A lawsuit challenging New York State’s denial of a required certification for the Constitution Pipeline has been dealt a setback by the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of New York, which ruled that it “lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, because Constitution has not pleaded an injury in fact and thus lacks standing” to assert its claims.
The Constitution project, which originates in Pennsylvania and would cross 100 miles of New York State, had been granted a FERC permit for the pipeline on December 2, 2014, subject to receiving certain required approvals, including a water quality certification required by Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. New York State denied that permit on April 22, 2016 (after some construction activity had already begun in Pennsylvania). Constitution sought judgment before the District Court that the state permit requirements are preempted by the Natural Gas Act. The Court’s March 16 decision dismisses Constitution’s complaint. A separate lawsuit by Constitution for review of the New York State denial of Section 401 certification remains pending before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.