In an amazing victory for our forests, waterways and communities, New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has formally denied the water quality certification as required by the Clean Water Act for the proposed
(Livingston Manor, NY) —The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) stopped the Constitution Pipeline in its tracks today by denying the project an essential approval, known as a water quality certification.
Catskill Mountainkeeper trustee, Mark Ruffalo, said, “Today’s decision is further indication that we have finally begun to turn the corner on old dirty fossil fuels and take a step toward a clean and renewable future. The wisdom of the DEC, the leadership of Governor Cuomo, and the determination of New York’s beautiful grassroots movement have come together to fight against greater fossil fuel proliferation and the catastrophe of climate change. This state continues to lead the nation by limiting fossil fuel infrastructure and making clean water, air, and food a priority.”
This momentous decision protects New York’s communities and environment from a 124-mile pipeline that would have carried fracked gas from Pennsylvania to Canada. Countless communities, over 1,000 acres of forests and farms, and nearly 300 vulnerable waterways are no longer under threat. This decision represents our most significant victory since the Cuomo administration banned fracking last year.
“Governor Cuomo and the DEC stood up to the oil and gas industry and effectively shut down the Constitution Pipeline project. Today our leaders chose New Yorkers and our water over corporate profit, and Catskill Mountainkeeper applauds the decision” said Wes Gillingham, Catskill Mountainkeeper’s Program Director. “And the fact that this historic decision comes on Earth Day as world leaders gather at the United Nations to fight climate change makes it all the more significant. Today our state officials stood up to protect our water, air, communities, and our planet. This is a huge victory for the Catskill Mountains.”
Last month, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) gave the go-ahead for pipeline developers to clear-cut 20 miles of trees along the pipelines planned route in Pennsylvania. This premature action from FERC highlights the federal agency’s tendency to blindly approve fossil fuel infrastructure projects and was the basis for our request for a rehearing from FERC. Catskill Mountainkeeper opposed any such premature action in New York State, citing the lack of approval from our state’s government.