FERC just told Gov. Corruptocrat and his DEC they lost their chance to deny a water quality certification to the Northern Access Pipeline by playing games.
Earlier this week FERC issued a 61-page decision striking another important blow to New York State’s illicit effort to halt pipeline development. The first blow was when Millennium Pipeline immediately went to war with Governor Corruptocrat the minute it became clear his DEC was merely playing games with its water quality certification request. The result was a circuit court decision indicating FERC had the clear authority to decide DEC had waived whatever authority it had when an application wasn’t acted upon with the statutory one-year period. That authority was subsequently exercised and DEP was slapped down. Now, it’s happened again with National Fuel’s Northern Access Pipeline.
The decision is complicated one involving numerous issues and challenges by the Allegheny Defense Front, the Sierra Club and others. The most important part, though, was clearly FERC’s sticking to its “a year means a year and no more” position on water quality certifications. A copy of the decision with these important elements highlighted may be found here. The following excerpts largely speak for themselves (emphasis added):
…the D.C. Circuit has indicated that project applicants who believe that a state certifying agency has waived its authority under CWA section 401 to act on an application for a water quality certification must present evidence of waiver to the Commission. We find that the companies, through their December 5, 2017 pleading, have presented evidence of waiver… and have effectively petitioned the Commission for a waiver determination…