Constitution Pipeline environmental impact study

By WBNG

Constitution Pipeline environmental impact study

February 13, 2014 Updated Feb 14, 2014 at 12:23 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff found the Constitution natural gas pipeline project could have numerous impacts on the environment during construction and operation. It concluded the adverse impacts would be limited. 

The Constitution Pipeline would span 124 miles through Broome, Chenango, Delaware and Schoharie counties in New York and Susquehanna County in Pennsylvania. The project would deliver natural gas supply from Susquehanna County to markets in New York and New England.

FERC released its Draft Environmental Impact Statement. In it, FERC staff outlined additional mitigation measures Constitution would need to take to minimize or avoid potential impacts on major areas of concern including water bodies, wetlands, and wildlife.

The draft report states Constitution will use a dry crossing design over water bodies to avoid in-stream construction.

One specific area mentioned in Broome County is the Clinton Street Ballpark sole source aquifer. There, the pipeline would cross four miles of aquifers and wellhead protection areas. FERC said Constitution will test all water wells within 150 feet of the construction area before and after construction. It agreed to provide an alternative water source or mutually agreeable solution in the event of a construction-related impact on water quality.

Another additional recommendation is the development of a forest and migratory bird impact mitigation plan.

After the final environmental impact statement is issued, FERC commissioners will take the staff recommendations under consideration when deciding project approvals.