WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. -- National Fuel has responded after the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) denied permits the company needed to build the proposed 97-mile Northern Access Pipeline Saturday.
National Fuel had already secured federal approval to build the half billion dollar, privately-funded national gas pipeline that would run through parts of Western New York and north-central Pennsylvania. It had secured a majority of landowner rights-of-way to build the pipeline and had been waiting on necessary air and water quality certifications from the DEC to continue moving forward.
Ronald J. Tanski, President and Chief Executive Officer of National Fuel Gas Company, responded in a statement, saying National Fuel did studies that proved the pipeline would not be as damaging to the environment as the DEC had determined, and it also would not be as harmful as some other projects the state has approved in the past.
"These construction activities would certainly have less effect than either exploding an entire bridge structure and dropping it into Cattaraugus Creek (Route 219) or developing and continuously operating a massive construction zone in the middle of the Hudson River (Tappan Zee Bridge) for a minimum of five years, both NYS DEC approved projects," Tanski said. "We and our contractors have a great record with respect to our construction practices."
He also said the company is "concerned" without the pipeline that utilities will not be able to meet the demands of consumers.
"New York’s continued denial of permits for energy infrastructure projects is simply not sustainable, as it will have the effect of reducing New York’s energy reliability, lead to higher costs for consumers and be a limiting factor in the ability for industry to locate or expand in the state," he said.
In a statement, the DEC said it had denied the project due to the project's "failure to avoid adverse impacts to wetlands, streams, and fish and other wildlife habitat. We are confident that this decision supports our state’s strict water quality standards that all New Yorkers depend on.”
You can read the full statement from the DEC below. National Fuel's full response is also listed below.