natural gas

New York state denies permit to Constitution Pipeline

Above: A natural gas pipeline being constructed. Photo courtesy of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Just in time to celebrate Earth Day, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced that it has denied a water quality permit to the Constitution Pipeline.

The pipeline company had hoped to build a 124-mile natural gas pipeline across the northern Catskills from Pennsylvania to existing pipelines in Schoharie County, crossing Broome, Chenango and Delaware counties along the way.

In a press release issued on Friday, April 22, the DEC stated that the pipeline's application "fails to meet New York State’s water quality standards."  Read more

Crowd gathers in Franklin as pipeline unveils plans for compressor

Above: A pair of compressors are part of a complex that is included in the proposal for the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline, as seen in this artist's rendering. The complex would straddle the line between the Delaware County town of Franklin and the Otsego County town of Otego.

With approval of the proposed Constitution Pipeline possibly imminent, Franklin residents got information on Wednesday, Dec. 16 about a second natural gas pipeline that may pass through their town.

Kinder Morgan, a gas infrastructure company, held a public meeting at Franklin Central School about the Northeast Energy Direct (NED) pipeline. A large crowd, including both supporters and opponents, attended the gathering, overseen by several officers of the New York State Police and the Delaware County Sheriff's Office.  Read more

Scores protest pipelines at rally in Franklin

Above: Don Hebbard, a leader of the Compressor Free Franklin group and candidate for Franklin Town Council, addressed gas pipeline opponents at a rally on Saturday. Photos by Robert Cairns.

Nearly 80 people gathered on a hillside in the Delaware County town of Franklin on Saturday, Sept. 12 to protest proposed natural gas pipelines and a planned gas compressor station. The site was chosen because it overlooks a field which is on the planned route of the Constitution Pipeline and the Northeast Energy Direct (NED) pipeline.

The Constitution Pipeline received federal approval last year and is now awaiting permits from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The NED pipeline unveiled its plans to build a similar pipeline along a similar route last year, and would require the construction of multiple compressor stations in the Catskills

On Saturday, protestors wore surgical masks, held signs and waved puppets as several speakers took to the microphone during an hour-long event that began and ended with Franklin resident Jason Starr singing an original folk song, “Up on Hebbard's Farm.”  Read more

Franklin family's lamb found decapitated after compressor meeting

Members of a politically active Franklin farming family found one of their lambs decapitated outside their home on June 2, according to an article in the Daily Star.

In act reminiscent of the "horse head" scene in the movie "The Godfather," the lamb was reportedly found headless outside the home of Linda and Pete Bevilacqua.

The Bevilacquas say that they had returned home​ after a rancorous town meeting about a proposed gas pipeline compressor station slated to be built in the Delaware County town of Franklin, which the Bevilacquas oppose.

According to reporter Joe Mahoney, the Bevilacquas suspect that there is a political motivation for the slaying:  Read more

New pipeline company wants compressors in Franklin, Schoharie

Above: Jan Mulroy of Franklin, an opponent of gas pipelines and compressor stations, delivers a petition containing over 500 signatures of like-minded residents to the Franklin Town Council. Photo by Robert Cairns. 

A farm in the Delaware County town of Franklin could be the site of a new natural gas compressor station, while the Schoharie County town of Schoharie could be home to two of them.

The stations would be placed along the route of a proposed new section of the Northeast Energy Direct (NED) pipeline, a project of Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company LLC, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan.

The new section of the NED pipeline is slated to run along a route from Pennsylvania to Schoharie County that is similar to that of the Constitution Pipeline, which received federal approval last year and is now awaiting state permits.  Read more

With 121 eminent domain cases filed, another round of hearings for Constitution Pipeline

Above: An underground natural gas pipeline right-of-way after completion. Photo courtesy of FERC.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is holding public hearings on whether or not to issue a permit to the Constitution Pipeline, a natural gas pipeline that seeks to break ground through Delaware, Schoharie, Broome and Chenango counties this year. The agency has also extended its public comment period on the pipeline until Feb. 27, 2015. 

The pipeline cleared its main federal hurdle, approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), on Dec. 2. 

Since then, it has been moving aggressively to force reluctant landowners along the 124-mile route to cooperate. The pipeline has filed 121 eminent domain lawsuits against property owners along the route who don't want the pipeline to cross their land.  Read more

Constitution Pipeline files 55 eminent domain lawsuits against Catskills landowners

Above: The proposed route of the Constitution Pipeline in 2013. Via the Constitution Pipeline's website.  

Since Dec. 12, the Constitution Pipeline has filed formal eminent domain proceedings against 55 landowners along the pipeline’s proposed 124-mile route through Schoharie, Delaware and Chenango counties, federal court records show.

The pipeline, which received conditional approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Dec. 2, has wasted no time in using the power of eminent domain to force people to allow the 30-inch natural gas pipeline to cross their land.

On Wednesday, Dec. 3, the pipeline’s law firm sent a letter to resistant landowners offering them a chance to accept compensation in exchange for an easement on their property. The letter gave the landowners until Dec. 11 to make up their minds.  Read more

New York state bans fracking


A video posted by Mark Ruffalo (@markruffalo) on

At a cabinet meeting that was open to the public today, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York State Department of Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens and New York Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker announced that the practice of natural gas drilling called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, will be prohibited in New York State.   Read more

Town of Andes bans fracking waste

Above: Rush hour traffic in Andes, New York. Photo by Flickr user charltonlido, taken in 2010

With a unanimous vote, the town board of the Delaware County town of Andes passed a local law banning oil and natural gas waste on Tuesday, Dec. 9, according to Tom Joyce, the Andes town board member who drafted the law. 

The new law bans the sale, acquisition, storage, handling, treatment and processing of natural gas waste and oil waste within Andes town limits. It includes specific provisions on applying fracking waste to all roads within the town and disposing of such waste in the town dump or in the town wastewater treatment plant.  Read more

Along pipeline route, dozens of landowners receive letters threatening eminent domain

Above: An excerpt from a letter sent to to landowners along the route of the Constitution Pipeline on Dec. 3. Read the full letter at the bottom of this story or by clicking here

The day after receiving federal approval, the Constitution Pipeline sent letters threatening to use eminent domain authority against dozens of landowners who are reluctant to allow the 124-mile natural gas pipeline across their land.

The pipeline, which has been in the works for two and a half years, will run from Pennsylvania through New York's Delaware, Schoharie, Broome and Chenango counties. It received conditional approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Tuesday, Dec. 2.

On Wednesday, Dec. 3, the pipeline’s law firm, Saul Ewing, began playing hardball with landowners who have not accepted the pipeline’s offer of compensation in exchange for pipeline access.  Read more

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