ORANGE COUNTY, N.Y. – Development of the Lateral Valley Pipeline in Orange County was dealt a serious blow on Thursday when the State Department of Environmental Conservation denied a critical certification.
The proposed pipeline would connect the existing Millenium Pipeline to the CPV Valley Energy Center in Middletown. The DEC denied a water quality certification on the 7.9-mile stretch saying the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) failed to consider climate change impacts in its environmental review.
County Executive Steven Neuhaus applauded the DEC's decision and called on state officials to open the project up to further review.
“Last year, I directed the County Attorney to oppose Millennium Pipeline’s taking of County land through eminent domain because Millennium did not have their State permits in order. Earlier this year, Judge Slobod decided my administration’s position on this matter was correct and denied the taking of County land by Millennium. Today’s denial of State permits further affirms that decision," Neuhaus said. "Regardless of what one feels about CPV or Millennium, the arrests of people associated with the CPV project call each and every aspect of its approval into question. At that time, I urged the State to review all permits issued to date. State Legislators and the relevant State Departments should mandate a complete review of all permits on these projects and release any and all reports on the same publicly as soon as possible.”
The pipeline drew the ire of many environmentalist groups because of its potential impact crossing over several wetlands and causing runoff and erosion into nearby streams.
The project cannot move forward without the water quality certification. It also leaves CPV with no supply of natural gas.
“CPV has previously threatened to burn oil at the plant in order to begin production if they did not receive their Millenium Pipeline connection. This would be an in-your-face circumvention of today’s DEC decision. I will be introducing legislation in an attempt to block CPV’s flagrant efforts to skirt the permitting process," Assemblyman James Skoufis said in a statement. “Simply put, the CPV plant should not become operational while the project remains under a cloud of corruption.”
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