to step back in and issue the certificate”

    Nope, nope, nope. FERC administers the Natural Gas Act, not the Clean Water Act. FERC has no authority to “issue” water quality certifications. At most, FERC can rule that a state has failed to act within the mandatory 1 year time period. But of course FERC would also be vulnerable to litigation by the state, and would enjoy no deference in court for their decision.

    “Constitutionally, the DEC never had power to approve or not approve federal pipeline projects in place of FERC, which is what they’ve tried to do, illegally.”

    Constitutionally? There is no constitutional provision at issue here. NYSDEC certainly does have the statutory power, via the Clean Water Act, to deny a water quality certification, which effectively blocks a FERC-approved project. NYSDEC never attempted to take any action “in place of FERC,” rather, they were simply exercising their clear authority under federal law.

    I’ll ask again. Please include an Editor’s Note correcting these blatant misstatements and misinformation.

    • Go peddle your smug legal spin elsewhere.

      Every Southern Tier landowner knows exactly what cuomo is, and that he has brazenly politicized energy along with every other far left position he foists on us. His NY is the Titanic…

        • Perhaps he’s talking about your name. You’ve privately assured me this is your real name but most of us remain very skeptical. You sound suspiciously like a now blocked commenter named “Phineas Gage,” in fact. Are you Phineas? Or, is this you, Maya? Or, someone else from Bristol perhaps?

          • I have no idea who “Phineas Gage” is or what you are talking about, nor frankly do I care. Perhaps you should be more concerned about the actual content of my comments and correcting blatant misinformation on this website rather than my name. Your refusal to do so speaks volumes about the credibility of this website. Please feel free to correct any inaccurate statements of mine, but my guess is you are either unwilling or unable to do so.

          • You are very adept at deflecting. You know well the issue with Water Quality Certification is one of performing within the prescribed time and a Federal Court has just said that’s up to FERC. Your attempts to pretend DEC can take as long as it wants and thereby overrule FERC are simply designed to cloud the issue and you suppose that’s enough to challenge our credibility. You’re not going to get away with that and anyone with the supposed name “Alphege Hamilcar” (which cannot be found anywhere else unless we’re talking Welsh saints or Carthaginian generals) shouldn’t be lecturing about credibility. I’m only allowing you to post because you say it is your real name. Needless to say, if I learn you’re not you’ll be permanently blocked.

  8. “You know well the issue with Water Quality Certification is one of performing within the prescribed time and a Federal Court has just said that’s up to FERC.”

    This is true. Keep in mind FERC will be owed no deference in Court with regard to its decision on whether waiver occurred pursuant to Section 401 because FERC does not administer the Clean Water Act. Therefore, I think FERC will be rather cautious in its response, but who knows.

    “Your attempts to pretend DEC can take as long as it wants and thereby overrule FERC are simply designed to cloud the issue and you suppose that’s enough to challenge our credibility.”

    Now this is just nonsense.

    I “pretend” nor state any such thing. Nor would I advocate for a state agency to take “as long as it wants,” because that simply is not what the law allows. In fact, I specifically recognized in my post that NYSDEC has 1 year to take action or else they waive their right to block the project by denying a water quality certification (the question that is now before FERC is when is the clock triggered for the 1 year timeframe, which I am sure will get resolved by a Circuit Court at some point).

    NYSDEC cannot “overrule” FERC. What NYSDEC can do is deny the water quality certification that is required for construction to proceed. That is a VERY different thing. And is a reality that is apparently lost on you, Jim Willis, and, unfortunately as a result, your readers.

    Very easy to make the correction, why not do it?

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