March 10, 2016 — Constitution Pipeline Company, LLC announced today that it is updating its in-service date projection to help meet growing natural gas demand in New York and New England from the fourth quarter of 2016 to the second half of 2017. This adjustment is to ensure compliance with the environmental conditions of the FERC Order, as well as the USFWS Biological Opinion.
Specifically, the in-service date adjustment is in response to the rapidly closing environmental window to complete tree felling activities prior to March 31. To date, Constitution has completed nearly all tree felling activities in Pennsylvania.
Pending receipt of the Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Clean Water Act Section 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Constitution anticipates beginning limited mainline construction in the summer of 2016. Full mainline construction would continue after October 1 to minimize and avoid adverse impacts to migratory birds and the Northern Long Eared Bat. All activities are subject to third party environmental monitoring. In coordination with state and federal agencies, Constitution Pipeline has agreed to voluntarily provide $8.6 million in conservation funding for the restoration and preservation of migratory bird habitats in New York and Pennsylvania as a conservation measure.
The Constitution Pipeline project was thoroughly reviewed and approved by the FERC in December 2014. Challenges to the project were denied by FERC in January 2016. Once complete, the pipeline will become a key piece of critical utility infrastructure in the Northeast, creating an important connection between consumers and reliable supplies of clean, affordable natural gas. The construction of the Constitution Pipeline will help address pipeline infrastructure issues that have exposed New England and New York consumers to less reliable utility services, higher than average natural gas prices and, significantly higher electric-generation costs.
Construction of the Constitution Pipeline project is estimated to directly and indirectly support more than 2,400 jobs and generate $130 million in labor income for the region. Once in service, the pipeline will deliver enough natural gas to serve approximately 3 million U.S. homes. Once operational, the pipeline’s economic impact is anticipated to result in more than $13 million in local tax revenue and more than $600,000 in new income in the region.
In addition to serving markets in New England and New York City, Constitution Pipeline and Leatherstocking Gas Company, LLC have announced plans to install delivery taps along Constitution’s proposed route to facilitate local natural gas service to homes and businesses in southern New York and northern Pennsylvania.